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Premier League preview: Wigan v Stoke City

30 August 2012 12:52

Stoke City will look to bounce back from a League Cup shock when they travel to Wigan in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Tony Pulis' Stoke side were stunned by League One outfit Swindon Town at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday, losing 4-3 after extra-time.

Swindon led 2-0 and 3-2 before Peter Crouch's late effort, but James Collins - who scored a hat-trick on the night - netted in the 120th minute to embarrass Stoke.

Stoke winger Michael Kightly is confident his side will respond at the DW Stadium on Saturday though, despite the fact Wigan will enter the match fresh off consecutive away wins at Southampton and Nottingham Forest.

"No disrespect to Swindon, but we should be beating teams like that, there is no doubt about it. We were sloppy," Kightly said afterwards.

"We have to bounce back from it though and I know we can do that. We carved out a lot of chances (against Swindon), scored three goals and came back from behind on two occasions, so we have to stay positive."

The defeat snapped a run of five successive draws for Stoke - a streak which included three friendly matches - with the club opening their English Premier League campaign with stalemates against Reading and Arsenal.

Of more concern for Pulis is Stoke's away form, with the club having not won a league match on the road since January 2, when a Crouch double helped them to a 2-1 success against now-relegated Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Stoke have also struggled against Wigan in recent times and are winless in their last six meetings.

In stark contrast to Stoke's struggles in the Cup, Roberto Martinez's men emphatically beat Forest 4-1 with Mauro Boselli, Maynor Figueroa, Jordi Gomez and Callum McManaman all on the scoresheet.

Despite starting their Premier League season with a 2-0 home loss to Chelsea, Wigan were impressive as a 2-0 triumph over promoted Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium lifted them to eighth on the table.

They have now scored in 11 successive away fixtures and have won eight of their last 11 in the league across two seasons.

Stoke's Dean Whitehead will return from suspension for the match, while both sides have a relatively clean bill of health.

The match will feature a contrast in styles, with Stoke's long-ball approach, based on power and aerial strength, to come up against Wigan's fluent, attractive method of football.

It will be equally interesting to see how each side tries to combat the other, with Stoke up against it to stop Wigan's good run of form.

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Saturday 19 April

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
8 34 +5 48
9 34 -14 46
10 34 -10 43
11 34 -14 40
12 34 -9 37

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