Wigan Athletic Vs Aston Villa, Tue 16 Mar 2010

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Wigan have close to a fully-fit squad available for Tuesday's Barclays Premier League clash against Aston Villa at the DW Stadium.

Captain Mario Melchiot is manager Roberto Martinez's only major doubt with the thigh injury which has kept him out for the last two games.

January arrival Steve Gohouri is also continuing to work towards full fitness but the rest of the Latics squad are fit.

Martinez claims his players have already got Saturday's crushing loss to Bolton out of their system.

Martinez's side produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Liverpool last Monday but then slumped 4-0 to their relegation rivals at the Reebok Stadium.

Such inconsistency has been the story of Wigan's campaign but Martinez has no doubt they will bounce back from this latest setback.

The Spaniard said: "It has happened the whole campaign and it is important we learn from it. But whenever we have a disappointment we get together and we get stronger as a whole - that is the reaction we need on Tuesday.

"In some areas we didn't cope with the disappointment of certain decisions or the goals we conceded. But I am pleased with the way everybody is getting ready for Tuesday's game. That is the way we have to be at this stage of the season.

"It was an outstanding performance against Liverpool - that is what we are capable of and we have to make sure we get that on a regular basis. To do that you need to get ready for the next game."

Gabriel Agbonlahor could return to Villa's starting line-up.

Agbonlahor missed the FA Cup quarter-final win at Reading through illness eight days ago and was only named among the substitutes for the weekend goalless draw at Stoke.

But he is now back to full fitness and may dislodge either John Carew or former Wigan striker Emile Heskey as Villa look to maintain their 2010 unbeaten league record.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill said: "Gabby should be absolutely fine now. He would have wanted to have played on Saturday at Stoke.

"He hasn't missed many games in my time here but the second-half performance at Reading, and his own illness, meant he didn't start at Stoke. He will be fine for Wigan and we hope he stays fit to the end of the season."

As for the rest of his squad, O'Neill added: "We have just a couple of niggly injuries but we hope the players come through."

O'Neill intends to make full use of his squad to help Aston Villa through their current demanding schedule of five games in 15 days.

Villa are pushing for a Champions League spot and, having been beaten in the Carling Cup final, are now through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and a meeting with Chelsea.

O'Neill has tended to rely mainly on the same core group of players as Villa look to stay in contention with Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool for a top-four spot in the Barclays Premier League.

But he concedes he will have to make changes for the battles ahead as Villa prepare for Tuesday evening's clash.

O'Neill said: "We've had a pretty hectic schedule. We've been going non-stop since mid January and by next weekend will have played 16 games in 66 days - a match every four days.

"We got through to the Carling Cup final, we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and, when you're having a decent stab at the FA Cup, you are going to have postponements and we're fitting games in at the moment.

"I would prefer that to not being involved at all. Having said that, it is the utilisation of the squad now from here on in that I'm hoping will sort things out.

"It will be a busy spell for us ahead. I know that and we have to be up for the task. It's all about recovery in between games and that is the most important element of it all.

"But the main point over the next few weeks, with games coming thick and fast, and a semi-final to prepare for, is I will be very surprised indeed if we don't have to make a number of changes in the team."

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Premier League
Wigan Athletic
Aston Villa

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