FA Cup Preview: Cardiff City v Wigan Athletic
By Football News
Wigan Athletic's defence of their FA Cup crown continues with a tricky fifth-round trip to Premier League outfit Cardiff City on Saturday.
The Lancashire outfit are on a 10-match unbeaten run in the world's oldest football competition, including a famous 1-0 triumph over Manchester City in last season's final when Roberto Martinez was at the helm.
Wigan have since dropped out of the Premier League, meaning Uwe Rosler's men would be the first team in 34 years to win the competition from outside the top flight if they can repeat their success, with West Ham the last team to achieve the feat in 1980.
If history is anything to go by, Wigan have every reason to be optimistic of a cup upset at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff have failed to register a victory over Wigan since a 1-0 win March 1997, a run that stretches 10 matches, though Saturday's encounter will mark the first meeting between the two sides since April 2005.
Wigan have already beaten Premier League opposition to get this far, as goals from Ben Watson and James McClean ensured a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in round four.
On-loan striker Nicky Maynard - who scored his first two goals for the club in that fixture - is unavailable to feature against his parent club.
Both Rosler and Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joined their respective clubs this season. The former has fared slightly better in his new role with eight wins from 15 matches, while the latter has emerged victorious from three of eight.
Solskjaer and Rosler have history as cross-town rivals for two years from their playing days at Manchester rivals United and City.
The pair's history is further intertwined with Solskjaer replacing Rosler as boss of Norwegian outfit Molde in November 2010, despite the German staving off the threat of relegation that season by going unbeaten in the last eight games.
Solskjaer will be wary of a potential banana skin with his side managing just two wins from their last seven matches in all competitions, while have the last two fixtures have seen Cardiff draw blanks.
The Norwegian - a two-time winner of the competition in 1999 and 2004 - will hope striker Fraizer Campbell can continue his form in the cup, with the former Manchester United striker bagging in the wins over Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers in previous rounds.
Juan Cala could make his debut at centre-back after signing on a free from Sevilla last week, but club captain Mark Hudson remains a doubt with a hamstring injury.