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Nov 26, 2012

Wigan face City with depleted defence

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez faces a defensive injury crisis for Wednesday's clash against Manchester City, with three of his centre halves potentially missing.

• Blog: Return to Alcaraz

Summer signing Ivan Ramis came off in Saturday's 3-2 win over Reading with a hamstring problem to add to Wigan's worries.

Captain Gary Caldwell missed the match against Brian McDermott's team, also with a hamstring injury, while Antolin Alcaraz, who has been sidelined by a groin problem, is not expected back before Christmas.

Wigan ended the victory against Reading with a new-look back three of Maynor Figueroa, the little-used Adrian Lopez and Emmerson Boyce, normally the right wing-back in Martinez's 3-4-3 formation.

They also lost attacking midfielder Shaun Maloney, who was substituted at half-time in their fourth win of the season.

Martinez said: "Shaun's injury is worse that Ivan's. He picked up a groin strain and, although we'll asses him, it looks as though he'll be out for a while.

"With Ivan's injury, we managed to catch it just in time before it got worse. He felt a twinge in his hamstring and we'll asses him to see how long he'll be out for."

Franco di Santo, who replaced Maloney against Reading, is likely to return to the starting line-up in a front three with top scorer Arouna Kone and Jordi Gomez, who scored a hat-trick on Saturday.

The good news for Martinez, who is also without winger Albert Crusat (knee) and midfielder Ben Watson, who broke his leg in the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool, is that James McArthur is back in contention to start.

The Scot had not played for four weeks because of a dead leg, but made his comeback as a late substitute on Saturday.

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