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Barclays Premier League

DW Stadium (ATT 20,342) 1st January 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Marriner

Wigan Wigan Athletic vs Manchester United Man Utd


Man Utd 4

J Hernandez (35, 63)
R van Persie (43, 88)

Premier League: Manchester United keen to keep seven-point lead at Wigan

Last Updated: 31/12/12 11:41am

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Sir Alex Ferguson: Hoping Manchester United can retain their seven-point lead

Sir Alex Ferguson: Hoping Manchester United can retain their seven-point lead

Manchester United will be in no hurry to relinquish their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League when they travel to Wigan on New Year's Day.

The Red Devils head into 2013 sitting pretty in pole position after winning seven of their last eight league encounters, most recently beating West Brom 2-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

That run has left defending champions Manchester City trailing and Sir Alex Ferguson's men will be keen to keep it that way as they bid to bring the trophy back to the red side of the city.

At the other end of the table, Wigan sit 31 points behind their visitors in 16th place, a point clear of the relegation zone.

But Roberto Martinez's side will host the Red Devils boosted by their weekend win over fellow strugglers Aston Villa which ended a run of three straight defeats.

The 3-0 success was a comfortable one for the Latics and they will be hoping it is the breakthrough result they need to pull away from danger.

They face a tough test against their visitors but will be heartened by the result in the same fixture last season, when Shaun Maloney fired them to a shock 1-0 victory in April.

Ferguson's side will be determined to avoid a repeat of that upset, which marked the first time Wigan had ever recorded points against United.

Wigan  Badge Wigan

The New Year's Day clash is expected to come too soon for Wigan's Antolin Alcaraz as he continues his recovery from a groin problem.

Antonio Lopez, Ben Watson, on-loan Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi and Albert Crusat are also absent with injury.

Both Ivan Ramis and Franco Di Santo are available for selection for the Latics after making their returns against Villa.

Man Utd Badge Man Utd

Full-back Rafael is expected to return from a four-match absence with a hamstring injury for United.

Phil Jones could also be available as manager Ferguson once again prepares to rotate his squad.

The boss noted Michael Carrick was particularly tired after Saturday's win at West Brom, whilst top scorer Robin van Persie seems certain to be recalled.

Previous game's starting line-ups

  • Carson 1 Carson
  • Tavernier 2 Tavernier
  • Barnett 25 Barnett
  • Kiernan 30 Kiernan

  • Figueroa 31 Figueroa
  • Huws 14 Huws

  • Forshaw 29 Forshaw
  • Cowie 19 Cowie
  • McManaman 15 McManaman

  • Fortune 32 Fortune
  • Espinoza 18 Espinoza

Team taken from Wigan Athletic vs Derby County (Sky Bet Championship) on Saturday 25th October 2014

  • De Gea 1 De Gea
  • Rafael 2 Rafael
  • Smalling 12 Smalling
  • Rojo 5 Rojo
  • Shaw 3 Shaw
  • Blind 17 Blind
  • Di Maria 7 Di Maria
  • Mata 8 Mata

  • Fellaini 31 Fellaini
  • Januzaj 11 Januzaj
  • van Persie 20 van Persie

Team taken from Manchester United vs Chelsea (Barclays Premier League) on Sunday 26th October 2014

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