Wigan Athletic Vs Chelsea, Sat 21 Aug 2010

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Charles N'Zogbia could return to the Wigan side to face Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea at the DW Stadium.

The French winger was omitted for last week's 4-0 thrashing by Blackpool by manager Roberto Martinez, who questioned the player's attitude amid speculation over his future.

Martinez has since played down reports of a rift between the pair and said the 24-year-old will be in contention this weekend.

Martinez must also decide whether to keep faith with goalkeeper Chris Kirkland after his personal horror show in the season opener against Blackpool.

Forward Victor Moses has been ruled out with a calf injury while club captain Gary Caldwell remains on the sidelines after double hip surgery in the summer.

Martinez will not make Kirkland a scapegoat for his side's dreadful start to the Barclays Premier League season.

Kirkland endured a personal nightmare as Wigan were thrashed 4-0 by promoted Blackpool at the DW Stadium last weekend.

Martinez has given the former Liverpool keeper no public assurances that he will start against Chelsea, but he will not single the 29-year-old out for blame.

The Latics boss said: "We win as a team and we lose as a team. Chris is a very experienced man now and he is very responsible.

"Sometimes being a goalkeeper you are a lonely figure on the pitch but he shouldn't take any extra responsibility.

"He has won many games and I am sure the players would agree with me that we are all together winning and all together losing.

"It has been a difficult week as a group and individually but that togetherness is a good sign."

With the players still hurting from last week's embarrassment, a visit from the champions is probably the last thing Wigan need.

The last time the sides met Chelsea ran out 8-0 winners to celebrate their title success in style in the final game of last season.

Yet Wigan could take encouragement from their stunning 3-1 defeat of the Blues at the DW Stadium last September.

Martinez said: "We have a very responsible group and they know what it means to play for Wigan Athletic.

"Our biggest problem was that, in the first game of the season when you want to play well and impress the crowd, we forgot about certain basics.

"The players, staff and fans were hurt. Our success throughout history has been that we are a family club and we are all together.

"We will support each other to get through difficult periods.

"We know that we now need to focus on playing a very talented group of players in Chelsea. They have huge experience and a big winning mentality.

"It is going to be a real big test for us but it is at home and we want to take responsibility.

"We want to get the fans behind us and make sure we are as good as we can."

Chelsea's new signing Ramires has trained with the squad but will not be involved.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti expects the #17million Brazilian midfielder to feature for the first time in next weekend's game against Stoke.

Chelsea have Branislav Ivanovic fit for the trip to the DW Stadium and Frank Lampard has recovered completely from an ankle knock.

Jeffrey Bruma was due to undergo a hernia operation on Friday while Kakuta has a back injury - but Jose Bosingwa has resumed training and could return to action in two to three weeks.

Ancelotti is anxious for Chelsea to set the Premier League pace from the outset - but he has also tried to temper expectations that Saturday's game will be a walkover.

The Italian reminded Chelsea their first defeat of last season was at the DW Stadium.

Ancelotti said: "It is very important we make a good start, not just one game. Last year we won the first six games in the league and we want to do the same.

"I will be happy if we win 1-0. It is important to keep a clean sheet. Winning 6-0 or 7-0 every week is not football.

"It is important to win and to play well. We have to pay attention. The last game at Wigan we lost 3-1.

"We have to prepare well for this game and be right mentally. They caused us a lot of problems there last season, it was our first defeat, and we want to continue our good start to the season.

"They started the season badly and lost at home against Blackpool. They will want to be strong and have power to produce a different game."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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