Wigan - Tottenham Preview: The Latics looking to kick start their great escape
It was this time last year that Roberto Martinez's men embarked on a run of four wins in five games that saw them avoid the drop, but their record against Spurs is not encouraging
By Al Hain-Cole
Scharner, Caldwell, Figueroa
Boyce, Gomez, McCarthy, Beausejour
McManaman, Kone, Maloney
Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto
Dempsey, Bale, Sigurdsson
Antolin Alcaraz (hamstring) went off injured in the first half of Wigan's defeat against West Ham, forcing Maynor Figueroa to move back into defence with Jean Beausejour playing at left wing back. With the Paraguayan defender still not recovered, Roberto Martinez may choose to play that set-up from the start.
This is partly due to long term absence of Spanish centre-back Ivan Ramis (anterior cruciate ligament), who will not play again this season. Ben Watson (broken leg) also remains on the sidelines, despite having resumed training. The midfielder scored the winning goal in November's reverse fixture at White Hart Lane.
Jermain Defoe could be preferred to Emmanuel Adebayor in attack for Tottenham, having come off the bench to score his first goal in 12 games against Manchester City last weekend.
Andre Villas-Boas confirmed that Aaron Lennon (knee) is in contention to play, but may have to make do with a place on the substitutes' bench, with Clint Dempsey continuing on the right. William Gallas (calf) and Younes Kaboul (thigh) remain sidelined, in Spurs' only other injury concerns.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Wigan have won just three of their last 15 Premier League games against Tottenham, losing seven.
- The Latics worst ever defeat was recorded against Spurs, losing 9-1 at White Hart Lane four years ago.
- Jermain Defoe (pictured right) has scored 10 goals in 12 Premier League appearances against Roberto Martinez's men, including five in that 9-1 thrashing.
- Clint Dempsey has scored more league goals against Wigan than against any other opponent (6). The American is 7/4 with Bet365 to score anytime.
- The hosts have the same number of points as they did after 33 games last season, when they went on to win four of the last five to secure survival.
- Martinez's side have scored the highest percentage of second half goals in this season’s top division (68%).
- Only champions Manchester United (14) have led on more occasions than Spurs (13) away from home this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Wigan Athletic 0-3 Tottenham
- 16.77 %
Wigan Athletic 1-3 Tottenham
- 12.58 %
Wigan Athletic 0-2 Tottenham
- 12.4 %
|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|
|Mar 1, 2014||Nottingham Forest 1 - Wigan Athletic 4||ENG2|
|Feb 22, 2014||Brighton 1 - Wigan Athletic 2||ENG2|
|Feb 18, 2014||Wigan Athletic 2 - Barnsley 0||ENG2|
|Feb 15, 2014||Cardiff City 1 - Wigan Athletic 2||FA|
|Feb 11, 2014||Sheffield Wed 0 - Wigan Athletic 3||ENG2|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
The diminutive Scottish playmaker has struggled to consistently display his undoubted ability during two separate stints in the Premier League, but seems to be hitting top form at just the right time for Wigan. Aside from boasting a keen eye for a pass, the former Celtic man has scored two of his side's last three goals and is more than capable of exposing any space the visitors leave in behind as they go in search of victory.
The Welshman's value was only underlined by his side's struggles during a two-game absence through injury, which saw them scrape a 2-2 draw at home to Everton and crash out of the Europa League against Basel. His return helped to inspire a magnificent 3-1 win over Manchester City that reignited their Champions League ambitions, and he will play a crucial role in every game if Spurs are to secure a top four finish.
Two entertaining teams should provide a compelling game at the DW Stadium, but the Gareth Bale factor should see Tottenham come out on top after some resistance.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed