Premier League – Matchpack: Arsenal v Wigan
Team news, manager quotes and match facts ahead of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Wigan at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski (right) has a shot on goal, Wigan v Arsenal, December 22 2012.
Arsenal expect to have goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (rib) and full-back Kieran Gibbs (hip) available. Striker Olivier Giroud serves the last game of his three-match ban. Midfielder Abou Diaby (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez will select from the same FA Cup-winning squad he took to Wembley. The Latics boss is concerned about fatigue after a physically and emotionally draining final at Wembley and could freshen up the starting line-up. Midfielder Jean Beausejour and defender Adrian Lopez could return for Sunday’s final match of the season at home to Aston Villa.
Arsene Wenger: “Both teams will go for it, it’s a huge game for both of us. We are on a remarkable run and have been hugely consistent and our destiny is in our hands. Two months ago our destiny was not in our own hands; today it is. So let’s finish the job.”
Roberto Martinez on winning the FA Cup: “It was a moment that changed the perception of our club for millions of people outside the UK and that is really positive, but it doesn’t need to affect the next two matches.”
Wigan need to win this game to realistically avoid relegation to the Championship.
No FA Cup winning team has ever been relegated in the same season.
Last season Arsenal lost at home to Wigan in their 34th game, a result which helped the Latics avoid relegation.
That victory last season is Wigan’s only Premier League away win against Arsenal.
Arsenal have scored more counter attack goals than any other Barclays Premier League team this season (7).
The Gunners have drawn their last two home games, they have not drawn three in a row within the same season since March-April 2011.
Arsenal have taken 14 points from their last six games, a total only Chelsea can match.
Wigan have taken five points from their last six games, only three teams have fewer in this period.
In the six games before that, Wigan took 10 points.
Arsenal’s last four Premier League games have gone under 2.5 goals with three of them going under 1.5 goals.
Last season the FA Cup winners lost 4-1 (Chelsea at Liverpool) in their first game after the victory.
Arsenal (4/11) Wigan (8/1) Draw (9/2)