After the euphoria of clinching a place in the FA Cup final for the first time in their history, Wigan were pulled back down to earth last week as a dispiriting defeat at West Ham left them firmly in the relegation zone, while wins for Stoke and Sunderland pulled them six points clear of the 18th-placed Latics.
However, Aston Villa’s thumping defeat to Manchester United on Monday night means that Roberto Martinez is still confident that with his side having played a game less than their rivals, the fight to stay up still remains very much in their hands, though they must start winning games again, beginning with the visit of Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon.
The Latics will be without key defender Antolin Alcaraz due to a hamstring strain picked up at Upton Park last week meaning that Gary Caldwell should step up in his place. Jean Beasejour may also return while Ben Watson could play a part after recovering from a broken leg. It was Watson who scored the winner at White Hart Lane in the reverse fixture between these two sides earlier this season.
Spurs roared back to take a 3-1 from-behind victory at home to Manchester City last week, a vital three points that leaves them only one point behind fourth-placed Chelsea and two behind third-placed Arsenal, with a game in hand on the Gunners against their West London rivals.
Indeed, with both Chelsea and Arsenal waiting until Sunday afternoon to play their fixtures, Andre Villas-Boas will know that three points at the DW Stadium will take his side back into third position.
Gareth Bale returned from an ankle injury against City last week and showed so ill-effects as he both scored and assisted. He looks certain to start alongside fellow winger Aaron Lennon who has shaken off a knee injury.
Elsewhere, Jermain Defoe could start in place of Emmanuel Adebayor after coming off the bench to score against City last week but William Gallas, Sandro and Younes Kaboul are still out.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Wigan