Wigan - Aston Villa Preview: Visitors have won 65% of their points against bottom-half sides
Defeat at Arsenal means that Roberto Martinez's men are already relegated, leaving the Villans to rest easy as they visit the DW Stadium without talisman Christian Benteke
By Al Hain-Cole
Alcarez, Caldwell, Scharner
Boyce, McCarthur, McCarthy, Espinoza
Maloney, Kone, Gomez
Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett
Sylla, Westwood, Delph
N'Zogbia, Weimann, Agbonlahor
Callum McmManaman (ankle) has been ruled out for three months after being stretchered from the field against Arsenal, and his absence may force Jordi Gomez further forward, with captain Gary Caldwell returning in the centre of defence.
Jean Beausejour (hamstring) is back in contention, while the injured Maynor Figueroa (groin) may have played his last game for the relegated club, with his contract expiring in the summer.
Ronnie Stam (ankle), Ivan Ramis (anterior cruciate ligament) and Mike Pollitt (hip) also remain on the sidelines for the Latics.
Top goalscorer Christian Benteke is suspended after being sent off against Chelsea, meaning Charles N'Zogbia may come into the front three, with Andreas Weimann taking a central role.
Alternatively, Darren Bent could be in line for just his eighth Premier League start of the season, and his first since January.
Matt Lowton (hip), Ciaran Clark (ankle) and Karim El Ahmadi (thigh) are all back in contention after missing out last week.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Wigan have failed to win any of their last six Premier League home games against Aston Villa, losing four and drawing two.
- Having won 3-0 at Villa Park, the Latics can add Paul Lambert's men to Reading as the only sides they have beaten home and away this season with three points on Sunday.
- Shaun Maloney (pictured, right) has scored three and assisted four goals in his last nine appearances in all competitions. He is 11/1 with bet365 to score first as Wigan win on Sunday.
- Should Villa at the DW Stadium, they will have suffered more defeats than in any previous Premier League season, beating 2002-03's tally of 17.
- Lambert's side have won 26 of their 40 points (65%) against other sides in the bottom half of the league this season.
- The Villans are without Christian Benteke, who has scored or assisted 51% of Villa’s goals over the course of the season - the highest proportion for any player at any Premier League club.
- Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored six goals and assisted one in his last eight games, and faces a Wigan side against whom he has scored more Premier League goals (5) than any side other than Everton (7).
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Top 3 Predictions
Wigan Athletic 1-2 Aston Villa
- 17.42 %
Wigan Athletic 2-1 Aston Villa
- 12.52 %
Wigan Athletic 2-2 Aston Villa
- 7.26 %
|Premier League (EPL)||19 May 2013||Wigan Athletic 2 - Aston Villa 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||29 Dec 2012||Aston Villa 0 - Wigan Athletic 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||25 Feb 2012||Wigan Athletic 0 - Aston Villa 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Oct 2011||Aston Villa 2 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||7 May 2011||Aston Villa 1 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|18 Apr 2014||Wigan Athletic 3 - Reading 0||ENG2|
|12 Apr 2014||Wigan Athletic 1 - Arsenal FC 1||FA|
|8 Apr 2014||Wigan Athletic 0 - Millwall 1||ENG2|
|5 Apr 2014||Wigan Athletic 1 - Leeds 0||ENG2|
|1 Apr 2014||Wigan Athletic 2 - Leicester City 2||ENG2|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
|8||Karim El Ahmadi||Midfielder|
|21||Jordan Nathaniel Bowery||Striker|
The highly rated midfielder will be the Latics' most in-demand asset when the vultures start to circle over the relegated club, with a string of big-name teams said to be forming a queue for his signature. The 22-year-old provides a driving force in the centre of the park, and will be keen to put himself firmly in the shop window in his last Premier League game for Wigan.
Christian Benteke's magnificent season has thrilled everyone associated with Villa apart from Darren Bent, who has been consigned to the sidelines under Paul Lambert. The big Belgian's suspension gives Bent a chance to remind potential suitors of the natural goalscoring ability that has seen him bag over 100 Premier League goals, with a move in the summer now almost a foregone conclusion.
Two of the worst defences in the division collide in a game robbed of any tension by Wigan's defeat at Arsenal, meaning an open game should provide the DW Stadium faithful with a few goals to remember the Premier League by.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed