Manchester City host Wigan in the Premier League on Wednesday in a preview of this year’s FA Cup final.
Roberto Mancini’s side overcame Chelsea 2-1 in their semi-final on Sunday to book a place in their second final in three years, one day after Wigan beat Millwall 2-0 to ensure they would be at Wembley on May 11th.
Both sides will turn their attention to the Premier League for the time being with Wednesday’s clash shaping up as a vital match for Wigan as they attempt to avoid the drop.
Roberto Martinez’s men are currently languishing in 18th position on the table, three points from safety with a result at the Etihad crucial to their survival hopes.
Wigan have become renowned for late season heroics in recent years and their current form suggests this campaign will be no different with their last loss coming to Liverpool in early March.
Striker Arouna Kone has proved to be a pivotal player as the season draws to a close, with the 29-year-old scoring late winners against Newcastle and Norwich.
However, the Ivory Coast man will have to be at his best to score against the league’s toughest defence with City so far conceding just 27 goals from 31 games.
City will be particularly happy with the recent form of centre-back Matija Nastasic, who was the standout player against Chelsea on Sunday, with his performance sure to give Mancini a selection headache ahead of the Wigan game.
Less positive for City is the injury cloud surrounding star midfielder David Silva, with the Spaniard failing a late fitness test ahead of the FA Cup semi-final and will again be in doubt against Wigan.
Despite the potential absence of Silva and Wigan’s good form, City will be confident they can collect all three points against Martinez’s men, who they comfortably beat 2-0 at the DW Stadium earlier in the season.