Stoke can rule at the Britannia
Two teams meet at the Britannia Stadium who have had mixed fortunes so far this season and are both infuriatingly hard to predict but home advantage ensures Stoke come in to their game with Wigan as 11/10 favourites.
Tony Pulis has managed to get his side to turn their home ground into a tough place for teams to visit with just seven goals conceded all season and four wins out of seven on their own patch. Wigan meanwhile have gone from the sublime (beating Chelsea) to the ridiculous (losing 9-1 to Tottenham so away from home it is hard to know what to expect and odds of 5/2 say they can get a win.
The draw looks a lively player but Wigan have not drawn away from home since February 2009 so the stattos out there may want to avoid a stalemate although 0-0 at 15/2 carries some appeal.
Stoke and in particular Pulis were the subject of much scrutiny after last weekend where the manager was reported to have headbutted striker James Beattie in a changing room bust up. The air has reportedly been cleared but Beattie is unlikely to be the first name on the team sheet and should be avoided for now at 6/1 to score first.
Ricardo Fuller has continued to threaten week in, week out and is 5/1 to bag the first goal with Matthew Etherington who has scored twice recently 12/1 to score first of 5/1 to score anytime.
Roberto Martinez's side bounced back from their drubbing at Spurs with a win at Sunderland but followed that up with a home defeat to the usually goal shy Birmingham, conceding three in the process to go with a 4-0 drubbing they got at the woeful Portsmouth at the end of October.
Hugo Rodallega looks the one gem in Martinez's arsenal and is 11/2 to score first while the always lively Charles N'Zogbia is 12/1, Paul Scharner 16/1 and Jason Scotland 7/1 to find his feet and start scoring some goals.
There should be goals in this as Wigan have not kept a clean sheet in six away games and have in fact conceded 22 goals in those games and Stoke should be able to add to their meagre goal tally so scores like 2-0 at 13/2 and 2-1 at 7/1 to the home side look in the right area while a another 3-2 thriller is 33/1 or for Wigan to pick up some away points 1-0 is 13/2 and 2-1 10/1.
For those favouring a stalemate, you may interested to know that Stoke have dropped the most points from a winning position this season and a staggering 41% of goals they have conceded have come in the final 15 minutes of games, so to exploit these markets, Wigan to come from behind and draw is 11/2 and for there to be a goal after the 76th minute, 11/10 is available and your more classic double result of Stoke/draw is a generous looking 16/1.
A close one to call but Stoke are the much more solid option at home and Wigan cannot be backed with any confidence. Barring any massive changing room unrest the well-documented problems from last week shouldn't trouble the side and a narrow home win is the call, while the stat about goals in the last 15 minutes is hard to ignore and is worth a back.
Stoke to win 2-1 - 7/1
A goal after the 76th minute - 11/10