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Premier League

  • 29 January 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 24421
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Stoke - Wigan Preview: Martinez seeks to exit drop zone with away win at Potters

The Latics are currently in the bottom three with a depleted squad but could leave the drop zone with a win against Tony Pulis' side, who have lost their last three league game

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

STOKE

Begovic
Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson

Walters, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Adam, Etherington
Crouch

WIGAN

Al-Habsi
Boyce, Caldwell, Figueroa

Stam, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour
Maloney, Di Santo, Gomez

Stoke have a few new injury problems in addition to long-term absentees Marc Wilson (ankle) and Rory Delap (hernia), as defender Geoff Cameron (hamstring) is doubtful having missed Saturday’s cup tie against Manchester City and could be replaced by full-back Ryan Shotton or versatile midfielder Dean Whitehead.

Peter Crouch returned from injury last week against Swansea in place of his fellow target-man Kenwyne Jones, while strong competition in midfield also sees playmaker Charlie Adam and wingers Matthew Etherington and Michael Kightly compete for a place alongside top-scorer Jon Walters.

Wigan have a lengthy injury list but could name an line-up unchanged from their last league game, with Antolin Alcaraz yet to return to full fitness following injury and defensive mainstay Ivan Ramis (knee) ruled out with a long-term injury, as is reserve goalkeeper Mike Pollitt (thigh).

Midfielder Ben Watson (shin) and wingers Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Albert Crusat (knee) are also unavailable while striker Arouna Kone is away at the Africa Cup of Nations, but versatile new signings Roger Espinoza and Angelo Henriquez could feature at some point.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Stoke lie 10th in the Premier League table and look safe for a fifth season in a row as they are currently closer to qualification for a repeat of last season’s European adventure than to the relegation zone.

  • Tony Pulis’ side are, however, on a poor run of form, exiting the FA Cup on Saturday and losing their last three league games in a run that included their first home defeat of the season, a 4-0 defeat to Chelsea.

  • The Potters have acquired a reputation for strong home form built on a sound defence but seven of their 11 league concessions at the Britannia Stadium have come in their last two home games.
  • The team have now conceded at least three goals in each of their last four matches in the Premier League.

  • Wigan are one point from safety in 19th position and have taken just one point from their three league games in 2013.

  • Successive away wins in the FA Cup however mean Roberto Martinez’s side are undefeated in their last four games on the road.

  • The Latics are undefeated in their last seven matches against Stoke in all competitions, but the Potters twice came from behind to draw 2-2 when the two met at the DW Stadium in September, recording more than twice as many shots on target (7-3) and equalising through Peter Crouch (pictured, right) despite the Latics’ 60 per cent possession.

  • Stoke’s Honduras international Wilson Palacios played 37 games for Wigan after moving to the Lancashire side in January 2008, before earning a £12 million move to Tottenham a year later.

 

Players to watch

J. Walters

Position: Attacker

Games: 8

  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
The Republic of Ireland international has started every one of his team’s league and FA Cup matches so far this season, but his last league match at the Britannia Stadium ended in disaster as he netted two own goals and missed a penalty as his side were beaten 4-0 by Chelsea.

Often starting from the right flank, the powerful forward possesses formidable stamina and is now the Potters’ top scorer with seven goals in all competitions, making the 29-year-old a key reference point in attack with Peter Crouch yet to settle back into the team following his return from injury amid competition from Kenwyne Jones.

F. Di Santo

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 23-year-old’s form late last year was rewarded with an appearance for the Argentina national team, and he started the new year with a spectacular equaliser against Fulham when he netted his first goal since October, his fourth of the season.

With regular strike partner and six-goal top-scorer Arouna Kona away at the Africa Cup of Nations, the target-man will have to take on increased responsibility again on Saturday and use his aerial presence and link-up play to help his team-mates in what has proven a difficult environment to play in the Britannia Stadium.

Editor's Prediction

The Potters are without a league victory since a Boxing Day win over Liverpool, but kept champions Manchester City at bay for much of Saturday’s cup tie and saw striker Peter Crouch return from injury last week.

Tuesday night’s match against a Latics side without top-scorer Arouna Kone and short of numbers in defence could provide the opportunity Tony Pulis needs to end his side’s poor run of form.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Stoke City

Wigan Athletic

Wins
0
3
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City
Draw
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Wigan Athletic FC Wigan Athletic
65%
15%
20%

Top 3 Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
2 - 0
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Stoke City FC STO
2 - 1
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Stoke City FC STO
1 - 0
Wigan Athletic FC WIG

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