Swansea City Vs Wigan Athletic, Sat 20 Aug 2011

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Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is ready to take on the chin whatever reception he is given by Swansea's fans on his return to the Liberty Stadium.

The Spaniard made 122 appearances for the Swans as a player and then spent two years in south Wales as manager between 2007 and 2009 before leaving the club for Wigan.

It was a controversial decision by Martinez, who had previously said he would only quit Swansea if he was forced out, and he was jeered by the home fans when Wigan played a Carling Cup tie at the Liberty Stadium last season.

The Latics will be the first club to play an away game in the Premier League outside England, and Martinez hopes the excitement of promotion to the top flight will have helped Swansea fans understand why it was a chance he felt he could not turn down.

The Spaniard said: "I understand and I'll accept any sort of reaction. I'm sure the fans, looking back now, they understand more my decision. They see the football club reaching the dream of the Premier League.

"I've got a lot of good friends and people that I'm close to so it's going to be a great feeling to be down there. And I've got a lot of respect for the fans so, whatever the reaction is, I'll respect it and accept it."

Latics are likely to be without defender Steve Gohouri for the trip as he continues his recovery from a calf problem.

Boss Roberto Martinez may be tempted to start with striker Hugo Rodallega despite admitting he is not yet 100% fit after Copa America duty with Colombia, while Antolin Alcaraz, who reached the final with Paraguay, could come into contention for a place in the squad.

James McCarthy had an injection in his ankle to enable him to play in last week's draw with Norwich and should be available again but new signing Nouha Dicko is not yet being considered for the first team.

Meanwhile, Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has warned his players they will face a tough test as they look to record a first win of the season.

He said: "They have very good players, this is their seventh season in the Premier League so they are an established Premier League club and they have the resources and finances over a number of years to build a good squad.

"They have some players I know well. I worked with Franco Di Santo at Chelsea, he is big and strong and always very motivated.

"There is Victor Moses, this could be a big year for Victor, he is a wonderful technician and is strong on both sides and has the ability to score goals.

"Young (James) McCarthy is a good player and played a lot of games last season and is a good football talent, and (Hugo) Rodallega is a talent as well so they have very good players.

"But I believe in the group I have, it's a real special group, they are honest. Some of our players have come from League Two to Premier League and come into every game ready to give their maximum."

Swansea captain Garry Monk is again a doubt.

The defender missed Monday's defeat at Manchester City due to a foot problem, but played 90 minutes for the reserves on Wednesday. Rodgers is set to see whether Monk has any adverse reaction to that run-out before making a final decision.

Left-back Neil Taylor is available again after completing the three-match suspension he received for his red card in the play-off semi-final first leg at Nottingham Forest.

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

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Antolin Alcaraz
Neil Taylor
Neil Taylor
League Cup
Hugo Rodallega
Premier League
Steve Gohouri
Victor Moses
Franco Di Santo
Garry Monk
James McCarthy

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