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Preview: Wigan v. Arsenal


DW Stadium



Less than 48 hours after beating a local rival and fellow title contender, a Fabregas-less Arsenal travel north and west to Wigan looking to exorcise demons of last season's embarrassing capitulation. For Arsenal, the name of the game is keeping the energy and momentum of yesterday's win going. If we can do that, then Wigan will be in trouble. But as we saw last April, nothing should be taken for granted with this group of players.

Vital Quotes:

Theo spoke about moving onto tomorrow's match:

'We can't dwell on this result. We could be disappointed if we win against Chelsea and then lose at Wigan.' said Walcott.

Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez, had this to say on the Arsenal, Chelsea result:

'It didn't surprise me at all,' said Martinez. 'We know what Arsenal are capable of and last night they looked really impressive.

'The way they moved the ball, the pressure they put on and the quality in the last third; that was Arsenal at their best.

'They are magnificent to watch and if they can carry on at that level, you could see a very special side for many years to come.'

Wigan Team News:

Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa return from suspension for Roberto Martinez, but Emmerson Boyce (hamstring), Franco Di Santo (ankle), James McCarthy (ankle), and Victor Moses (shoulder) will not play any part in tomorrow's proceedings. Wigan beat relegation rivals Wolves on Boxing Day with a dominating performance. A late Steven Fletcher consolation made the 2-1 scoreline flattering for Wolves. Coming back to the DW, Martinez, like Wenger, will want his men to preserve their momentum.

Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega

The Colombian international will be another physical test for Johan Djourou. Rodallega will look to quickly hold it up for the likes of N'Zogbia. If you win the aerial battle, Wigan become very incompetent in attack.

Arsenal Team News:

Fabregas has been left in North London after receiving his fifth caution of the season. Other than that, the squad will remain the same. Rosicky or Diaby will come in for the captain, and Wenger will probably rotate in Arshavin, Eboue, Chamakh, or Bendtner. This is probably a good game to give Bendtner a run out. Caution should be taken before making too many changes, but changes need to be made for this one.

Possible Starting XI: Fabianski, Eboue, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arshavin, Walcott, Bendtner

Player to watch: Nicklas Bendtner

This is the perfect opportunity for the Big Dane to prove himself. He wants more playing time, so he needs to show the boss what he can do.

Match Facts & Stats

The Latics have only won twice at home this season but are undefeated in their last five games at the DW Stadium (W2, D3)

Wigan are the least potent side in the division, scoring only 15 goals in 18 matches.

Arsenal's away record of 17 points from nine matches is bettered only by Manchester City. The Gunners have won four of their last five away matches.

Ref Watch:

Lee Probert is the head official for this one.

Match Prediction:

I believe Arsenal will continue their good away record this season. Wigan won't be able to muster enough attack to get a result.

Next Fixtures:

1/1 (Sat) - Birmingham (a) - Premier League

5/1 (Wed) - Manchester City (h) - Premier League

8/1 (Sat) - Leeds (h) - FA Cup

Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Tuesday December 28 2010
Time: 9:01PM

Best of International Football News


This has nothing to do with Wigan, but the official dot com has a nice video of Arsenal's best goals of 2010:
28/12/2010 21:14:00
Nasri vs porto
28/12/2010 21:39:00
Keep it tight at the back and we will get the three points and manure has just dropped 2 points against Birmingham.
28/12/2010 21:55:00
a win tomorrow will put us 2nd, level on points with manure. we need to give someone (wigan will do) a good thrashing to bring our goal difference a bit closer to utd. the way this season is going, the result could all be down to the goals
29/12/2010 00:15:00
after watching several times i agree with ajwb. Nasri vs Porto is best goal on the video. it was a tough call though with the brace he scored against Fulham. All 3 goals just show his amazing technical ability. the link up between wilshire and chamakh was great too.
29/12/2010 00:50:00
Gibbs is still out injured, isn't he? Couldn't possibly play at Wigan, so another night on the job for Clichy or a role for Eboue at left back. Must say I wouldn't advocate the wholesale changes to the team, as suggested. RvP should continue his return, for me, while Diaby must be allowed to feel his way back slowly, as a sub.
29/12/2010 01:37:00
Oops, I think you're right Naiji. So if Clichy plays then there are 4 changes from my possible starting 11 to the Chelsea team, with one being mandatory. I don't think that is wholesale.
29/12/2010 04:42:00
I think it will be Clichy at left back and yes maybe Eboue. Hope he continues with Djourou though at CB. He deserves that spot. Squelchy is good but is only really good enough to provide backup. And I think he'll go for Arshavin as well tonight. He would be nice and rested. Possibly in place of Walcott or maybe Nasri to give him a rest
29/12/2010 05:31:00
6 goals will be enough I think today eh?? Will take us top on goal difference
29/12/2010 05:36:00
6 goals??!! I'll be happy with 1 nil win I just want the 3 points:)
29/12/2010 11:25:00
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