Wigan Athletic vs. Everton Preview

Barclays Premier League

Football
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Published: 02/02/2012

Everton will be out to enhance their impressive record against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium when both clubs face off in the Barclays Premier League on February 5 – a match which the hosts must win if they are to begin fighting off the impending threat of relegation.

Roberto Martinez’s side are currently enduring a dire run of form and have been beaten in each of their last four outings in the league and F.A Cup.

There were bright signs however during their most recent home fixture versus table toppers Manchester City, who they battled bravely against for 90 minutes, performing generally well despite going down 0-1.

But Martinez’s hopes of a brewing riposte were dashed in Wigan’s next game away at QPR - and they were soundly beaten by Mark Hughes team who subsequently opened up a five point gap between the two clubs.

With just 15 points on the board, Wigan desperately need a result to prevent getting detached from the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers who sit directly above them.

And if they can draw a line through their sound beating against the Hoops and rekindle the passion and heart that they displayed against City, Everton may well have a real test on their hands as they themselves have struggled for any consistency so far this season.

David Moyes’ team have also fallen short on a few occasions against clubs at the bottom of the league and that trend could be extended if Wigan can deploy similar tactics to those of Blackburn and Bolton who have both recorded decent results over the Toffees since the turn of the year.

In terms of the Premier League, many fans may feel that Everton’s campaign has fallen rather stale and a mid-table finish looks about being the best that they can wish for.

Therefore, if Wigan can lift their game in the same way that their relegation rivals have, a rare three points could be for the taking – a result which would at the very least take some heat of the manager’s shoulders.

Chairman Dave Whelan has repeatedly insisted that he has the upmost faith in his man, nevertheless it is results and more importantly points which speak the most sense and Martinez has to initiate a turnaround sooner or later otherwise Athletic will be heading back to the second tier of English football.

Everton have impressed on occasions this season but their midfield can often go missing – a problem which Wigan’s pacey attackers can exploit if they can keep everything together.

Landon Donovan will have to be kept quiet but if Wigan can contain the outstanding American international, the 9/4 on offer for a home triumph can be scored.

Matches involving Wigan also tend to feature a lot of goals, 64 to be precise in 22 games, so with that in mind, it is straightforward maths to predict an over 2.5 goals affair at 10/11 generally.


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