Premier League preview: Wigan v Aston Villa
Aston Villa visit Wigan Athletic on Saturday desperate for a win to avoid joining their hosts in an English Premier League relegation scrap.
Wigan sit bottom of the table, three points adrift of safety and with just four wins to their name in 25 league matches this season.
One of those four wins arrived away to fellow strugglers Bolton last week, and was Wigan's first victory since December 12.
After barely avoided the drop last season, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez knows his team face another desperate battle to preserve their top-flight status.
The Spaniard turned down an approach from Villa in the off season, remaining with Wigan as a gesture of loyalty to club owner Dave Whelan.
The highly rated young coach could now be regretting his decision, and it is likely more than a few Aston Villa fans would prefer to see the 38-year-old in charge of their own team, as opposed to the divisive figure of Alex McLeish.
Scotsman McLeish swapped relegated Birmingham City for fierce local rivals Villa last year, meaning he had everything to do if he was to win over his new club's demanding fans.
With half of the season gone and Villa struggling in 15th place, McLeish's standing has arguably sunk even lower.
Villa are only seven points clear of the drop zone, and have managed just one win in their last six league matches.
In McLeish's defence they have just emerged from a difficult run, suffering an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal followed by Premier League losses to high-flying Newcastle and league leaders Manchester City.
But with a succession of winnable games coming up, against Wigan, Blackburn, Fulham and Bolton, Villa must seize the chance to pick points, or risk being dragged closer to the dogfight at the foot of the table.
McLeish has several injury worries ahead of Saturday's match, with defenders Richard Dunne (shoulder) and Ciaran Clark (knee) out until April and March respectively.
Further forward, on-loan midfielder Jermaine Jenas is likely to sit out the rest of the campaign with an Achilles injury, while Barry Bannan is in doubt due to an ankle problem.
Wigan have no new injuries worries, their only absentees remain goalkeeper Chris Kirkland (back) and midfielder Shaun Maloney (calf), who are sidelined indefinitely.