Hull City V Wigan Athletic: Barmby promises Tigers will fire on all cylinders to repay fans

When Hull City met Wigan Athletic a year ago in the FA Cup, it was such a low-key affair that a League Two encounter on the same day at Bradford City attracted a crowd double the size.

Just 5,535 fans were at the DW Stadium to watch the all-Premier League contest end in a 4-1 win for the Latics – the second lowest gate of the third round weekend.

Today, the two clubs meet again after being paired together at the KC Stadium when a larger attendance is expected thanks to a much more imaginative pricing policy by the Tigers' board.

One man who is determined to reward the fans is Nick Barmby, who scored in a controversial 2-1 defeat to Arsenal when City last reached the quarter-finals of the Cup two years ago.

The former England international said: "It will be tough against Wigan and it is not a game when we can relax. You hear a lot being said about just going out there to relax because it is a Cup game. But, for me, it is a game that we want to win.

"We are at home and we are expected to go out and put on a good performance. We must give a good account of ourselves.

"We owe that to the fans because of the disappointment against Leicester City on New Year's Day (when Hull lost 1-0). Any side coming to the KC Stadium has to know that they are in for a tough game and, hopefully, Saturday will be no different."

Wigan will make the trip across the Pennines missing a couple of key players due to former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland suffering concussion in the midweek draw at Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley, who is out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury. Striker Mauro Boselli (hamstring) will be out for seven days.

For the Tigers, Matt Duke is in line to face the Latics today – though his prospects of holding onto the goalkeeping shirt in the long term seem slim following Pearson reaching agreement with Arsenal over the return of Vito Mannone on loan.

The 22-year-old spent six weeks on loan at the KC Stadium earlier in the season only to return to parent club Arsenal after picking up a thigh injury.

Meanwhile, City have completed the signing of James Chester from Manchester United.

The 21-year-old defender has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal after agreement was reached over a 300,000 fee with the Old Trafford club.

Chester spent the first half of the season on loan at Carlisle United and netted four goals in 24 appearances.

His stint at Brunton Park means he is unable to face Wigan due to being Cup-tied, the defender having faced both Tipton Town and Tamworth in the competition earlier in the season.

Following on from the 1.3m capture of Aaron Mcclean and Matty Fryatt's arrival for 1.2m, any further deals in the transfer window are expected to be loans.