Arsenal v Wigan: Gunners to strengthen hold on third
Wigan’s midweek win over Manchester United might have given their survival hopes a significant boost, but they won’t repeat the feat and Arsenal are 6/5 to win to nil as they continue their march to Champions League football.
Although David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson will argue that Everton and Manchester United are most renowned for saving their best form until the second half of a season, Wigan can also justify claiming this tag.
Wigan spent all of last season battling relegation and it was only a run that saw them lose two of their final nine games which enabled them to survive the drop on the final day of the campaign.
This season has panned out much the same and a run of eight successive defeats early in the campaign looked to have sealed Wigan’s fate.
However, lightning could well strike twice as another run of two defeats in ten league fixtures has given Wigan great hope of securing their Premier League status again.
Yet despite this form, an away game with Arsenal has not ever been a fixture where it has paid Wigan fans to expect too much.
Wigan have never drawn an away game with Arsenal in their history, let alone won, while they have failed to even score on their last six trips.
This does not bode well for Roberto Martinez, nor does the statistic that Wigan are the lowest goalscorers in the Premier League this season. With that in mind, Wigan are 10/1 to win at the Emirates, while the draw is a similarly improbable 9/2.
In fact Robin Van Persie’s 27 league goals for Arsenal this season is only four adrift of the whole Wigan squad combined and the Dutchman has tended to enjoy his meetings with the opposition.
Van Persie scored all three when Wigan were beaten at the Emirates last season and helped himself to another in a 4-0 Arsenal success away in December. The Dutchman is 7/4 to open the scoring Monday night.
Arsenal have additionally only conceded once in their last four home encounters and should benefit from being out to name a regular back four of late.
Manchester United are the only team to leave Arsenal with three points since August and Arsene Wenger has watched his team win 12 of their last 15 at home, including all of the last five.
Wigan have won already won at Anfield in recent weeks, but beating a lousy Liverpool at present is not necessarily form that will lead to a result at Arsenal.