Wigan secured Premier League survival with a victory at the Britannia Stadium on the final day last season and will be looking to take a significant step towards doing so again when they return to the Potteries on New Year’s Eve…
Wigan were embarrassed 5-0 on Boxing Day by Manchester United, but given that four of those goals came after the controversial first-half dismissal of striker Conor Sammon, it would be a mistake to judge them too much on that result.
Fulham bounced back from their recent thrashing by the champions with a draw at Stamford Bridge and as Wigan had lost just one in six before visiting Old Trafford, winning their previous two away games, they have the ability to react well.
Further fuel for believing that the Latics can upset the odds once again at 9/2 is provided by the fact that they are unbeaten in four meetings with Stoke and, despite usually travelling in small numbers, don’t find the Britannia Stadium intimidating.
Roberto Martinez’s men have tasted defeat there on only one of their last six league trips, and with the Potters being shut out by Manchester City and Aston Villa in their last two outings, there is cause to suspect that they will slip up at 8/13.
Clashes between these two teams tend to be low on goals, with seven of the last nine featuring two or fewer, so as both have struggled to score of late, odds of 5/6 on under 2.5 goals have to be respected.
Another trend to be aware of is that three of Wigan’s last four away encounters against Stoke were 0-0 at the break but none finished that way. A goalless first-half is 13/8 on Saturday, with the second half 10/11 to provide more goals.
If you subscribe to the above argument that Wigan are capable of claiming all three points then it is 9/1 that they triumph in a match that is level at half-time.