FA Cup Holders Wigan Host MK Dons

By Jason Bardwell
Photo Courtesy of FA Cup’s Official Page

It was all so very much different last year at this time. Facing Bournemouth in the third round of the FA Cup, it took a replay for Wigan Athletic to progress.

From then on, though, Wigan, under then Manager Roberto Martinez, coasted through rounds four and five defeating lower league opposition. In round 6, they would face their managers future club, Everton, and promptly put them to the sword also. Millwall were dismissed in the semifinal and eventually the Premiership champions were defeated in the final with Martinez lifting the trophy and Roberto Mancini leaving Manchester City.

Eight months later and the defending FA Cup Champions are struggling in the second tier of English football, been knocked out of the Europa League and replaced the manager, who replaced the FA Cup-winning Martinez.

New manager Uwe Rosler has taken hold of the team in free fall and moved them up to within three points of the playoff places. With no European competition to worry about now, it will be interesting to see how Rosler sets up the side to defend the cup.

My thoughts are, like the team they beat in the Final after they had won it in 2011, it will not be a big consideration for this season. Manchester City won the cup in 2011 and then promptly dropped out in the next running of the competition at the third round.

Their opposition for today are the MK Dons who have their own issues a league below Wigan, so while I think the Lactics will progress to the next round, I doubt they will be looking to recreate the great run of a year ago.

Jason is a soccer writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy and Facebook.

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