Arsenal v Wigan – Match preview and team news

Arsenal and Wigan face off at the Emirates in a crucial encounter that both clubs absolutely have to win if they are to achieve their ambitions for the season.

Chelsea and Tottenham’s victories on the weekend mean that Arsenal currently lie fifth in the table albeit with a game in hand over their North London rivals and so the Gunners simply must take all three points on Tuesday evening to head into their final match at an already safe from relegation Newcastle with their fate in their hands. Any less than victory and Arsene Wenger’s men will be left needing Sunderland to do them a favour at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The stakes are arguably higher however for Wigan, who just three days after their quite astonishingly deserved FA Cup final triumph over Manchester City, know that in order to keep their hopes of survival alive, they simply must take a second victory at the Emirates Stadium in a row. With results at the weekend going against them, the Latics are currently four behind Sunderland and five behind Aston Villa, their opponents at the DW Stadium on the final day.

Should Roberto Martinez’s men pull of a shock victory for the second match in a row then they will arguably be favourites to stay up at either Sunderland or Villa’s expense. Should they fail, it will be the Championship next season for Dave Whelan despite their momentous cup triumph.

Arsenal have a near full-strength squad to choose from with goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi and full-back Kieran Gibbs returning from injury while Olivier Giroud serves the final match of his suspension, meaning Lukas Podolski looks set to lead the line once more. Jack Wilshere is also fighting for selection, after being dropped to the bench for the Gunners’ last couple of encounters for Tomas Rosicky.

Wigan have no new injury concerns following their glory day at Wembley, though last-minute goalscorer Ben Watson could take his place in midfield from the start ahead of Jordi Gomez.

Elsewhere, Jean Beausejour may return from a hamstring injury but defenders Maynor Figueroa, Ivan Ramis and Ronnie Stam remain absent.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Arsenal v Wigan

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