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


Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson

Walters, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Adam, Etherington


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.

  • 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.