Chelsea vs Wigan Preview:
Date: February 9, 2013; Time: 3:00 PM UTC
Venue: Stamford Bridge — London.
Chelsea under-pressure head coach Rafa Benitez will be looking to end their winless run. The Champions League holders are without a win in four games, so Roberto Martinez team could hope on optimistic result at the Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea stands third in the EPL table with forty six points from twenty five games, having won thirteen, drawn seven and lost five so far this season. The Blues are now sixteen points behind leaders Manchester United. Also, they will have a hard fight to hold onto third place, cause Spurs are just one point behind. They have won just one of their last five games, with three draws and one defeat to Newcastle with the score 3-2 last weekend. Last five home games Chelsea have finished with two wins, one draw and two defeats. Blues are too inconsistent for a club, which expects to end at the top of the league, but they have won six of their last seven home games against Wigan.
Wigan are eighteenth in the Premier League standings with twenty one points from twenty five games. The Latics have five wins, six draws and fourteen defeats so far this season. They still hold the first line of relegation zone and are two points away from safety. Their current form has seen two wins, two draws and one defeat from last five games. Last five away games Wigan have finished with three wins and two draws. Wigan have only one victory in their last twelve Premier League games. The Latics have drawn three of their last four matches, including a late equaliser against Southampton last weekend.
Head coach Benitez can’t count on Chelsea new forward Demba Ba cause he has broke his nose in the game against Newcastle, so Fernando Torres will start instead. Petr Cech is still recovering from a broken finger. Ross Turnbull will keep his place in goal. Ashley Cole could get rest after playing his 100th international match for England in midweek. David Luiz has an ankle problem, but could still play. Eden Hazard is back after serving his three-match ban for scandal episode with a Swansea ball-boy. Oriol Romeu has a serious knee injury and is out until June.
Wigan’s forward Aroune Kone is back from the AFCON, but he will need some trainings before he returns to the starting squad. Antolin Alcaraz and Emerson Boyce could return after their injuries for the visitors. But Ryo Miyaichi with ankle injury and Ben Watson who has a broken leg are out till the end of February. While Albert Crusat, Fraser Fyvie, Mike Pollitt and Ivan Ramis are long term injured.
Chelsea line-up: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Bertrand, Ramires, Luiz, Hazard, Lampard, Mata, Torres.
Last three matches:
Newcastle 3 – Chelsea FC 2;
Reading 2 – Chelsea FC 2;
Brentford 2 – Chelsea FC 2.
Wigan line-up:Krul, Al Habsi, Caldwell, Figueroa, Alcaraz, Stam, McCarthur, McCarthy, Beausejour, Espinosa, Di Santo, Maloney.
Last three matches:
Wigan Athletic 2 – Southampton 2;
Stoke 2 – Wigan Athletic 2;
Macclesfield Town 0 – Wigan Athletic 1.