After recording an impressive nine wins from the past ten Premier League matches, Arsenal go into this clash against Wigan heavy favourites to consolidate their third place position. On the flip side though Wigan have also experienced a bit of a revival by their standards recording three wins from the past four matches and will no doubt be buoyed by their most recent upset win over League leaders Manchester United.
Going into this match Arsenal are again without Koscielny, who is still yet to serve the final game his two-match ban, and possibly Gibbs, who has been touted as 50/50 to start by Arsene Wenger. With Arsenal’s consistent back-five the backbone behind Arsenal’s recent revival, notable absentees such as these two could prove to be a big factor in the outcome of the match. Hopefully Arsenal will dominate in order to lighten the defensive load on likely replacements Djourou and Santos. The absence of Wigan forward Hugo Rodellaga should also help!
In other team news Arsene Wenger has basically cleared Ivorian winger Gervinho saying he has an 80% chance to play. As of late experienced head Yossi Benayoun has occupied the left flank for the past two matches and has impressed, most recently against Wolves scoring a goal in Arsenal’s comfortable 3-0 win. It is anyone’s guess whether Wenger will start the Ivorian, but obviously much depends on Gervinho’s fitness test before the match.
With Wigan only beating Arsenal once in their Premier League history and the Gunners recording a comfortable 4-0 victory at the start of December anything less than a victory would be a huge disappointment. With only five matches to play before the end of the season, it is important the Gunners secure maximum points particularly with a huge clash against Chelsea coming up after this match.
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on any new injuries…
From the Wolves game, no. We have the usual bumps and bruises after a game of that intensity, but overall no I don’t think anybody has a problem.
There is a possibility for Gibbs [to play against Wigan]. It is 50:50 that he will be available again. He is improving day to day and has been practising but not with the team.
Gervinho is a strong possibility to face Wigan, he is 80:20.
on Diaby and Coquelin…
Diaby will not play against Wigan. He is alright though. Diaby and Coquelin will come back into the squad next week for full training.
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs
Walcott Rosicky Benayoun
Van Persie (c)
Arsenal to win:
Skybet are offering odds of 1/4 for the Gunners to win at home
Skybet are offering the best odds of 5/1
Wigan to win:
William Hill are offering massive odds of 11/1 for the Latics to win away.
allArsenal’s Special Bet:
allArsenal’s Special pick: First Goalscorer:Robin van Persie= 9/4
Skybet = 15/2- best odds!
William Hill = 7/1