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  • 16 April 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: A. Marriner
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Arsenal - Wigan Preview: Gunners looking to consolidate third place against resurgent Latics

Arsenal - Wigan Preview: Gunners looking to consolidate third place against resurgent Latics

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Arsene Wenger's men can open up an eight-point gap over fourth-placed Spurs with a win against Roberto Martinez's relegation-threatened side, who have won four of their last five


PROBABLE LINEUPS

ARSENAL

Szczesny
Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Santos
Arteta, Song, Rosicky
Walcott, Van Persie, Benayoun

WIGAN ATHLETIC


Al-Habsi
Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa
Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour
Moses, Maloney
Di Santo

Arsenal are missing centre-back Laurent Koscielny, who serves the final game of his suspension for picking up his 10th yellow card of the campaign against Manchester City.

Apart from that, the Gunners are only suffering from the long-term absences of Jack Wilshere, Per Mertesacker (both ankle), Emmanuel Frimpong (knee), Francis Coquelin and Abou Diaby (both hamstring).

Arsene Wenger is likely to stick with the 4-3-3 formation that beat Wolves 3-0.

The Latics are missing Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega once again, but have no fresh injury concerns and are likely to remain unchanged from their 1-0 victory over Manchester United.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Arsenal have won eight of their last nine matches.
  • The Gunners cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Wigan at the DW Stadium on December 3.
  • Arsenal boast the second best home defence in the league, having only conceded 12 goals compared to Manchester City's 10.
  • Wigan have only beaten their opponents once in their Premier League history, with a historic 3-2 victory at the DW Stadium helping to seal their top-flight survival in April 2010.
  • The Latics are searching for their fourth victory in five league matches, following their impressive 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
  • Of the last six matches Wigan midfielder Shaun Maloney (pictured right) has been involved in, they have lost just once.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
5Thomas VermaelenDefender
27Andre SantosDefender
5Johan DjourouDefender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
25Alex SongMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
20Robin van PersieStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
18Sébastien SquillaciDefender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
27GervinhoStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
5Gary CaldwellDefender
17Emmerson BoyceDefender
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
16James McCarthyMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
15Jordi GómezMidfielder
16James McArthurMidfielder
11Jean BeausejourMidfielder
9Franco Di SantoStriker
12Mike PollittGoalkeeper
-Ronnie StamDefender
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
19David JonesMidfielder
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
15Callum McManamanStriker
18Conor SammonStriker
Players to Watch
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 0 0
The Dutchman is currently the Premier League's top scorer with 27 goals, and will be looking to extend his tally against a Wigan side battling at the wrong end of the table. A hat-trick could see the hitman match Thierry Henry's record for the most amount of goals scored in a single Premier League season (30 in 2003/04).
Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Scottish frontman has put in a number of impressive performances since returning to the Wigan first-team in recent weeks, and will be high on confidence following his sublime winning goal against Manchester United. He could be the talisman if Wigan are to collect any points in their quest for survival.
Prediction
I believe that this will be a walk in the park for Arsenal, even though Wigan are fighting for their lives. The Latics' form has picked up in recent weeks, but the Gunners are playing some irresistible football themselves and look set to coast to a comfortable victory on their home turf.
Editor's Prediction
Wigan 1

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