League Cup Preview: Manchester City v Wigan Athletic
By Football News
Wigan Athletic will be hoping for a repeat of last season's cup heroics when they take on Manchester City in the League Cup third round.
Back in May, a last-minute goal from Ben Watson saw them lift the FA Cup at the expense of Tuesday's illustrious opponents at Wembley, although that triumph was tempered somewhat when defeat to Arsenal in their next match confirmed the club's relegation to the Championship.
Both sides have changed managers since then, with former Bolton Wanderers and Burnley boss Owen Coyle replacing Roberto Martinez at Wigan while at City, Manuel Pellegrini has taken over the reins from Roberto Mancini.
The third-round encounter at the Etihad Stadium sees both sides involved in the competition for the first time this season as they enter along with the rest of the Premier League's European representatives.
City enjoyed a fine start to their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win at Viktoria Plzen last Tuesday while Wigan, having qualified for the Europa League courtesy of their FA Cup triumph, were pleased with the 0-0 draw garnered from their first European tie away against Belgium's Zulte-Waregem.
With both sides strongly fancied to challenge for honours before the season began in their respective divisions, neither have had the start they may have desired in the league - although they both head into the encounter buoyed by superb wins at the weekend.
City gave arch-rivals Manchester United a masterclass in the derby on Sunday, as two goals from Sergio Aguero and one apiece from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri led them to an emphatic 4-1 win over David Moyes' side.
Meanwhile, Wigan - League Cup runners-up in 2006 - claimed a 2-0 win over Ipswich courtesy of goals from home debutants Ryan Shotton and Nick Powell.
Last May's FA Cup aside, the head-to-head record in recent years between the sides suggests that City will book a safe passage, with the Premier League side having won the previous seven encounters before Wigan stunned them at Wembley earlier this year.