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Premier League

  • November 27, 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • Boleyn Ground, London
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 34178
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Premier League Preview: West Ham United - Wigan Athletic

Premier League Preview: West Ham United - Wigan Athletic

TEAM NEWS

West Ham United

Scott Parker could return after missing the 3-0 defeat against Liverpool with a virus but Avram Grant could be without Mark Noble after the midfielder suffered a leg injury at Anfield.

West Ham will also be without long term casualties Manuel da Costa (ankle), Jack Collison (knee), Thomas Hitzlsperger (thigh), Anthony Edgar and Peter Kurucz (both knee).

But Grant will be boosted by the return of Valon Behrami and Kieron Dyer in midfield.

Possible starting XI: Green; Spector, Gabbidon, Upson, Illunga; Behrami, Kovac, Parker; Dyer, Cole, Piquionne.

Wigan Athletic

Roberto Martinez is hopeful club captain Gary Caldwell could be fit to make a surprise return to the starting line-up at Upton Park, three weeks ahead of schedule.

But Wigan will still be without injured duo Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) and James McCarthy (ankle).

The Latics will also be without suspended duo Hugo Rodallega and Antolin Alcaraz.

Possible starting XI: Al Habsi; Gohouri, G Caldwell, S Caldwell, Figueroa; Stam, Diame, Thomas, Gomez, N'Zogbia; Di Santo.

Save our season

Desperate times call for desperate measures and at Upton Park these really are desperate times.

With only one win all season and only nine points to their name, West Ham prop up the Premier League table.

For a club surrounded in the history of West Ham it is not good enough and this fact is know by fans, players, management and directors alike.

So much so that Saturday's match against relegation rivals Wigan has been branded the 'save our season' match.

But it is not as easy as cutting ticket prices to generate an intimidating atmosphere at the Boleyn Ground, Avram Grant has to get a performance from his players and they in turn have to play the match of their lives against Roberto Martinez's men.

History is on the Hammers' side as last season they were thrashed by Liverpool but in their next game beat Wigan to help gurantee their survival in the league.

But this season the pressure is telling on Avram Grant and his team, so much so that his assistant manager Zeljko Petrovic was sacked following the side's poor run of form.

There has also been player unrest this week, so if Grant is going to last in his job beyond the weekend he needs a win.

A win will not even take the Hammers out of the drop zone but anything other than that will create clear daylight between the bottom club and Wigan in 18th.

Avoiding the drop

Meanwhile, Wigan will be hoping to climb out of the relegation places with a win.

The Latics will be hopeful of a win against the struggling Hammers but Martinez's side have had their own problems on the road.

They have won only once on their travels and without the suspended Hugo Rodallega they could find it difficult to breach Robert Green.

But whatever happens on Saturday, we do know there will be an intimidating atmosphere awaiting Wigan and how they deal with it could decide the outcome of the game.

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Players to watch

C. Cole

Position: Attacker

Games: 11

  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
Carlton Cole has featured in the press this week attacking manager Avram Grant's tactics and claiming he was being starved of service. He has since apologised but if he gets the chance to lead the line at the Boleyn Ground he will have to back up his words with a performance.

C. N'Zogbia

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Charles N'Zogbia has been an influential part of Martinez's side this season, scoring three goals from the left wing. The Hammers defence, which has been shaky of late, will have to keep a close eye on the French winger if they want to get anything from the game.

Editor's Prediction

Both sides are struggling at the wrong end of the table and this is a massive game. The Hammers simply cannot afford to lose because otherwise they will be cut adrift at the bottom of the table. Wigan have struggled on the road this term with their only victory coming at White Hart Lane back in August. All roads point to a share of the spoils and a 1-1 draw.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

West Ham United

Wigan Athletic

Wins
2
0
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

West Ham United FC WHU
West Ham United FC West Ham United
Draw
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Wigan Athletic FC Wigan Athletic
67%
20%

Top 3 Predictions

West Ham United FC WHU
1 - 0
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
West Ham United FC WHU
2 - 1
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
West Ham United FC WHU
1 - 1
Wigan Athletic FC WIG

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