Wigan Athletic vs. Manchester United: Red Devils out to expand lead

Clive Brunskill

Manchester United don't have a midfield and can't defend. They're much better than Wigan anyway. Expect goals.

For once, it appears that Roberto Martinez might not have to pull off a late relegation rescue. Wigan Athletic have performed above expectations this season, and are coming off an impressive demolition of Aston Villa. They'll face a bit of a step up in competition on New Year's Day, when they face Manchester United.

While United have looked vulnerable to direct attacks in recent weeks, they looked like a much more balanced and dynamic side in Shinji Kagawa's return over the weekend. Phil Jones and Rafael are on their way back to fitness as well, and it appears that Manchester United's best form has yet to arrive, even though they're already seven points clear of their nearest rivals, Manchester City.

Wigan Athletic injuries and suspensions

Out: Antolin Alcaraz (fitness), Albert Crusat (knee), Antonio Lopez (hamstring), Ryo Miyaichi (ankle), Ben Watson (leg).

Manchester United injuries and suspensions

Out: Wayne Rooney (knee), Anderson (hamstring), Nani (hamstring). In doubt: Phil Jones (knee), Rafael (hamstring)

Rafael and Jones could return to the United squad after recovering from injuries. Wigan's injury list, considering their lack of depth, is seriously damaging.

Match date/time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. local, 10 p.m. ET

Venue: DW Stadium, Wigan, England

TV: FOX Soccer (U.S. - English), FOX Deportes (U.S. - Spanish)

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