Stoke City-Wigan Athletic Preview
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Wigan Athletic will begin life without Victor Moses when they welcome Stoke City to the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Latics' stunning run and survival at the end of last season was inspired by the excellent Moses, who has since completed his predicted summer transfer to Chelsea, but manager Roberto Martinez is confident that his squad will have enough with their talisman.
"Victor Moses was such an influential player and such a special player for us I don't think you can replace him with another individual," said Martinez. "You probably have to replace him with another way of playing in that attacking third or find another way to get the players to fulfill his responsibilities.
"As a whole I'm really pleased with the players we've got I always felt that goals, especially in our football club, you don't rely on one player to score goals. If you have a player that scores 30 goals I think it's something you will lose very soon in the market. We've got three strikers this season and all of them have scored already, with Mauro Boselli back from Argentina. You've got Arouna Kone who's just arrived at the football club and it looks as if he's been around for many years. Franco Di Santo has started the season where he left it last campaign so I'm really, really pleased with the different options we've got up front, with the different types of footballers that we've got.
"We need to be consistent with our performances and I think we have shown what we are capable of. Now the next step is being able to be consistent over the length of 10 months."
Stoke were knocked out of the League Cup in extra-time by Swindon Town on Tuesday, and Tony Pulis wasn't pleased with his team's performance.
"It was very disappointing because we didn't play as well as we can do," said Pulis. "We were really on the back foot in the first when we thought it was just going to be a stroll in the park. They're flying high though and were spot right from the beginning.
"It summed our performance that the first three goals were avoidable. Thomas (Sorensen) will hold his hands up for the first one and then we conceded two from set plays. We showed a lot of character to get it back to two apiece and then 3-3 in extra time, and with eleven men I felt there was only going to be one winner."
Neither side have any known injury concerns going into Saturday's match.
Wigan beat Stoke 2-0 at the DW Stadium last season - with Moses scoring the second - and the Latics haven't lost to the Potters in their last six league meetings. Stoke have won on just one of their last eight visits to Wigan. The Latics didn't win back-to-back matches in the Premier League until March last season, but could achieve the feat in the third of games with a win on Saturday. The Potters have managed just four goals in their last ten away games in the league.
Updated August 30, 2012