Match Preview: Wigan Athletic v Tottenham Hotspur
DW Stadium, Loire Drive, Wigan (Capacity: 25,138)
Sunday 21st February 2010, Kick Off 16:15
Premier League, Match 27 (26 for Wigan Athletic)
Wigan Athletic: 14th in Premier League, 25 points from 75
Tottenham Hotspur: 6th in Premier League, 43 points from 78
Referee: Alan Wiley
Assistant referees: Mick McDonough & Jeremy Simpson
Fourth official: Mark Clattenburg
Wigan Athletic host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 21st February at the DW Stadium in a Premier League match which Wigan will be anxious to make amends for the 9-1 mauling Spurs inflicted on them at White Hart Lane in November 2009.
The match was Tottenham's highest score in a Premier League match and a personal triumph for striker Jermain Defoe, who became only the third player to score five goals in a match in Premier League history (Alan Shearer and Andrew Cole being the other two). Further Spurs goals came from Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley (who's free kick was originally given as a Wigan own goal) and Niko Kranjcar deep into injury time. Tottenham Hotspur's haul of eight goals in the second half was a new Premier League record. Wigan's goal came from Paul Scharner.
Wigan come into the game after a 0-0 home draw against Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday night which was most notable for the fact that both teams could only muster a single attempt on goal between them in the entire match. Tottenham's last match was also against Bolton Wanderers away in the FA Cup Fifth Round and resulted in a 1-1 draw with Jermain Defoe scoring his 21st goal of the season.
Spurs play Bolton in the FA Cup 5th Round replay at White Hart Lane on Wednesday 24th February with the winner facing Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Quarter Finals on 6th March.
Last season, the teams met three times with Wigan earning a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane in the League followed by a 1-0 win at the JJB Stadium (now re-named the DW Stadium). Spurs beat Wigan 3-1 in the FA Cup third round at White Hart Lane with two goals from Roman Pavlyuchenko and one from Luka Modric.
Tottenham's current squad features ex-Wigan player Wilson Palacios.
Wigan's Titus Bramble is unlikely to shake off the hamstring injury he picked up against Bolton in midweek. Aside from that Roberto Martinez only has concerns over Steve Gohouri and Richard Kingson.
Jermaine Jenas is a doubt ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at Wigan Athletic. The midfielder has picked up a groin strain that also kept him out of last weekend's FA Cup tie at Bolton. Manager Harry Redknapp is hopeful Ledley King will be available for the trip to the JJB, although he acknowledges the defender's knee problems will need to be managed carefully during a busy period, with the replay against Bolton coming up in midweek before Everton visit the Lane next Sunday.
He said: "Hopefully Ledley will be available but it's a juggling act with him this week because we've got three games and he can't play Sunday, Wednesday, Sunday. We'll have to decide how we go with him." Aaron Lennon remains out, along with Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and both are making steady progress from groin and hip injuries respectively. On Aaron, Harry added: "He's not fit yet but he's improving. It takes time but he's working every day with the fitness coaches and they've stepped up his training programme. "He's not too far away from fitness and he's working very hard. He's desperate to play and we want him back as soon as possible, but only when he's ready to play. "We've missed him but David Bentley's been in great form. However, Aaron's got that pace to get at people and he's a fantastic player, so any team would miss him."
Of the longer term injuries, Harry also had an update on defender Jonathan Woodgate, who has been restricted to just three appearances this season due to groin trouble. "Jonathan's still out in America. He's been out there for six weeks now seeing people about his groin and trying to get it sorted out. "He's making slow progress and he wants to get back here as soon as possible. I feel sorry for him because he's desperate to play, but getting to the bottom of this injury has been difficult." Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, meanwhile, continues his rehab from wrist and pelvis injuries. Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker available again after being cup-tied in the match against Bolton Wanderers.
• Tottenham's 9-1 win over Wigan in November was their biggest-ever win in the top-flight.
• The five goals Jermain Defoe notched in that match equalled the most goals scored in one Premier League game, previously achieved by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.
• The clubs met for the first time in their history in 2005 in Wigan's first season in the Premier League. They have now met 10 times, Tottenham have five wins and Wigan earned their first win last season, a 1-0 victory at home.
• Wigan's only win in their last 11 league matches was against Wolves on 16 January.
• The Latics' last home league win was against Sunderland on 28 November.
• Wigan have conceded 49 league goals this season - only Burnley (50) and Hull (51) have worse records.
• Tottenham have only scored three goals in the league in 2010 and their only victory in six league matches came at home against Fulham.
• Spurs have not been lower than sixth position all season.
• Tottenham have not won in any competition since August after failing to score in the first half, which is a run of 29 games.
LAST MATCH LINE-UPS:
Wigan Athletic (D 0-0 Bolton Wanderers H):
Kirkland, Caldwell, Scharner, Bramble (Scotland 51), Melchiot, Figueroa, N'Zogbia, McCarthy, Diame, Moreno (Moses 80), Rodallega
Substitutes: Stojkovic, Boyce, Thomas, Gomez, Sinclair
Tottenham Hotspur (D 1-1 Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup Round 5, A):
Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, King, Bale, Bentley, Palacios, Huddlestone, Modric (Kranjcar 63), Defoe, Crouch
Substitutes: Alnwick, Bassong, Dervite, Rose, Gudjohnsen, Pavlyuchenko
Yellow Cards: Huddlestone, Palacios, Defoe
MARK LAWRENSON'S PREDICTION (BBC):
There are two things Tottenham will have to get over. Firstly, travelling north, where they have struggled to pick up points. Secondly the Wigan pitch, which is in a terrible state.
While Wigan have also complained about the surface, it is actually an advantage to them because they play on it every other week and the opposition do not. Wigan are the enigma of the league, you don't know what you're going to get.
Verdict: Wigan Athletic 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday's match will be the 11th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Wigan Athletic.
Here are the results of the previous 10 matches with Spurs' score shown first:
2-Nov-2005FA Prem 22,611A W 2 - 1 Keane, Davids 19-Feb-06FA Prem 35,676H D 2 - 2 Mido, Defoe 25-Nov-06FA Prem 35,205H W 3 - 1 Defoe, Berbatov, Lennon 15-Apr-07FA Prem 16,506A D 3 - 3 Berbatov, Keane (2, 1pen) 11-Nov-07FA Prem 35,504H W 4 - 0 Jenas (2), Lennon, Bent 19-Apr-08FA Prem 18,673A D 1 - 1 Berbatov 21-Sep-08FA Prem 35,808H D 0 - 0 11-Jan-09FA Prem 17,500A L 0 - 1 02-Jan-09F.A. Cup 3 34,040 H W 3 - 1 Pavlyuchenko (2, 1pen), Modric 22-Nov-09FA Prem 35,650H W 9 - 1Crouch, Defoe (5), Lennon, Bentley, Kranjcar
LAST TIME WE MET...
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 9-1 WIGAN ATHLETIC
White Hart Lane, Premier League, 22nd November 2009
Jermain Defoe scored five second-half goals as Tottenham humiliated Wigan to record their highest top-flight win. Peter Crouch headed Spurs ahead, while Defoe scored from six yards after the break and then from a tight angle. An unmarked Paul Scharner replied but Defoe notched from eight yards and Aaron Lennon scored with a low strike. Defoe scored with two more crisp finishes, while Chris Kirkland scored an unfortunate own goal and Niko Kranjcar smashed home the ninth.
It is the first time a team has scored nine in a Premier League fixture since Manchester United thrashed Ipswich 9-0 at Old Trafford in 1995. Defoe becomes only the third player to score five in one Premier League match after Alan Shearer and Andy Cole - and his exploits cannot have harmed his England prospects. The first three of Defoe's goals came in a seven-minute burst shortly after the break - the second fastest hat-trick in the history of the Premier League. The quickest remains Robbie Fowler's for Liverpool against Arsenal in 1994. And although Defoe was clinical in front of goal, Lennon was exceptional on the right flank - and he left the field to a deserved standing ovation when he was replaced by David Bentley after 79 minutes.
Tottenham, who move level on points with third-placed Arsenal after their biggest win in 32 years, led 1-0 at the break but the visiting Latics, playing in their awful orange away strip, were simply blown away in the second half. Some of the Wigan defending was atrocious, with players gifting far too much time and space to the opposition in dangerous areas. The Latics have now conceded 13 goals in their last two away fixtures - a real concern for boss Roberto Martinez. The result is Wigan's record league defeat - the previous being a 6-1 reverse against Bristol Rovers in 1990. The visiting team were under the cosh from the opening minute, as Lennon burst into the box and sent a low ball across the six-yard box that Crouch stabbed wide.
Lennon, restored to the side after an ankle injury, ensured Wigan left-back Erik Edman, a former Tottenham player, endured a particularly torturous afternoon. It was a cross from Lennon that Crouch converted for Tottenham's opener after nine minutes - although the striker should have already opened his account by then having also headed wide from a Wilson Palacios cross. Kirkland saved from Palacios and Lennon, and deflected a Defoe strike on to his crossbar while Tom Huddlestone was inches wide. For a while it seemed inevitable Tottenham would add to their lead but as the half wore on Wigan, previously overrun in midfield, began to assert a measure of control.
A low strike from Jason Scotland forced a sharp save from Heurelho Gomes, while an ambitious effort from out wide by Charles N'Zogbia glanced against the crossbar. Even so, Spurs almost struck in first-half injury time when a jinking run from Defoe culminated with a strike that Kirkland, who despite the scoreline did make several world-class saves, tipped over. Tottenham's pressure eventually told when a brilliant low cross whipped in from a deep position by Lennon was stabbed home by Defoe after 51 minutes. And from that moment on Wigan crumbled. Three minutes later Defoe sealed victory with a smart low finish after some horrific Wigan defending failed to clear Palacios's optimistic pass from midfield.
Scharner gave Wigan the briefest of lifelines when he controlled a cross from the left before smashing the ball beyond Gomes. The Austrian appeared to use his hand to control the ball but any anger Tottenham felt soon abated when they restored their three-goal advantage - Defoe tucking home yet another cross from Lennon. It completed the second hat-trick of the season for Defoe after his triple in the 5-1 win at Hull. Kirkland saved a Crouch header - a truly superb reaction stop -but could not stop Lennon scoring his deserved goal after Wigan stood off the winger to make it 5-1.
Through balls from Corluka and Kranjcar were both converted by the rampant Defoe, the striker drilling the ball beyond Kirkland with each finish. Defoe has now scored 15 goals this season for Tottenham and England and is the top scorer in the Premier League. Kirkland's misery was almost complete when a Bentley free-kick struck the woodwork and rebounded into the net off the Latics keeper. There was just time for Kranjcar, allowed too much space in the Wigan area, to turn and smash the ball into the top corner deep in injury time.
Gomes, Dawson, Corluka, Assou-Ekotto (Bassong 81), Woodgate, Huddlestone, Lennon (Bentley 79), Palacios (Jenas 84), Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe
Substitutes: Alnwick, Hutton, Pavlyuchenko, Keane
Yellow Card: Kranjcar
Goals: Crouch 9, Defoe 51, 54, 58, 69, 87, Lennon 64, Benley 88, Kranjcar 90+
Kirkland, Edman, Scharner, Boyce, Bramble, Melchiot (Cho 85), Thomas (Gomez 67), N'Zogbia, Diame, Scotland, Rodallega
Substitutes: Pollitt, Figueroa, Koumas, Sinclair, Kapo
Goal: Scharner 57
Ref: Walton, Attendance: 35,650