Bolton v Wigan preview
Relegation six-pointer at the Reebok Stadium
Last Updated: 10/02/12 3:58pm
There is much more than just local pride at stake when Wigan make the short trip over the M61 to do battle with Bolton.
The pair make up two thirds of the bottom three in the Premier League with Wigan bottom and Bolton four points better off.
The Latics will be out to avenge October's 3-1 home defeat to the Trotters with Nigel Reo-Coker, David Ngog and Chris Eagles all netting that day.
Wigan have not done well against their neighbours recently having gone eight Premier League games without success since a 1-0 win in December 2008.
However, their current run of form is more worrying. Since beating West Brom in December the Latics are now nine top-flight games without a victory.
Roberto Martinez's strugglers can ill-afford to lose any more ground in the relegation scrap while a win for Bolton would see them move out of the drop zone.
Tim Ream could make his debut for Bolton for the visit of Wigan.
The United States centre-back, whose move from the New York Red Bulls was confirmed over a fortnight ago, has started training with his new team-mates this week after all the paperwork relating to the deal was completed.
He is set to be part of the Wanderers matchday squad for the first time, along with fellow January recruit Ryo Miyaichi, the Japanese winger signed on loan from Arsenal for the remainder of the season.
Gretar Steinsson (hamstring) and Joe Riley (groin) may return having missed last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Norwich, but another defender Marcos Alonso (foot) is not yet ready.
Midfielders Lee Chung-yong (broken leg) Stuart Holden and Ricardo Gardner (both knee) remain long-term injury absentees.
Wigan are at full strength for their crucial clash at the Reebok Stadium.
Defender Antolin Alcaraz (groin) is back in contention to start after being left on the bench against Everton last week.
The Paraguay international could come in a break up the Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell partnership at the back.
Midfielder Mohamed Diame could also make his first appearance since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Hugo Rodallega will be hoping to start after being a substitute against the Toffees, although that depends if Martinez sticks with his 4-5-1 formation.
Possible starting XIs
Bolton: Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, Wheater, Ricketts, Eagles, Davies, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Ngog.
Wigan: Al Habsi, Stam, Boyce, Caldwell, Figueroa, Gomez, Moses, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour, Di Santo.
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||27||39|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||27||30|
|17||Queens Park Rangers||26||22|
Bolton v Wigan
Wigan midfielder James McArthur has welcomed his side's two-week break after clinching a memorable win over Bolton.
Emmerson Boyce is hoping Wigan's important win against Bolton can be the catalyst to avoiding more last-day drama.
Zat Knight stated Bolton Wanderers were not 'up to scratch' in their 2-1 weekend defeat by Wigan Athletic.