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Premier League

  • 11 December 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 32853
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Everton - Wigan Athletic Preview: Hosts without suspended Mikel Arteta as Roberto Martinez welcomes back Hugo Rodallega

Everton - Wigan Athletic Preview: Hosts without suspended Mikel Arteta as Roberto Martinez welcomes back Hugo Rodallega

TEAM NEWS

Everton

David Moyes' side will look to build on their credible draw at Chelsea last week but may have to do so without Louis Saha after the French striker came off with an  injury at Stamford Bridge.

The Toffees are also without the influential Mikel Arteta, as he serves the second match of a three game suspension for his red card against West Brom a fortnight ago. Beyond that, Everton have no other absentees ahead of what they will see as a must win game.

Possible starting XI: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Heitinga, Fellaini, Pienaar; Cahill; Yakubu.

Wigan

The Latics welcome back Colombian international Hugo Rodallega as the striker returns from a three-match suspension, with Roberto Martinez's side looking to climb out of the relegation zone.

The Spanish boss is sweating on the fitness of Emmerson Boyce, Franco Di Santo and Gary Caldwell who all seem doubtful at this stage with Wigan still reeling from the long term lay-off to striker Victor Moses, who will certainly miss out at Goodison Park.

Possible starting XI: Al Habsi; Stam, Gohouri, S Caldwell, Figueroa; Thomas, Diame; N’Zogbia, Gomez, Cleverley; Rodallega.

Struggling Toffees without a win in six

Everton didn't manage a win in November and despite securing a deserved point at champions Chelsea last week, you can't help but feel that the alarm bells will start ringing if David Moyes' side fail to beat Wigan on Saturday.

Despite being favourites, Goodison Park has in no way been a fortress for the hosts in recent weeks, with successive defeats to Arsenal and West Brom adding to an air of unease on the blue half of Merseyside. If Wigan make it three losses on the bounce, you'd have to start seriously questioning the Toffees' European aspirations.

Lacklustre Wigan look to climb out of the bottom three


With only one win in nine games, the Latics are rapidly approaching the festive period in the relegation zone, after managing only a point at home to Stoke last week.

Fortunately for Roberto Martinez's side, those around them have been equally inept and a win for the visitors this Saturday would see them leapfrog Everton in the table. It doesn't look likely however, with Everton winning four of the teams' last five meetings in the league.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
24Tim HowardGoalkeeper
18Phil NevilleMidfielder
6Phil JagielkaDefender
15Sylvain DistinDefender
3Leighton BainesDefender
23Seamus ColemanDefender
25Marouane FellainiMidfielder
26Jack RodwellMidfielder
22Steven PienaarMidfielder
17Tim CahillMidfielder
8Louis SahaStriker
1Jan MuchaGoalkeeper
34Shane DuffyDefender
7Diniyar BilyaletdinovMidfielder
21Leon OsmanMidfielder
-Aiyegbeni YakubuStriker
9Jermaine BeckfordStriker
28Victor AnichebeStriker
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
2S. GohouriDefender
13Steven CaldwellDefender
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
20H. ThomasMidfielder
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
12Mike PollittGoalkeeper
5Gary CaldwellDefender
15Jordi GómezMidfielder
15Callum McManamanStriker
-Mauro BoselliStriker
-Ronnie StamDefender
16James McArthurMidfielder
Players to Watch
Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 17
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With a record bettering a goal every other game from midfield, it's hard not to pick Tim Cahill as Everton's talisman. He will have a job in shaking off the attentions of deep lying midfielders Hendry Thomas and Mohamed Diame but if the Australian manages to escape their attentions, his goal threat in unquestionable.
Ali Al Habsi
Ali Al Habsi
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 26
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With a truly world-class save from Kenwyne Jones' header last week, Ali Al-Habsi should be brimming with confidence ahead of the Latics' trip to Merseyside this weekend. If the Oman international commands his box and extinguishes the aerial threat of Jagielka, Distin and Cahill, the hosts' goal threat will be seriously undermined.
Prediction
It’s been a tough last few weeks for Everton, not producing anywhere near the sort of form they should be considering the players available at their disposal. Meanwhile, Wigan have slipped into the drop zone after also going on a poor run of late. Both sides in horrible form at the moment, but I’m tipping the Toffees to just sneak it.
Editor's Prediction
Wigan 0

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