Wigan great value to follow up FA Cup final win with another shock at Arsenal
For a side that have just beaten the deposed Premier League champions to lift the FA Cup, Wigan’s 6/1 odds of beating Arsenal at the Emirates look worthy of a flutter.
The Latics stunned Manchester City at Wembley to provide the upset of the season and earn Roberto Martinez his first trophy as Wigan boss.
And his team could utilise their uplifting victory against pre-match favourites City with another unlikely triumph in the capital against Arsenal.
While the Gunners are expected to beat Wigan given their 1/3 odds-on price for three points on home soil, Martinez’s underdogs are worth a few quid to pull off another shock.
At this stage of last season, Wigan stunned Arsene Wenger’s team at the Emirates to record a 2-1 win which helped them stay in the league.
It was a poor performance in truth from the North London outfit, but Wigan’s resilience and excellent tactical set-up precipitated two early goals that Arsenal failed to recover from.
And while the hosts are in great form at the moment – without a defeat in nine games since losing to local rivals Tottenham at the beginning of March – Arsenal are known to struggle defensively and they could come unstuck again in their fight to make the top four.
The Greater Manchester club have lost three of their last six outings in all competitions, but will carry an air of confidence to the Emirates for their crucial midweek clash with fourth-place Arsenal.
Ben Watson may have been the matchwinner for Wigan against City, but it was winger Callum McManaman that caught the eye and earned the man of the match award at Wembley.
His blistering pace, ability to beat the full-back and quality of his final ball will cause trouble for whoever gets the nod at left-back for Arsenal.
Nacho Monreal was given the runaround by QPR winger Andros Townsend in their last outing, and Kieran Gibbs may be recalled if he shrugs off another niggling injury that have largely characterised his career so far.
Both players give the option of decent covering speed, but Gibbs’ Premier League experience may give him the advantage against a real old school wide-man.
McManaman had plenty of chances to score against City, and he may not be so wasteful against Arsenal if he finds himself in similar opportunities.
The 22-year-old is a generous 16/1 to open the scoring, while he could strike at anytime at a similarly profitable 5/1.
Arsenal will be keen to exercise their dominance in league terms over Wigan and go one step closer to securing a place in the Champions League next season.
But as Wigan showed in the FA Cup final they are no pushovers, and Martinez’s tactical nous may well precipitate another shock result in North London.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.