Tottenham - Wigan Preview: Latics looking for second win at White Hart Lane
The north London outfit will hope to prove too strong for the visiting Latics and clinch an important three points to stay above both Everton and Arsenal in fourth
By Tim Poole
Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen
Lennon, Sigurdsson, Sandro, Bale
Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa
Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour
Kone, Di Santo
Andre Villas-Boas will again be without first-choice defenders Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) and Younes Kaboul (knee) with Jan Vertonghen looking likely to deputise at left-back once more, and Steven Caulker set to partner William Gallas in central defence.
England midfielder Scott Parker and Mousa Dembele provide notable midfield absentees for the hosts, while Jermain Defoe's sensational recent form up front is likely to keep Emmanuel Adebayor out of the starting line-up despite the Togolese forward recovering from a back problem.
Brad Friedel is expected to start, but is by no means guaranteed his place after Hugo Lloris' impressive mid-week display against Norwich.
Meanwhile, the visitors are likely to revert to a similar line-up that saw them conquer West Ham last weekend in the wake of their Capital One Cup humbling against Bradford.
Robert Martinez is still unable to pick Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and Albert Crusat (knee), but Ryo Miyaichi's return from injury could see him push for a place on the Wigan bench.
Arouna Kone's three goals so far this campaign make him odds on to partner Franco Di Santo - who recently earned his maiden call-up to the Argentina squad.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- All of Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe's five Premier League goals this season have come from inside the box, with two coming from the England striker's weaker left foot. The diminutive forward also has 11 goals in 10 games against Wigan.
- Ahead of the game, Andre Villas-Boas' Premier League win ratio stands at exactly 50% - with 63 points amassed from 36 games and a goal difference of +19.
- Three years ago, Tottenham thrashed Wigan 9-1 at White Hart Lane, with Defoe grabbing five. Of the team that started that game for Spurs, only Defoe, Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon are in contention to start this weekend's encounter.
- The Latics have won just once in four outings at White Hart Lane in the Premier League and twice in nine league games against Spurs.
- Franco Di Santo (pictured) was Wigan's top scorer last season with only seven goals. He has already notched three goals so far this term.
- Wigan have conceded 16 goals in their nine games this season, including five headed goals and three converted penalties - both being the highest out of any Premier League side.
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Top 3 Predictions
Tottenham 3-0 Wigan Athletic
- 17.83 %
Tottenham 2-0 Wigan Athletic
- 17.83 %
Tottenham 3-1 Wigan Athletic
- 13.78 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 27, 2013||Wigan Athletic 2 - Tottenham 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 3, 2012||Tottenham 0 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 31, 2012||Tottenham 3 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 24, 2011||Wigan Athletic 1 - Tottenham 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 2, 2011||Wigan Athletic 0 - Tottenham 0|
|Dec 12, 2013||Tottenham 4 - Anzhi Makhachkala 1||EL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Sunderland 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|Dec 1, 2013||Tottenham 2 - Man Utd. 2||EPL|
|Nov 28, 2013||Tromsø IL 0 - Tottenham 2||EL|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
The American shot-stopper will be under pressure to produce his best with France captain Lloris breathing down his neck. Lloris made a costly error against Norwich in the Capital One Cup but delivered an otherwise impressive performance to remind Tottenham why they paid £12 million for him. Friedel may have a shortage of saves to make against the Latics - but anything he does do will be severely scrutinised.
If anyone is going to help Wigan deliver an unlikely result in North London, it could be the Ivorian. His pace and skill on the ball have bemused defenders throughout the Premier League already and the 28-year-old will fancy his chances toe-to-toe with the ageing William Gallas.
Roberto Martinez's men will no doubt fight admirably at the Lane, but Villas-Boas's side should have too much in the end. Tottenham are only five points behind table-toppers Chelsea, and should at least maintain that gap this weekend.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed