United v Wigan
Seems to be an easy game - and it was an easy game last time the Latics visited Old Trafford. Now Jewell has to do with a depleted team as several of his key players missing through injury.
Of course this did not prevent Wigan giving a heroic performance against Chelsea at the JJB and they would have deserved to get something out of the game. Still, United should win this easily, considering the Reds' home form and their Boxing Day record over the years. Hopefully Vidic's absence will not be a major factor against a team that's not expected to attack us. However, you can never know with Paul Jewell. Last time he's fielded 3 strikers at Old Trafford and though the result has gone against him, he might try it again. I don't think he'll do but I won't rule it out.
Sir Alex Ferguson claims Reds midfielder's Michael Carrick injury is minor, following speculation about a possible six-week layoff.
'It's not serious,' said the boss. 'Michael got a knock on the ankle, but hopefully he'll be okay for the Reading game (on 30 Dec).'
Ryan Giggs vowed to keep fighting for the title, declaring the hunger for succcess is still there in him.
'It is nice to have done what I have done but hopefully I will carry on and play a lot more games,' he explained.
'You set yourself goals over short periods, and you have to have different challengers each season and that has always had at United.
'I have been lucky enough to win a lot, but I have missed out on a lot as well so that keeps you determination and hunger there and that keeps you going and wanting to be successful to keeping playing and winning things.'
Manchester United Team News:
Michael Carrick is definitely out with an ankle knock but he could return for the game against Reading. Nemanja Vidic and Paul Scholes have picked up their fifth yellow card of the season so they are unavailable, too.
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
He was left out of the starting line-up at Villa Park because of some family problems but he's likely to regain his place. Rooney has scored 4 goals in as many games against Jewell's side so I think we can expect him to find the net again.
Wigan Athletic Team News:
The visitors have an injury list of a consiiderable length. Henri Camara, Andy Webster, Antonio Valencia, Paul Scharner, Steve McMillan and Ryan Taylor are all out with injury and Lee McCulloch is suspended so Paul Jewell have to take a depleted team to Old Trafford.
Player to watch: Emile Heskey
The ex-Liverpool striker scored twice against Chelsea so we should thank him for the effort!
Match Facts & Stats
This will be the fourth league meeting between the two teams and United won all the previous three. Last season they've trounced Wigan 4-0 at Old Trafford in December.
3-1, Rooney to score.