Wigan Athletic Vs Aston Villa, Sat 18 Dec 2010

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Wigan could be without up to eight first-team regulars for the Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa at the DW Stadium.

Latics will play without a Honduras international in their side for the first time in 100 league matches as Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa serve one-game bans.

Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) and Franco di Santo (ankle) are still not fit to return while James McCarthy and Victor Moses are long-term casualties.

Club captain Gary Caldwell (thigh) hopes to feature after playing in a friendly this week and Tom Cleverley (rib), although doubtful, will be given a fitness test.

Boss Roberto Martinez is convinced his side will soon turn their season around - but expects no favours from under-performing Villa.

Martinez has remained highly complimentary of Latics' performances despite a run of just one win in 10 which leaves them in the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

He believes the wins will soon come but he expects Villa, who are also struggling to impose themselves under new manager Gerard Houllier, to make life difficult.

Martinez said: "Now is the time to take all the good things we have shown this season and start to get the points we believe the performances deserve.

"We are looking at ourselves more than anything - I don't believe the table is affecting us.

"We are always trying to get that level of performance that would allow us to get two or three good results.

"If you do that, the table will reflect that - you can see how tight the margins are.

"In the last two results we have been consistent and now is the time to get wins behind the performances.

"But Villa are a very talented side. They have top individuals with a real mixture of youth and experience.

"They had a very good result at the weekend and we hope we can neutralise the threat they have got, especially in the wide areas.

"If you don't do that Villa can really hurt you on their day."

Villa midfielder Ashley Young has been ruled out with a knee injury after he was unable to train all week.

But striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is fit to return against the Latics after missing the 2-1 home success over West Brom last weekend with a chest infection.

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Premier League
Wigan Athletic
Aston Villa

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