The Latics come into this game on a high after their crucial victory over relegation rivals Wolves on Boxing Day lifted them out of the bottom three. Roberto Martinez’s men are currently five games unbeaten at home and will be hoping to build on that against the in-form Gunners.
Honduran duo Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa both return to the squad following their one-game suspensions for the Wolves match.
Emmerson Boyce and Franco Di Santo are both near to a first team return but remain doubtful for this match, but James McCarthy and Victor Moses are both definitely ruled out with injury.
Possible starting XI: Al Habsi; Gohouri, G Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Diame, Thomas; Cleverley, McArthur, N’Zogbia; Rodallega.
Cesc Fabregas is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Chelsea, so Tomas Rosicky may start.
Manuel Almunia will not be able to feature due to his ankle injury, and defender Kieran Gibbs and Thomas Vermaelen are not due to return until the New Year.
Robin van Persie's return to fitness is a huge boost to Arsene Wenger, and he could start again alongside Marouane Chamakh.
Possible starting XI: Fabianski; Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy; Rosicky, Song, Wilshere; Nasri, Van Persie, Chamakh.
Gunners have the edge despite last season’s DW upset
Arsenal have dominated the clashes between the two sides, with 11 wins from the 14 meetings in all competitions.
However, Wigan did win the last meeting at the DW Stadium, 3-2 in April, which ended Arsenal’s title hopes last season. The Gunners were 2-0 up with 10 minutes to go but goals from Ben Watson, Titus Bramble and a last minute winner from Charles N’Zogbia sealed a famous victory for Martinez’s men.
This game will be the first meeting in the league between the two sides this season but they did meet in the League Cup in October when Arsenal won 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
North-west a happy hunting ground for Gunners
The north-west has often been thought of as Arsenal’s weak point but this season they have shown that this is no longer the case after three wins and a draw in the region.
They have beaten Blackburn, Everton and Manchester City, and earned themselves a draw against Liverpool on the opening day, but they were beaten by Manchester United on their last visit to the region.
Wigan have struggled against London sides this season and have only taken three points from a potential 12 against sides from the capital. Despite beating Tottenham at White Hart Lane they have slumped to defeats against Chelsea, Fulham and West Ham, conceding 11 goals and only scoring two.
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