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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League
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Henriquez backed to shine for Wigan

Angelo Henriquez can thrive at Wigan Athletic after they lost Arouna Kone to the Africa Nations Cup, according to goalkeeper Mike Pollitt.

• Blog: Staking a claim

The striker, on loan from Manchester United, made his debut as a half-time substitute as Wigan drew 1-1 at home to League One side Bournemouth in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

Henrique, 18, played his part in ensuring that Wigan recovered a half-time deficit to force a replay, hitting the bar with a header and giving his side the platform to find an equaliser through Jordi Gomez.

Pollitt, who made his first Wigan appearance for nearly two years on Saturday at the age of 40, thinks Henriquez will have a major contribution to make in Kone's absence.

Kone has joined up with the Ivory Coast squad for the Africa Nations Cup in South Africa, and could be away until mid-February if they reach the final.

Pollitt told the Wigan Evening Post: "You've got to remember Angelo's only 18. It's tough and he's not yet played a league game over here yet.

"He played a few senior games in Chile and it's a different kettle of fish.

"Angelo's had a little spell at Manchester United for six months, found his feet a little bit.

"He's only really played the Under-21 league, so it's a bit step up for him playing against senior players in the FA Cup. But this will give him a bit of confidence.

"He's getting to know the lads a little bit more and we're going to be looking to play him more now with Arouna going away.

"It's a chance for him to try to impress. At the end of the day, he's a Manchester United player, so it will be good for them as well if he gets some games under his belt and some experience here."

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