Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Match Preview: ARSENAL vs WIGAN

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and full-back Kieran Gibbs available again after injury.Striker Olivier Giroud serves the last game of his three-match suspension.

Wigan have no new injury concerns following their FA Cup final win over Manchester City.
Jean Beausejour may return after missing the match at Wembley, but Maynor Figueroa, Ivan Ramis and Ronnie Stam remain on the sidelines.


Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes his side's historic FA Cup win over Manchester City will not get in the way of what is arguably an equally important fixture against Arsenal at the Emirates on Tuesday.
Martinez wants his relegation-threatened side to forget the elation of their Wembley win and concentrate on the two wins his side realistically need to prolong their eight-year stay in the Premier League.

"Winning this trophy is very special and that takes the football club into a different richness in terms of what we are and our tradition", he said.
"It was a moment that changed the perception of our club for millions of people outside the UK and that is really positive but it doesn't need to affect the next two matches.
"The memories will live forever but we need to focus on the next two games."

Results firmly went against Martinez's side at the weekend, but the Spaniard doesn't necessarily think this is a disadvantage as he says it will help focus his players' minds knowing that only victories against Arsenal and then at home to Aston Villa on the final day will be good enough to survive.
"I think we are fortunate in terms of results because if you are relying on other people to do your job that doesn't work in football," he said.
"We are very fortunate in that we are third from bottom but if we win the six points we don't have to rely on anyone".

Their opponents Arsenal will be just as motivated after Tottenham's win at Stoke lifted Spurs above the Gunners into fourth.
It's a position they can regain with a victory over Wigan and their manager Arsene Wenger has urged his players to "finish the job" to secure yet another season of Champions League football.
"Both teams have to go for it, it's a huge game for both of us," he said.
"We have been very consistent, we've been on a remarkable run and our destiny is in our hands.
"Two months ago our destiny was not in our own hands. Today it is. So let's finish the job."


  • Wigan have lost nine of their 10 previous league and cup visits to Arsenal, but did win their last match there - a 2-1 Premier League victory in April 2012. Franco Di Santo and Jordi Gomez scored for Wigan.
  • Arsenal last completed the Premier League double over Wigan in 2008-09.
  • The Gunners are the form team in the division. They are unbeaten in their last eight league matches, earning 20 points during that period (W6, D2).
  • They have won all five fixtures against the current bottom three so far this season.
  • Arsenal must win their last two games to guarantee Champions League qualification. However, they failed to win either of last season's corresponding fixtures against their remaining opponents - losing 2-1 at home to Wigan and drawing 0-0 with Newcastle United.
  • There has been 65 goals scored at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League this season, more than at any other stadium.
  • The club have conceded 22 goals at home this season, eight more than they have conceded away.
  • Lukas Podolski has been substituted 21 times in the league this season, more than any other player. He will set a new Arsenal Premier League record if he is substituted on Tuesday, overtaking Freddie Ljungberg, who was taken off 21 times in 2003-04.
  • Wigan have not been higher than fourth bottom since New Year's Day.
  • They have only lost one of their last seven Premier League matches in the month of May.
  • The Latics have failed to win in their last 13 league matches on a Tuesday since a 3-2 home victory over Aston Villa in April 2006.
  • They are the only team to have picked up more points away (18) than at home (17) in the top flight this season.
  • Roberto Martinez's side have the joint-worst defensive record in the division, conceding 67 goals.
  • James McCarthy is the only player to start all 36 of the club's league matches this season, completing 34.
  • Emmerson Boyce is set to make his 500th club career appearance.