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Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic: match preview

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Kickoff: 10 AM EST
Emirates Stadium
TV Coverage: Fox Soccer Plus, (subscribers only), Fox Soccer for the iPhone

Arsenal face Wigan Athletic tomorrow in their 23rd Premier League match of the season.  The reverse fixture was only three weeks ago at the DW in Wigan, which ended in a 2-2 draw.  Arsenal currently sit two points behind both Manchester clubs, although United hold a game in hand.

Since the December 29th reverse, Wigan have lost to Newcastle, drawn with Bolton, defeated Hull 3-2 in the FA Cup, and drawn with Fulham.  Other than that, the Latics have been pretty quiet on the transfer market this month (as have Arsenal, of course).  Roberto Martinez has his club sitting in 18th place, level on points with 17th place Aston Villa, and they have been battling against relegation all season.

One thing that people often say about Martinez is that he likes his team to attack, but Wigan have really struggled to find goals this year.  They have 19 in 22 matches, which is worst in the league.  Their top scorer is Hugo Rodellega, who has six.  Six.  So, they've had some trouble with their attack this year (but that didn't stop them from putting two past Arsenal, of course).

Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh and Denilson have overcome knocks they picked up in the Leeds FA Cup replay on Wednesday, and both will be available.  Abou Diaby and Sebastien Squillaci, however, both need another week, according to the official website.  And Lukasz Fabianski is still out.  Wigan, for their part, will have to do without the services of Tom Cleverley, who's out with a hamstring problem.  Victor Moses and Benni McCarthy are also doubts.

And, well, Wigan have never won against Arsenal at Highbury or The Emirates.  So for those of you with an overstated sense of history: yeah!

Possible lineup:


Sagna      Djourou      Koscielny      Clichy

Song      Wilshere


Walcott        van Persie      Nasri