Manchester United v Wigan – Monday 26 December – Old Trafford (17:00)
The English Premiership has entered the festive period and there is little time for teams to rest as there is a pile-up of fixtures. The halfway mark is also approaching rapidly and at this stage fans get a slight idea of how their respective teams are pushing along thus far. This fixture sees title contenders up against relegation battlers and both teams know how vital 3 points is for their respective courses.
Manchester United still manage to push on despite their lack luster performances of late. United have dropped off the pace in terms of performances and goals as they have been winning ugly in recent times. Despite this Man United continue to pursuit their 20th title. Sir Alex Ferguson has been receiving stick from fans as they lost their talisman Nemanja Vidic for the rest of the season and Ferguson looks unlikely to dip into the January transfer window. Wayne Rooney has picked his goalscoring form up after going through a few matches without scoring. Phil Jones is proving to be one of the signings of the season as the youngster has been in scintillating form, often finding himself goalscoring opportunities and getting on the score sheet despite his defensive position. Sir Alex will be expecting a fighting spirit that so often pushed United to the title. However he may need to splash some cash on reinforcements as Man United look short in midfield as well as a centre back to help out the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans.
Wigan is having a rocky season thus far as they find themselves competing in a relegation battle. Last season Wigan managed to escape from the hands of relegation as they edged a hard fought 1-0 win against stoke on the last day of the season. They look like they going down the same path this season and Roberto Martinez will have to make some changes to his current squad. Martinez and Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega are still not seeing eye to eye and it looks like the striker will be sold in January with an array of English and European clubs after his signature. However Wigan did manage to get a positive result over the weekend as they held title contenders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw. Martinez will want his team to build on that result and escape from yet another relegation battle. A lot is lying on the shoulders of Nigerian wonder kid Victor Moses as he leads the line for the Latics and has notched up some important goals thus far and Wigan fans will be hoping he is their answer to their current dismal form.
Both teams will want nothing but 3 points in this encounter as it will go a long way in aiding their respective courses. Man United should just prove too strong at the Theatre of Dreams.