Wigan may have lost influential attacker Victor Moses to big-spending Chelsea this summer, but they seem to be doing good enough without him and will look to pick up back-to-back wins with a victory over Stoke City at the DW Stadium.
Playing Stoke conjures up memories of their last day survival at the Britannia Stadium two seasons ago thanks to Hugo Rodallega’s goal. Wigan are probably set for another survival scrap this campaign and after a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on the opening day, a game in which they performed well after a calamitous opening ten minutes, Roberto Martinez’s side won well away at Southampton last weekend. Now, the emphasis is on Wigan’s home form and whether they can put themselves in a position away from the bottom three.
A great away win at Nottingham Forest in the Capital One Cup in midweek saw two outstanding goals from Maynor Figueroa and Jordi Gomez, the latter looking to get back into the Premier League fold with Wigan. Figueroa has also scored a stunner against Stoke from inside his own half and is expected to start on the left side of Wigan’s now customary back three. There are no injury worries for Martinez, who believes Wigan cope without Moses this season. The Latics boss is also looking to make another summer signing with Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza on his radar.
It hasn’t been the best start to the season for Stoke City, who have yet to pick up a victory in their opening three league and cup matches. The Capital One Cup exit to League One Swindon on Tuesday was a magnificent game for the neutral and saw Tony Pulis’ side booed from the field at half-time. Normally so good defensively, the Potters were on the ropes against Arsenal last weekend and could have easily been beaten had the Gunners taken their chances.
Pulis is still looking to strengthen his side before Friday’s transfer deadline and has earmarked Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam as a potential acquisition. The Scottish international has struggled at Anfield and Stoke are looking to make him a Potters player for around £5m. Stoke have no injury problems ahead of their game with Wigan and welcome back Dean Whitehead from suspension after the red card he picked up against Reading in the opening day draw.
Wigan are quietly confident of their abilities this season and believe that they can leave the strugglers at the bottom of the table behind. A win for them at the DW Stadium would leave questions surrounding Stoke City and whether their one-dimensional approach to the game has run its course. Stoke will need their big-name players to take charge and give them their first win of the season.