Chelsea - Wigan Preview: Under-pressure Benitez desperate to end winless run
The Blues' recent form has been dire as the Champions League holders are without a victory in four, while Roberto Martinez may be optimistic of getting points from Stamford Bridge
By Tom J Doyle
Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand
Hazard, Lampard, Mata
Caldwell, Figueroa, Alcaraz
Stam, McCarthur, McCarthy, Beausejour
Espinosa, Di Santo, Maloney
John Terry (knee) will not feature against the Latics, Rafa Benitez has confirmed, but Demba Ba (broken nose) could be in contention for the hosts, although Fernando Torres is likely to start instead. Petr Cech is still recovering from a broken finger, so Ross Turnbull should carry on in his place.
Ashley Cole (hamstring) may be rested after having to come off during his 100th international appearance for England in the 2-1 victory over Brazil, while David Luiz (ankle) picked up a knock but should still play.
Eden Hazard is back after serving his three-match suspension for being sent off for attacking a Swansea ball boy, while Oriol Romeu (knee) is out until June.
Wigan's top scorer Aroune Kone is back from the Africa Cup of Nations but will need be assessed closer to the game before he returns to the starting line-up.
Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and Emerson Boyce (hamstring) are set to return for the visitors, but the game comes too soon for Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Ben Watson (broken leg), with both expected back at the end of February.
There are no set return dates for Albert Crusat (knee), Fraser Fyvie (muscle), Mike Pollitt (hip) or Ivan Ramis (knee).
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea have won six of their last seven home matches against Wigan in all competitions.
- The Blues have won just two of their last five league games, with two draws and a defeat leaving their grip on third place in doubt.
- Wigan only have one win in their last 12 Premier League games.
- The Latics have scored at least two goals in their last three league matches, but have also conceded at least two goals in those games.
- Rafa Benitez has 22 points from 13 Premier League games; Roberto Di Matteo was sacked with 24 from 12 matches.
- Juan Mata (pictured, right) has been involved in 18 goals (nine goals, nine assists) in 20 starts for Chelsea this season.
- Wigan have drawn three of their last four games, including a 90th minute equaliser against Southampton last weekend.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-0 Wigan Athletic
- 16.89 %
Chelsea FC 3-1 Wigan Athletic
- 15.35 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 Wigan Athletic
- 11.55 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 9, 2013||Chelsea FC 4 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Aug 19, 2012||Wigan Athletic 0 - Chelsea FC 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 7, 2012||Chelsea FC 2 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 18, 2011||Wigan Athletic 1 - Chelsea FC 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 9, 2011||Chelsea FC 1 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|Dec 12, 2013||Chelsea FC 1 - Steaua Bucureşti 0||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Stoke City 3 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|Dec 5, 2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea FC 4||EPL|
|Dec 2, 2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|Nov 27, 2013||Basel 1 - Chelsea FC 0||UCL|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
Times In SGT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed