Wigan Athletic v. Arsenal (Premier League)
DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday 6th April
Ref: Neil Swarbrick | Weather: Dry, 11°C
Wigan Athletic are set to host an Arsenal side missing several key players, but still in a rich vein of form. Arsenal’s impressive 0-0 draw at Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek ended a run of six consecutive victories. Arsenal’s last defeat was a 3-1 reverse at Chelsea on 10th February, which was the last of a miserable run of five losses in a row including a 3-2 defeat here at the DW Stadium in the FA Cup 4th Round.
Wigan have enjoyed fantastic form at home recently, with only one defeat at the DW Stadium in the league all season (9 wins, 6 draws), the last being the 4-1 mauling by Manchester City on 15th December. Latics will be without Shaun Maloney for at least another week, so Jean Beausejour looks likely to retain his spot in an unchanged Wigan side. Arsenal are without top league goalscorer Santi Cazorla and will also miss Theo Walcott.
Odds and Form
SkyBet: Wigan Athletic win 7-2, Draw 9-4, Arsenal win 4-6F
Wigan: Home WOWLWW | League WLOWOL | Overall WLOWLO
Arsenal: Away OWWWLL | League WWWWLL | Overall OWWWWW
Wigan: Mauro BOSELLI (back, 5 weeks), Shaun MALONEY (ankle, 1 week), Mile POLLITT (unregistered).
Arsenal: Theo WALCOTT (knee), Ever BANEGA (ankle), Santi CAZORLA (hamstring), Emmanuel FRIMPONG (shoulder), Johan DJOUROU (ribs), Jordan WYNTER (skull).
Last Time Out: Wigan 3-2 Arsenal (FA Cup, 27.01.13); Arsenal 0-1 Wigan (PL, 24.11.12)
TEAMtalk: “I fancy Arsenal to win this one. People will argue that Arsenal have a poor recent away record, but Wigan have really been struggling of late.”
First half livetweets from @realtimeFM:
Wigan v Arsenal. Latics unchanged from win at West Brom. Arsenal without Walcott and Cazorla, Kewuke starts upfront.
0′ Neil Swarbrick is the man in the middle and Wigan get us underway here at the DW against Arsenal, who they’ve beaten twice this season
3′ Gibbs slides through the back of McDonald Mariga in the centre circle and gets a stern talking to from the ref. That’s his one.
5′ Caldwell plays a short ball across the area but Boyce just beats Gervinho to the ball. The Arsenal man gives him a shove and sees yellow.
8′ Beausejour robs Ramsey on half way before surging forward and delivering a great cross for Guidetti. Fabianski saves his header well.
9′ 1-0 WIGAN! Guideti peels to the wing, feeds Reginaldo on overlap. His low cross bisects centre backs and BEAUSEJOUR taps in at far post.
16′ Fifteen played, Wigan 1-0 to the good. Ramsey poor so far for Arsenal. Wigan happy to knock ball around and break down wings quickly.
20′ Ramsey gifts ball to Watson in the centre circle, and it’s only a crucial interception from Gibbs that stops Guidetti going clean through.
23′ Reginaldo puts a delicious curling cross into the back post and Arouna Koné is inches from making contact to double the lead.
25′ Leonard Kweuke heads over from two yards out after beating Al-Habsi to Gervinho’s cross. He’ll be relieved to see the flag up.
28′ First corner of the game goes to Arsenal after Garcia heads Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross behind. Comes to nothing and Wigan can’t counter.
30′ Mariga spots Fabianski off his line after Arteta loses possession and tries a chip from thirty yards but he’s a yard or two wide.
31′ Arsenal muster their first shot as Wilshere drives low at Al-Habsi from thirty yards. Comfortably saved.
34′ Time stands still as Guidetti and Gibbs tangle in the area. No decision either way as the ball is eventually smashed wide by Reginaldo.
37′ Kieran Gibbs bundles Reginaldo over as the winger turns his man. Neil Swarbrick’s run out of patience and he joins Gervinho in the book.
39′ Koné and Guidetti have switched sides with Wigan looking to hassle those two left-sided Arsenal players on yellow cards.
45′ Koscielny goes in hard on Reginaldo after a bit of a scramble and becomes the 3rd Arsenal player in the book. One minute to be added on.
HALF-TIME: Wigan Athletic 1-0 Arsenal (Beausejour 9)
Second half livetweets from @realtimeFM:
HT: Jose Enrique has replaced Kieran Gibbs (6.6) at half-time for Arsenal.
46′ Second-half gets underway here at the DW Stadium with the hosts leaving Arsenal through a 9th minute Jean Beausejour strike.
51′ Gervinho’s has a shot from just outside the box, but he snaps at it and it bobbles wide. Second half not bursting into life just yet.
53′ Arouna Koné chases a long ball over the top but can’t get an extra touch before Fabianski gathers. Arsenal’s backline playing very high.
57′ Podolski has a shot tipped over by Al-Habsi after great work from the German since coming on a moment ago. Outmuscles Caldwell easily.
57′ Confirming Luca Podolski came on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6.7).
59′ Thumping header inches wide from John Guidetti as Reginaldo floats a free kick in from deep. James McCarthy replaces Ben Watson.
63′ Arsenal have won a sixth corner here (to Wigan’s one). Podolski causing problems for the Latics back four. Looks most likely to score.
64′ 1-EQUALISER! Leonard KWEUKE sweeps the ball in from 15 yards after Wigan don’t deal with the corner. It has been coming since Podolski came on.
66′ Franco Di Santo replaces Arouna Koné, Wigan’s second change.
68′ John Guidetti replaced by Alex Serrano for Wigan. Mariga drops back in front of the centre backs. Di Santo up top alone.
72′ Final change of the day, Arshavin on for Gervinho. Arsenal have had the lions share of the possession in the last twenty minutes.
75′ Jose Enrique the 4th player in Neil Swarbrick’s book. He trips Reginaldo on the wing and joins three Arsenal colleagues on a yellow.
81′ Carl Jenkinson grazes the crossbar with a freekick from fully thirty yards.
84′ Arsenal will finish the match with 10 men. Miquel lands awkwardly and can’t continue. They’ve made all three subs. Can Wigan capitalise?
88′ Wigan players queuing up to have a crack but Arsenal defending resiliently. Serrano has a glorious chance but slams it into Arteta.
90′ Three minutes of time to be added on.
90+4′ One last chance for Wigan. Beausejour stands over the freekick near the left wing, some thirty yards out.
90+4′ Garcia fouls Koscielny in the box, gives away a FK and referee Neil Swarbrick brings an end to the game. Final score Wigan 1 Arsenal 1.
FT: Wigan 1-1 Arsenal. Latics will stay sixth tonight, but Arsenal leapfrog Liverpool up up fourth. MOTM: Laurent Koscielny.
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Next Fixture: a v. Norwich (Premier League), 13.04.13