Wigan Athletic vs Arsenal
Dec 22, 2012 at 12.45pm
It does not better than this for the Gunners, an away game at DW Stadium to face a Wigan side which has won only one game out their last 6 games. Though Arsenal have their own problem with consistency, they will be going in to the match on a high after their performance against Reading last week. An wounded animal which showed its potential last week would want to march on for another 3 points before Christmas against the relegation battlers. What’s more important is that a win today means Arsenal will have 30 points from 18 games and have a chance getting back to top four depending on the performances of their London neighbours.
Mean while Wigan Athletic need more just a point at home today to see them move above relegation zone and manager Roberto Martinez will have to do it without James McCarthy who suffered an ankle injury. And Christmas period will be a tough time for Wigan and their fans as they have to face Arsenal, Everton and Manchester United back to back. With just 15 points on the board from 17 games, Martinez has to turn it around before it gets worse.
Talking ahead of the match, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said:
“Wigan always have good players, technically talented players and they’re scouting countries where nobody else goes. They have for me an intelligent idea – they say , ‘If we go to France or Germany, we face Arsenal and Manchester City, so let’s go to countries where nobody goes’. There must be a good player in every country and usually they find him. They have done that very well.”
Wigan and Arsenal kick start things in the premier league this weekend for what sounds to be an exciting affair.
It comes as a shock to hear that Arsenal have no fresh injuries and almost all of their first team squad will be available except for the long term absentie Diaby. Theo Walcott has been missed recently but came back with a goal against Reading and will certainly improve Arsenal’s attacking options. arring any late fitness issues, Wenger could decide to name the same starting lineup as Monday evening. It is expected that Arsene Wenger will go for the same attacking line-up of Podolski, Walcott and Ox leaving out Olivier Giroud, giving Walcott more of a striker role.
Franco di Santo and David Jones could be recalled into the side, with James McCarthy out. And to add to the list of long term absenties, defender Adrian Lopez (hamstring) joined Ben Watson (broken leg), Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Albert Crusat (knee) on the long-term injury list. In other news captain Gary Caldwell (hamstring) could most likely make it for the Arsenal game today.
Possible Starting line-ups:
Wigan Athletic: Al-Habsi; Boyce, Stam, Lopez, Figueroa; Jones, Gomez, McArthur, Beausejour; Kone, Boselli Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla; Podolski
- The Gunners have won four and lost just one of their seven Premier League visits to the DW Stadium and overall they have won 10 and lost just two of the 14 meetings with Wigan.
- There have been 18 goals netted in the last four Premier League meetings between these two sides at the DW Stadium, with at least four in each encounter.
- Wigan have won only two of their last 18 Premier League games played in the month of December (W2 D9 L7).
- The Latics have conceded seven goals to defenders in the Premier League this season; more than any other side.
- No defender has scored more goals in the Premier League since the start of 2009-10 than Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen (13).
- Theo Walcott has scored (11) or assisted (7) 18 goals for Arsenal in all competitions this season, more than any other Gunners’ player.
- Wigan have lost five and won just one of their last seven Premier League matches.
- Arsenal have averaged 60% possession in matches this season; higher than any other side.
- Wigan have conceded more goals from the penalty spot than any other side this season (4).
Courtesy – Yahoo sport
Wigan Athletic: LWLLDL
Soccersouls Prediction: 1-3 win for the travelling side.