After the 4-0 drumming by Manchester United on New Year's Day, it’s now time for a more relaxed approach to cup football. This season we did well in getting to the fifth round of the Capital One Cup, before we put in a shocker against Bradford City. This time around we have home comforts against a Bournemouth side that are enjoying life in League One.
This is a game for us to put aside our league woes and concentrate on doing something good for the club. Getting wins in the cup boosts morale, brings in more money and can always lead towards success. I don't know about you but I yearn for another cup final day.
We go into the game after a bad result, yet the same team that face United, will not face Bournemouth. Many first team players will be rested to aid tiring legs. While many players may be tested to see just how fit they will be for the rest of the season.
Such players include Ryo Miyiachi and Antolin Alcaraz both of whom could be in line for starts, the former of the two is more likely to be in the team though come Saturday. Other players in contention include our new signings; both Roger Espinoza and Angelo Henriquez will feature.
The rest of the line up will feature the players on the edges of the squad. Callum McManaman, Frazer Fyvie, Daniel Redmond, Roman Golobart and the returning Nouha Dicko could all be in line for a starting place in the team.
The question is how much do Latics want the win? Well the answer is probably not a lot. We have much more important things to consider this season, first and foremost our Premier League survival. Yet giving the younger and new lads a chance to show what they can do is important and in the long run can only be a good thing. Hopefully a few of them can develop world beating talent so they can aid us massively in survival.
So what of our opponents? Well currently just outside the play-off places, since the resigning of manager Eddie Howe from Burnley, the south coast club have only been looking up towards a place in the Championship. Their charge as been lead by 24 year old striker Lewis Grabban who has got 10 goals so far this season, not bad at all for the striker.
They play a quick game looking to get at teams from the wing and got plenty of crosses into the box. Not something we are usually very good at defending against! It could be a game where Bournemouth could frustrate us, if they play the same as Bradford did in the League Cup then we could be in trouble. That time Bradford sat back and let our lacklustre strike force keep the ball before hitting us quickly on the counter.
Will this game be a repeat of that? I am not so sure. I think we have enough in our young lads to overcome them and get a few goals. Yet starting slowly could cost us the game, a fast start and an early goal will win it for Latics, yet the same the other way round and it could be all Bournemouth's.
Be an interesting matchup, and hopefully our young lads are given a good chance to play in the Latics shirt.