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Played
August 19, 2012 1:30 PM BST
The DW Stadium — Wigan
Referee:‬ M. Jones‎
Attendance:‬ 19738‎
 
 
 
Frank Lampard 7′ (PG)

Wigan - Chelsea Preview: Title challengers out to avoid potential banana skin early in the new season

Italian boss Roberto Di Matteo will be hoping that the club can hit the ground running after a summer of heavy investment off the pitch, with the pressure on to secure results

By James McManus

Eden Hazard
Getty Images
  PROBABLE LINEUPS

WIGAN

Al-Habsi
Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa
Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour
Miyaichi, Di Santo, Maloney
CHELSEA

Cech
Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole
Mikel, Lampard
Ramires, Mata, Hazard
Torres

Wigan go into the new campaign pleased to still have Roberto Martinez at the helm after a summer which saw him linked with moves to the vacant managerial posts at both Aston Villa and Liverpool.

After securing Japanese winger Ryo Miyaichi on a season-long loan deal from Arsenal, the club's forward line was further bolstered by the arrival of Arouna Kone from Levante mid-week as they prepare for life  after Hugo Rodallega. Victor Moses could be left out altogether with a proposed move between the two clubs still in the offing.

Like their hosts, Chelsea go into the fixtures with no fresh injury concerns, while Branislav Ivanovic will be available to play as his red card in the season's curtain-raiser against Manchester City in the Community Shield will not result in a suspension due to the non-competitive status of the game.

The club will need to check on the fitness of forward Daniel Sturridge, who has ruled out of the England squad to face Italy with a toe injury but will likely be fit to play some part, while Marko Marin has had a hamstring problem.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Wigan managed to score just 42 league goals last season, less than both relegated Bolton (46) and Blackburn (48).
  • Roberto Martinez's side drew this very same fixture last season 1-1, with Jordi Gomez's late strike rescuing a draw after Daniel Sturridge got the opener.
  • The club's top goalscorer in the league last season was former Chelsea striker Franco Di Santo, who scored seven times.
  • Victor Moses (pictures right) could be set to complete a move to Stamford Bridge before the transfer window closes.
  • Chelsea have spent £65m so far this sumemr on the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin.
  • The club failed to score in eight separate fixtures last season, while for Wigan it was 12.
  • Frank Lampard and Juan Mata combined scored and assisted 35 of the club's 63 league last season between them.
  • They finished the campaign with just 10 clean sheets, seven less than champions Manchester City.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Feb 9, 2013 Chelsea FC 4 - Wigan Athletic 1
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Aug 19, 2012 Wigan Athletic 0 - Chelsea FC 2
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Apr 7, 2012 Chelsea FC 2 - Wigan Athletic 1
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Dec 17, 2011 Wigan Athletic 1 - Chelsea FC 1
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Apr 9, 2011 Chelsea FC 1 - Wigan Athletic 0
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
5Gary CaldwellDefender
17Emmerson BoyceDefender
21Iván RamisDefender
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
16James McCarthyMidfielder
12Victor MosesMidfielder
16James McArthurMidfielder
9Franco Di SantoStriker
10Shaun MaloneyStriker
12Mike PollittGoalkeeper
8Albert CrusatMidfielder
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
14Jordi GómezMidfielder
19David JonesMidfielder
-Mauro BoselliStriker
9Arouna KoneStriker
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
3Ashley ColeDefender
26John TerryDefender
23Ryan BertrandDefender
4David LuizDefender
8Frank LampardMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
24Gary CahillDefender
-Michael EssienMidfielder
11OscarMidfielder
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
15Daniel SturridgeStriker
Players to Watch
Iván Ramis
Iván Ramis
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 21
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Latics beat West Ham in the race for the 27-year-old's signature this summer and he comes to the club with a wealth of experience having played in La Liga for just under a decade. The club's infamously porous backline will have to cope with the likes of Torres, Mata and Hazard throughout the game and it could be a baptism of fire for the centre-back on his Premier League debut.
Ramires
Ramires
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
30 1 8 1
The glue that holds this Chelsea team together. While the summer may have been dominated by the arrivals of a series of glamorous names, it's the Brazilian's non-stop, all-action style that gives the side's engine room a heartbeat.
Prediction
Roberto Martinez's side are perennial slow starters, only saving their best until it's vitally needed. The club's switch in style to a 3-4-3 formation towards the end of last campaign coincided with an upturn in results and it will be interesting to see whether it pays dividends again this season. Chelsea are a club in transition and face a season of inconsistency ahead despite the star-studded teamsheet, but they should have enough firepower to see off the hosts on this occasion.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2