Wigan Athletic and Arsenal meet this afternoon on the back of two disappointing results for both clubs, the Gunners lost at Spurs on Wednesday whilst on the same night the Latics were held to a goalless draw by what was effectively Portsmouth reserves.
A chance then to put it right and in front of the TV cameras as well, with Burnley losing and Hull drawing yesterday a win for Roberto Martinez` team would all but guarantee survival for another year whilst other results yesterday also gave Arsenal the slightest glimmer of the title
The last time (only time) the Latics beat Arsenal was in January 2006 in the semi-final of the Carling Cup, it was Paul Scharner`s debut and he scored the games only goal against what was a depleted Gunners side but still the Latics gave a great performance on what was a great occasion and the prize was a trip to Cardiff.
Arsenal arrive in Wigan with their squad depleted once again, another great Latics performance is required if we are to get something from this game, I hope the prize this time is worth the players busting a gut for, lets put these relegation fears to bed.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘Arsenal are a team who like to enjoy a large percentage of possession and that’s something we need to upset.
‘They have a clear pattern of play and a style that suits their entire squad, it doesn’t matter who plays they all know what system to work to. We need to stop them from doing that.
‘As well as that we need to be effective once we have hold of the ball. We’ve shown before that we can handle playing against such sides, particularly at home, and we’re looking forward to it.’
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
‘Wigan try to play football.
‘It is in their interests to have a good pitch. The Premier League has to create a criteria committee where the pitch is part of the requested level.
‘If we want to be the best league in the world then we need the best pitches in the world and the Premier League has to act on that.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Gary Caldwell serves the last of his three game ban, Hendry Thomas faces a fitness test.
Kirkland, Bramble, Boyce, Scharner, Melchiot, Figueroa, Diame, McCarthy, Thomas, N’Zogbia, Rodallega, Gohouri, Moreno, Scotland, Stojkovic, Gomez, Moses, Sinclair, Pollitt
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
Will Charlie be out to impress his new boss following revelations about an impending summer move to Arsenal
Arsenal Team News:
Arshavin, Gallas, Vermaelen, Djourou, Song, Fabregas, Ramsey and Gibbs are all missing whilst Denilson is doubtful
Almunia, Sagna, Walcott, Campbell, Silvestre, Clichy, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, van Persie, Rosicky, Bendtner, Nasri, Fabianski, Eduardo, Merida, Eastmond.
Player to watch: Theo Walcott
Walcott’s pace would give anyone trouble
Match Facts & Stats
Latics and Arsenal have met on 12 previous occasions
Latics 1 win, Arsenal 10, draws 1
Lee Mason (Bolton, 7 miles from Wigan, but dont get paranoid)
Why not check out our meet the ref article
Heart says 1-1 draw
Head says 2-0 to Arsenal, I hope the heart is right