Arsenal - Wigan Preview: Latics must take three points in order to avoid relegation
Roberto Martinez's side know that only a win at the Emirates will preserve their top-flight status, just three days after their shock FA Cup success over Manchester City
By Adam Mazrani
Arsenal have no new injury worries with Arsene Wenger's only selection dilemma being whether to select Kieran Gibbs or Nacho Monreal at left-back, while Jack Wilshere is also fighting to be given the nod over Tomas Rosicky. Olivier Giroud serves the final match of his three-game ban so Lukas Podolski looks set to lead the line once more.
Wigan may bring Ben Watson back into the starting line-up after the midfielder came off the bench to score the winner at Wembley in the FA Cup final. However, Roberto Martinez remains without Ronnie Stam (ankle), Jean Beausejour (hamstring) and Maynor Figueroa (groin).
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Arsenal and Wigan played each other in the last game at the old Highbury stadium back in May 2006. Thierry Henry scored a hat-trick that day as the Gunners ran out 4-2 winners, to secure fourth spot and a place in the Champions League.
- Arsenal have scored 43 goals at home in the Premier League this season, second only to champions Manchester United.
- The Gunners have only one ever-present in their squad, that being Santi Cazorla (pictured right), who has appeared in all 36 of their games so far.
- The previous game between the two sides was settled 1-0 in Arsenal's favour thanks to a penalty from Mikel Arteta.
- Of all the teams around them, Wigan have taken the most wins on the road in the league this season, with five ahead of their trip to the Emirates.
- The Latics took their first-ever league victory over Arsenal at the Emirates last season, with two quick-fire goals from Franco Di Santo and Jordi Gomez gave them a 2-1 win.
|William Hill: £25 in free bets|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Arsenal FC 2-0 Wigan Athletic
- 15.03 %
Arsenal FC 3-0 Wigan Athletic
- 13.13 %
Arsenal FC 2-1 Wigan Athletic
- 11.42 %
|Premier League (EPL)||14 May 2013||Arsenal FC 4 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||22 Dec 2012||Wigan Athletic 0 - Arsenal FC 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||16 Apr 2012||Arsenal FC 1 - Wigan Athletic 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Dec 2011||Wigan Athletic 0 - Arsenal FC 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||22 Jan 2011||Arsenal FC 3 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|11 Mar 2014||FC Bayern München 1 - Arsenal FC 1||UCL|
|8 Mar 2014||Arsenal FC 4 - Everton 1||FA|
|1 Mar 2014||Stoke City 1 - Arsenal FC 0||EPL|
|22 Feb 2014||Arsenal FC 4 - Sunderland 1||EPL|
|19 Feb 2014||Arsenal FC 0 - FC Bayern München 2||UCL|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
The Spaniard can count himself extremely unlucky not to have been included in the PFA Team of the Season after a dazzling debut campaign in England. Has tired of late and can drift in and out of matches but no one can dispute his importance to this Arsenal team, with 12 Premier League goals to his name making him the league's top-scoring out-and-out midfielder, along with seven assists. Has a tendency to turn it on against the teams that are struggling so Wigan have been warned.
The Merseysider was the stand-out player in the outstanding team performance that saw Wigan stun Manchester City and take the FA Cup. Gael Clichy is no slouch but McManaman tore past him time and time again with a wonderful combination of electric pace and superb close control. But for the efforts of scrambling City defenders, McManaman could have illuminated Wembley further with a couple of goals. Arsenal can be got at in the full-back positions and on the counter-attack, they will have to be wary of McManaman's talents.
The Gunners have not been at their fluent best of late although the wins have still kept coming and they should get another one here at the Emirates. Wigan may not exactly have been out partying following their FA Cup victory but it remains a monumental effort that will surely have sapped the players both in mind and in body. Arsenal on the other hand will have had 10 days off by the time to kick off in North London. An early goal here and it could turn ugly for the Latics, just about spelling the end of their time in the Premier League.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed