Everton make the short trip up the M58 to Wigan’s JJB stadium on Saturday looking to maintain a ‘magnificent 7th’, respectable league position.
Let’s start then by evaluating our recent record against the Latics. Looking at the last ten encounters between the two sides, David Moyes’ men have won 6, drawn 3 and lost 1. Scoring 16 and conceding 7 in the process, attributing to 21 points from 30 available. Not too shabby.
One of the blemishes on our healthy record against Wigan occurred in our most recent encounter at Goodison Park in December, when a disappointing Everton were held at home by a resolute Wigan in frustrating 0-0 stalemate.
The corresponding fixture last season at the JJB in January 2010 looked to be heading the same way until Tim Cahill rose in the 84th minute to connect with a corner taken by former Latics defender Leighton Baines to net the solitary goal in a deserved 1-0 win.
Turning our attention back to the present day and Wigan are fighting for their Premiership lives. Sitting in the relegation mire with 4 games remaining – Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has described this fixture as their biggest of the season and his side should provide determined opposition in front of their home fans.
If he feels like turning up and putting in a shift, Charles N’Zogbia would appear the most capable of giving our lads a difficult afternoon. Hugo Rodallega too will no doubt need some extra attention and Tom Cleverley is a decent player.
Tim Cahill should return to the Everton starting eleven, having made a return to action as a second half substitute in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend.
Mikel Arteta is nearing a comeback and will take a late fitness test after missing five matches through injury, but Marouane Fellaini and Louis Saha remain sidelined.
GrandOldTeam’s prediction: Wigan 1-2 Everton. Osman to score. Ossie is enjoying a rich vein of form and seems to relish playing Wigan, scoring twice in recent fixtures against them and has put in a series of stand out performances over the years against the Latics. Our mates over at Paddy Power are offering odds of 9/1 for Osman to score first, 16/5 to score, 9/1 to score last. Our prediction of 2-1 with Osman to score in 90 minutes is available at 45/1. If you follow our link, sign up and stick a tenner on it, you’ll also get a instant free £20 bet and you’ll also be doing a good deed in helping GrandOldTeam. PaddyPower pay our ‘leccy bill….