Wigan V Southampton at The DW Stadium : Match Preview

02 February 2013 01:07
Wigan V Southampton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Scharner set for action

Paul Scharner could make his Wigan comeback in the Barclays Premier League home clash with Southampton after rejoining the Latics on transfer deadline day.

Scharner, who spent four-and-a-half years with Wigan before leaving in 2010, has been recruited by manager Roberto Martinez on loan from Hamburg until the end of the season as an additional option in central defence, where Ivan Ramis (knee) and Antolin Alcaraz (groin) are currently unavailable.

Also not fit for selection is another defender, Adrian Lopez (hamstring), along with goalkeeper Mike Pollitt (thigh) and midfielders Ben Watson (broken leg), Albert Crusat (knee), Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Fraser Fyvie (soft tissue problem).

Forward Arouna Kone is away on African Nations Cup duty and full-back Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) is a doubt.

Wigan are 18th in the table, level on points with both 17th-placed Reading and 19th-placed Aston Villa and three adrift of Southampton.

The Latics have seven matches left this term at the DW Stadium, where they have won only twice all season, and Martinez has once again stressed how important it is that his team make the most of those fixtures.

He said: "We have seven games left at the DW Stadium.

"Every single one of those 21 points that are there to fight for are going to be extremely vital."

Southampton captain Adam Lallana could make his first start in nearly two months.

The 24-year-old midfielder came on as a substitute in Wednesday's 2-1 loss at Manchester United after recovering from a knee injury and is in contention to start at the DW Stadium.

New signing Vegard Forren was not involved at Old Trafford but could force himself into the squad, although Jose Fonte and Guly Do Prado (both knee) are likely to miss out.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino wants his players to take the confidence gained from their second-half performance against United into their weekend clash.

Pochettino's side received major praise from Sir Alex Ferguson who claimed the Saints' second-half display was the best he had seen from a visiting team all season.

Southampton have looked to play expansive, attacking football in both of Pochettino's games since he replaced Nigel Adkins last month and the 40-year-old Argentinian is hoping they can build on that when they travel to the DW Stadium.

"That is the way we want to play but perhaps in the first half we weren't able to do so," he said.

"I am not happy with the way we played in the first half. That is not how we wanted to play. But I am very proud and happy with the way we played in the second.

"Our performance in the second half is going to give my players the confidence to play on like that in the future."

Source: PA