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Can lightning strike twice?

12 October 2012

Latics bid to blunt Blades

Latics will be hoping to repeat last season's memorable 3-2 victory at Sheffield United as they prepare for another visit to Bramall Lane.

In a truly remarkable match, Latics wiped out a 2-0 deficit to triumph after they staged a magnificent fightback in the final 25 minutes.

Latics found themselves 2-0 down after 38 minutes through goals from Matt Lowton and Ched Evans, but hit back through a Richard Cresswell own goal, Kieran Lee strike and a 90th minute penalty winner from Shefki Kuqi.

And that success provides Latics with the belief as they bid to inflict the United's first league defeat of the campaign.

Manager Paul Dickov believes Latics have nothing to lose and everything to gain from their visit to South Yorkshire.

He explained: "We are going to Sheffield with a positive attitude and to try and win the game.

"It is going to be hard and a really tough test for us as they are unbeaten and Danny Wilson has yet again put together a team which is capable of winning promotion.

"We went there last season with what I believe was a lesser team and won the game.

"With the players we have, and the way we are playing at the moment, I want to try and win the game. The pressure is off us as nobody from outside the club expects us to get anything."  

The hard-to-beat Blades have won five and drawn the remaining six of their 11 league matches to lie third in npower League One.

Yet Danny Wilson's side has failed to win in its last three home games in which they have been held by Bury, Doncaster and Notts County.

They come into the match with Latics, however, after back-to-back wins on the road at Hartlepool and Leyton Orient.

Latics, too, head into the match after winning their last two matches at Crewe and home to Preston North End.

Dickov is not surprised by Latics' upturn in fortunes.

He said: "We knew it was coming as in the four or five games previously we were playing good football in patches without getting the breaks we deserved.

"Decisions didn't go our way against Notts County and Coventry - games we could have won - and the result sometimes masks the performance and people's opinions of how we have played.

"We felt we had been close in the four or five games up to Crewe. The boys had been playing well and with a lot of confidence."

The Blades have plenty of firepower with Dave Kitson, Nick Blackman and Paul Gallagher in the side which won at Leyton Orient last Saturday while Chris Porter and Richard Cresswell were on the bench.

"The front two (Kitson and Blackman) have a lot of experience from playing at a higher level and Danny has good players throughout the team," explained Dickov.

There is also a former Latics' contingent at Bramall Lane as Blackman, Porter and Danny Philliskirk all had spells at Boundary Park. 

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