Wigan - West Ham Preview: Latics look to end winless run against Hammers
Roberto Martinez' team have failed to win in six matches & face a difficult task against the in-form Londoners, who must overcome with a series of injuries to continue their run
By Arthur Virgo
Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa
Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour
Kone, Di Santo
Tomkins, Reid, Collins, McCartney
Benayoun, Nolan, Jarvis
Roberto Martinez is still without Antolin Alcaraz (groin), so Maynor Figueroa is set to continue on the left of a back three with Jean Beausejour at left wing-back. Albert Crusat (knee) is out, while his fellow winger Ryo Miyaichi (groin) is doubtful.
Playmaker Shaun Maloney is likely to start behind striking duo Franco Di Santo and Arouna Kone, while Jordi Gomez could feature at some point, as could striker Mauro Boselli, who scored a brace when the two teams met in the League Cup last month.
Sam Allardyce has Joey O’Brien (hamstring) available after recovering from injury, and the full back is set to compete with James Tomkins for a place at right back in place of the injured Guy Demel (thigh).
Midfielders James Collison (knee) and Alou Diarra (thigh) are out, as are winger Matt Taylor (calf) and forward Ricardo Vaz Te (dislocated shoulder), so Yossi Benayoun looks set to retain a starting role on the right of an attacking three opposite Matt Jarvis on the left, either side of attacking midfielder Kevin Nolan.
Andy Carroll has started on his own up front of late, but striker Modibo Maiga could feature at some point having scored his side’s spectacular fourth goal as a substitute last Saturday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Wigan have picked up just two points from their last six games, and are the only team in the league who have not recovered to avoid defeat in any league match in which they fell behind.
- Roberto Martinez's side have the joint-worst home record in the league so far with just two draws from their four games, and have conceded two goals in each of their last five Premier League games at the DW Stadium.
- Six of the Latics’ eight league goals have come from the forward pairing of Argentine Franco Di Santo and Ivorian Arouna Kone.
- West Ham have lost just one of their last six Premier League matches, winning three, but are yet to win two consecutive league matches.
- The Latics did however come back from a goal down to beat The Hammers 4-1 away at Upton Park in a League Cup Third Round tie in September, with Mauro Boselli scoring twice as his side came back from a goal down, although the Lancashire side have won none and lost five of their last six Premier League home games against sides from London.
- West Ham have committed more fouls (120), and contested more aerial duels than any other team in the Premier League (358), while Wigan have contested the fewest aerial duels (175).
- West Ham are the only team who have not conceded any goals from set pieces this season, while 44 per cent of they're attempts at goal have come from set pieces, the highest proportion in the top flight.
- Kevin Nolan (pictured) has netted four times from midfield already this season, but all his goals have come at home.
- West Ham Striker Carlton Cole will make his 300th career appearance if he features on Saturday.
- Senegal international Midfielder Mohamed Diame began his career in English football with Wigan after completing a move in summer 2009 from Spanish side Rayo Vallecano, making 103 appearances in all competitions under Roberto Martinez, before signing for West Ham over the summer when his contract expired.
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Top 3 Predictions
Wigan Athletic 1-2 West Ham
- 19.91 %
Wigan Athletic 1-1 West Ham
- 11.95 %
Wigan Athletic 1-3 West Ham
- 8.85 %
|Premier League (EPL)||20 Apr 2013||West Ham 2 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||27 Oct 2012||Wigan Athletic 2 - West Ham 1|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||25 Sep 2012||West Ham 1 - Wigan Athletic 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||15 May 2011||Wigan Athletic 3 - West Ham 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||27 Nov 2010||West Ham 3 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|19 May 2013||Wigan Athletic 2 - Aston Villa 2||EPL|
|14 May 2013||Arsenal FC 4 - Wigan Athletic 1||EPL|
|11 May 2013||Manchester City 0 - Wigan Athletic 1||FA|
|7 May 2013||Wigan Athletic 2 - Swansea City 3||EPL|
|4 May 2013||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Wigan Athletic 3||EPL|
|Returns:||Wigan £23.00||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Returns:||Draw £510.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||West Ham £2010.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
The Latics defence faces a difficult challenge against the aerial prowess and set-piece nous of their opponents on Saturday, and in the absence of centre-back Antolin Alcaraz the club captain will be required to shoulder even more of the responsibility. At the heart of a back three between Ivan Ramis and Maynor Figueroa, the Scotland international will play a crucial role in organising his side to defend against Andy Carroll’s power in the air and the threat of his teammates looking to receive knock downs.
The midfielder helped the Hammers to promotion with 13 league goals last season and this term has netted four times already, showing predatory finishing instincts honed by years of top-flight experience. The Latics will have to display great concentration to prevent him collecting Andy Carroll’s knock-downs and nullify the threat he poses when receiving the ball in the box, otherwise the 30-year-old could continue his good form and turn a set piece into a winning goal.
The clash of styles between Roberto Martinez’ possession-based game and the Hammers’ direct attacking play and set-piece strength could make an exciting game to watch, but it could result in a draw if neither team are able to break down the opposition without compromising their own defending.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed