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May 22, 2011 4:00 PM BST
Britannia Stadium — Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee:‬ A. Marriner‎
Attendance:‬ 27566‎

Stoke City - Wigan Athletic Preview: Roberto Martinez's men relying upon other teams to drop points to stay up

The visitors could win emphatically and still go down or lose and still stay up as the Potters aim to finish the season as the Midlands' best team for the first ever time

By Nick Price

Roberto Martinez, Wigan (Getty Images)
Stoke City (4-4-2):
Begovic; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Pennant, Whitehead, Whelan, Delap; Walters, Jones.
Thomas Sorensen made a rare Premier League start after an impressive FA Cup final display, but the three goals shipped to Manchester City in the league are likely to see regular No.1 Asmir Begovic return, while a raft of changes will be made to the side that started at Eastlands just three days after the Wembley meeting, with Jermaine Pennant, Kenwyne Jones, and Robert Huth all expected to return.

Wigan (4-3-3):
Al Habsi; Alcaraz, G Caldwell, Boyce, Figueroa; McCarthy, Watson, Diame; Sammon, Rodallega, N'Zogbia.
Roberto Martinez has no fresh injury concerns and a full squad to pick from, and he may be tempted to give match winner Conor Sammon a start ahead of Tom Cleverley, after the Irishman earned Wigan three precious points against West Ham last week.

  • Stoke City have scored 23 goals at home since the turn of the year in all competitions, from 11 games, and have not been beaten at the Britannia since December.
  • The Potters have the chance to finish for the first time in their history as the highest ranked Midlands team. They have a significantly better goal difference than West Bromwich Albion, who are also on 46 points, with Aston Villa on 45, while Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers scrap for survival.
  • Kenwyne Jones (pictured right) and Jonathan Walters will be duking it out to try and finish as the club's top scorer. The Trinidadian tops the chart with 12 goals in all competitions (nine in the league), while the Republic of Ireland international is on 11 after hitting goalscoring form in recent months.
  • Wigan Athletic could still go down even if they win at the Britannia, should results elsewhere go against them. But despite being 19th they could actually stay up if they fall to defeat and Birmingham City lose by two goals more.
  • The Latics have won just three times on the road this season in the Premier League. But they still have a better away record than Stoke, who have picked up a paltry 12 points on their travels.
  • If they overcome Stoke, Wigan would be only the fifth club to beat the Tony Pulis' men at the Britannia this season, joining Manchester United, Tottenham, Blackpool and Fulham as victors in the Potteries.
  • Charles N'Zogbia's two goals against West Ham United took him one ahead of Hugo Rodallega as the team's top scorer in the league with nine strikes.
  • Wigan have failed to beat Stoke in five meetings in the Premier League, with the last three games ending in draws and producing 14 goals, while the Potters were successful two years ago in a 2-0 May win at the Britannia.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Asmir BegovicGoalkeeper
12Marc WilsonDefender
5Danny CollinsDefender
17Ryan ShawcrossDefender
28Andy WilkinsonDefender
26Matthew EtheringtonMidfielder
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
24Rory DelapMidfielder
7Jermaine PennantMidfielder
19Jonathan WaltersStriker
9Kenwyne JonesStriker
20Carlo NashGoalkeeper
30Ryan ShottonDefender
23Michael TongeMidfielder
18Dean WhiteheadMidfielder
15Salif DiaoDefender
-Danny PughMidfielder
10John Alieu CarewStriker
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
17Emmerson BoyceDefender
5Gary CaldwellDefender
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
16James McCarthyMidfielder
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
18Conor SammonStriker
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
1Chris KirklandGoalkeeper
26Adrain LopezDefender
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
16James McArthurMidfielder
14Jordi GómezMidfielder
12Victor MosesMidfielder
9Franco Di SantoStriker
Players to Watch
Kenwyne Jones
Kenwyne Jones
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
9 1 0 0
The Trinidadian has had a mixed season after making a club record switch in the summer. He started off in fine form, netting in four consecutive games, but went on to score only three further times between October and April.

The monster-sized forward has begun to find his feet once again, turning in an impressive five goals in his last seven appearances, and will be aiming to finish the season on a high as the top scorer for his team.
Charles N'Zogbia
Charles N'Zogbia
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The zippy Frenchman has been a Premier League stalwart since arriving at Newcastle United as a 17-year-old in 2004, and if Wigan are to go down it would only be a matter of time before a top-flight team snapped him up.

The winger got the first goal on the way to recovery against West Ham United with a free kick before squeezing home a last-gasp winner, and he will be expected to lead the charge on Sunday.
Probable Lineups
Asmir Begovic 1
Marc Wilson 12
Danny Collins 5
Ryan Shawcross 17
Andy Wilkinson 28
Matthew Etherington 26
Glenn Whelan 6
Rory Delap 24
Jermaine Pennant 7
Jonathan Walters 19
Kenwyne Jones 9
Ali Al Habsi 26
Maynor Figueroa 3
Emmerson Boyce 17
Gary Caldwell 5
Antolín Alcaraz 32
Mohamed Diame 21
Ben Watson 8
James McCarthy 16
Charles N'Zogbia 0
Conor Sammon 18
Hugo Rodallega 20
Wigan side have won just three times on the road this season, but that record will not worry manager Roberto Martinez on Sunday, for anything can happen when a team is fighting for survival.

Only recently, his men showed their fortitude by coming back from two goals down to beat West Ham last week, but are likely to be reliant upon other teams tripping up even if they pick up a win.  

Yet against a Stoke team with a point to prove, it is a lot to ask of Wigan to get a fourth win on the road, and the gung-ho antics will be punished by a Stoke side that have been ruthless at home in recent months.
Editor's Prediction
Wigan 2
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
15 2