Wigan Athletic-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
LONDON (SE) - Both Tottenham Hotspur and Wigan Athletic will be hoping to erase the memory of painful midweek League Cup exits when they clash in the Premier League at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
Spurs were bundled out of the last 16 by two late Norwich City strikes in the last 10 minutes after leading through a Gareth Bale goal at Carrow Road.
Wigan could not translate a home draw against the lowest level team left in the competition into a quarter final place as they lost on penalties to League Two side Bradford City.
For Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas, the league encounter presents a quick opportunity to move on from their cup disappointment, although he is taking nothing for granted against the Latics.
"They (Wigan) are a team who are extremely well organized, they certainly play in a different style than the general pattern of the Premier League," he told the club website.
"Sometimes they don't achieve the results at the beginning of the season, but when they step up a gear they can put you in a difficult situation. It's not going to be an easy game. We're aware of what they can do, and the way that they turned events around for themselves last season is the best example you can give to our players to illustrate that."
Wigan (2-2-5) boss Roberto Martinez will be looking for his side to convert more of their opportunities after they squandered several chances in the cup match.
"I felt we did everything we had to in terms of the performance needed, showing patience against a unified and organized Bradford City side and creating numerous chances," Martinez said. "We had a goal disallowed early on but continued to get into good situations that we just failed to capitalize upon, but we never lost that composure in our display and kept a clean sheet for the 120 minutes.
"Ultimately when you create that amount of chances and don't hit the back of the net it becomes very difficult to win a football match. Then, when you go into a penalty shoot-out the luck is out of your hands and it wasn't going to be our night. The shoot-out is the perfect assessment of the evening; the two most assured takers were the ones who missed their chances and that was typical of the night.
"But we congratulate Bradford City and wish them well in the next round whilst looking internally at how we can continue to improve."
Spurs (5-2-2) did the double over Wigan last year, winning 3-1 at White Hart Lane thanks to a Bale double and a goal from Luka Modric. James McArthur responded for Wigan.
In the return match at the DW Stadium goals from Rafael Van der Vaart and Bale secured a 2-1 Spurs win after Mohamed Diame had countered for the Latics who ended with 10 men following Steve Gohouri's red card.
Wigan are currently 15th in the table, four points out of the relegation zone and are looking for just their second win at White Hart Lane in their 9th trip. Spurs are 4th, one point ahead of Everton and, having lost to Chelsea last time out at the Lane, will be looking to avoid consecutive home Premier League defeats for the first time since September 2008.
Emmanuel Adebayor, Kyle Naughton and Ryan Mason are all fit for the match but Jake Livermore is a doubt and Mousa Dembele misses out again for Tottenham. Spurs have sent defender Adam Smith on loan to Millwall for three months and have extended the existing loan of Jermaine Jenas to Nottingham Forest for a further two months.