Wigan v Stoke preview
Latics reach for safety; Stoke focused on top half finish
Last Updated: 30/03/12 4:31pm
Wigan will continue their fight against relegation with the visit of Stoke City this Saturday.
Last weekend's shock 2-1 win away at Liverpool has given Roberto Martinez's side a timely boost in their hopes of avoiding the drop.
They are now just a point away from safety with the five bottom sides in the Premier League separated by just six points.
But to beat Stoke, Wigan will have to win at home for the first time since August, having been winless in their last 13 outings at the DW Stadium.
The Latics have arguably the toughest run-in out of the relegation-threatened sides, as they face Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in their three fixtures following the visit of Stoke.
And with eight games to go, they will view Saturday's clash as an ideal opportunity to move above the drop zone.
Recent meetings between the sides are in Wigan's favour, having not lost to Stoke for almost three years.
The New Year's Eve clash between the two clubs ended in a dramatic 2-2 draw, with Ben Watson scoring an equaliser for Wigan with three minutes to go.
Stoke earned a credible draw against Manchester City last Saturday, largely thanks to a wonder-strike from Peter Crouch.
Tony Pulis' side have come through a tough set of fixtures reasonably unscathed, having held Tottenham to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.
Their only defeat in the last five matches was a 1-0 loss at Chelsea on 10th March, as they look to reclaim their place in the top half of the table.
With no cup competitions left to play for, finishing as high as possible in the Premier League is the target for the Potters.
Their highest finish since their return to the top flight was 11th in the 2009/10 campaign, just a place and a point above their current position of 12th.
Wigan are sweating on the fitness of Victor Moses who is looking to overcome a sore jaw suffered in last week's win over Liverpool.
Moses' striker partner Hugo Rodallega is more of a doubt as he battles a knee injury, while Mohamed Diame is set to miss out with a groin problem.
Midfielder David Jones and goalkeeper Mike Pollitt are also back in contention following knee problems.
Ricardo Fuller makes a welcome return to the Stoke City squad, having missed the last three matches through suspension.
Jonathan Woodgate is also in line to return having missed over a month with a calf injury.
Possible Starting XIs:
Wigan: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Boyce, Figueroa, Alcaraz, Beausejour, Moses, McArthur, McCarthy, Maloney, Di Santo.
Stoke: Begovic, Huth, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Etherington, Whelan, Whitehead, Wilson, Crouch, Walters, Jerome.
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||30||42|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||30||33|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||30||22|