Wigan Athletic versus
Location: DW Stadium (Wigan)
Starting: Al Habsi, Gohouri, McCarthy, Thomas, Di Santo, N'Zogbia, S. Caldwell, McArthur, Boyce, Rodallega, Figueroa
Subs:Pollitt, Watson, Moses, Gomez, Diame, Stam, McManaman
Starting: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Baker, Agbonlahor, Reo-Coker, Makoun, Downing, A. Young, Bent
Subs: Marshall, Heskey, Delfouneso, Petrov, Pires, Albrighton
It would appear as though the rotation is in full effect, though it must be said that's an awfully defensive midfield from Houllier. In a bit of a surprise Nathan Baker gets the start at LB, with Gerard keeping the trend of four CBs across the back going for another night. The biggest news is of course that Jean Makoun is making his first appearance for Villa, which isn't a surprise necessarily but still exciting.
I wouldn't read too much into anything regarding tonight's lineup; with five games in eleven days a rotation is to be expected. Ciaran Clark and Marc Albrighton were both due a breather and though Petrov was excellent against Manchester City he hasn't exactly displayed a tremendous amount of stamina as he works his way back to fitness. The exception to that would be Barry Bannan's exclusion from not only the starting lineup but from the 18 entirely. If he's injured I haven't heard about it, so you've got to wonder just a little bit what's going on. It's been awhile since we've seen him.
Biggest game of the season. Need all three points.