Lactics to be outgunned - betting preview
Wigan v Arsenal - 12:45 - live on Sky Sports 3
The clouds of doom and gloom that were hanging over the Emirates Stadium following the 2-0 home defeat to Swansea have lifted slightly following back-to-back wins over West Brom and Reading have steadied the ship slightly. Following a five goal haul at the Madejski the Gunners travel to the DW with their shooting boots on to face a Wigan side that are out of form and who they have easily had the better of in recent meetings.
Wigan (4/1) are winless in their last four since beating Reading and have won just once in their last seven and now sit in the relegation zone as a result. They have dropped points to Newcastle, QPR and Norwich in their last three making a victory against the Gunners look like a massive uphill struggle. The last seven Premier League visits Arsenal have made have seen Wigan win just once with four ending in defeat and two draws, the Lactics will have to be on the very top of their game, similar to the way they performed at the Emirates as they pulled off a shock 2-1 win at the end of last season.
The defeat to Norwich has been more costly than just the result as James McCarthy and Adrian Lopez both picked up injuries ruling them out for the next few weeks and stretching Martinez's squad even further. With Arsenal's ability to put the ball in the net Wigan will have to score a few if they expect to take anything, the bulk of the pressure should fall on Arouna Kone (15/2 First/Last, 9/4 Anytime) with the Ivory Coast hitman, having not found the net since early November, coming under pressure. Arsenal can be vulnerable at the back so look to Jordi Gomez (9/1 First/Last, 10/3 Anytime) and Franco Di Santo (8/1 First/Last, 11/4 Anytime) to get in position to make the net bulge.
Arsenal (3/4, Draw 12/5) got a boost midweek as five of their young British stars committed to the club, although the name of Theo Walcott was not one of them as speculation regarding his future continues to rumble on and threatens to overshadow events on the pitch. Two straight wins have seen them leap from midtable to fifth and a win at the DW will see them up to third, over the course of this season Arsenal have averaged a Premier League high of 60% possession and if they can continue to make and convert chances, rather than pretty football that ends in nothing, they can be a force to be reckoned with again.
Arsenal have no new injury concerns and have Olivier Giroud (9/2 First/Last, 6/5 Anytime) pushing for a starting spot after his cameo at Reading, however his striking role is likely to be handed to contract rebel Theo Walcott (11/2 First/Last, 6/4 Anytime) who looked good there in a scoring appearance against Reading. Santi Cazorla (13/2 First/Last, 15/8 Anytime) has been the star for the Gunners so far and he bagged a hat-trick against Reading and it would be no surprise to see his find the net against a Wigan side missing four centre backs. Another player to note is Thomas Vermaelen (20/1 First/Last, 7/1 Anytime), since 2009 no defender has more Premier League goals and he's scored in his last 3 against Wigan, he's a good bet at a big price.
On the whole Arsenal should win this encounter with a bit to spare and the 9/5 about Arsenal minus a goal looks to be good value look for them to run out by 2, 3 or maybe even 4 goals - the correct scores of Arsenal 3-1 (12/1), 4-0 (25/1), 4-1 (22/1) hold the most appeal. The last 4 Premier League meetings at the DW have seen 18 goals and no less than 4 on each occasion - while I wouldn't like to call the both teams to score (6/10 yes, 5/4 no) however the over 2.5 goals at 6/10 looks to be the banker to be on.
As with all Premier League games don't miss out on our enhanced wincasts on each game. For this we have enhanced Arouna Kone to score in a Wigan win from 11/2 to 7/1. While on the Arsenal front last week's hattrick hero, Santi Cazorla, scoring in another Arsenal win is boosted from 11/4 to 4/1!
Arsenal -1 @ 9/5
Over 2.5 Goals @ 6/10
Worth a Punt:
Thomas Vermaelen anytime @ 7/1
Arsenal 4-1 @ 22/1