All To Play For At The Emirates

Image courtesy of espnfc.com
Arteta scored the winner the last time these sides met. Image courtesy of espnfc.com
Arsenal  and Wigan  meet in a crucial English Premier League fixture on Wednesday morning (AEST), although it is important to both clubs for different reasons. The Gunners are current lying fifth on the ladder and can qualify for the UEFA Champions League by winning their remaining two matches, while anything less than three points for the Latics would be likely to see them relegated to the Championship.

Aside from long term absentee Abou Diaby, the Gunners have a full strength squad to choose from at the Emirates. Boss Arsene Wenger is likely to go into this fixture with a similar squad to that which scored a 1-0  victory against relegated QPR last weekend thanks to a first minute strike from England international Theo Walcott.

After winning the FA Cup for the first time with a 1-0  victory over Manchester City at Wembley on the weekend, Wigan gets a major reality check when it travels to London for this clash. The Latics may have secured a place in European competition with the biggest result in the clubs history but they won’t be playing in the top flight of English football next season if they drop any points in their next two fixtures. Antolin Alcaraz passed a late fitness to take his place at Wembley and boss Roberto Martinez will be desperate to start with him again given he has four other defenders unavailable for the match.

The Gunners are arguably playing their best football in a while at the moment, with six wins and two draws  from their eight most recent matches. Despite winning five of their 18 matches away from the DW Stadium during the current campaign, the Latics are aiming for back-to-back wins away from home for the first time since beating Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion last season. Arsenal were 1-0 victors when the clubs met in the Northwest of England in December, but Wigan won the corresponding fixture in London 2-1 last season.

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