West Brom-Wigan Athletic Preview
LONDON (SE) - Two of the Premier League's unlikely in-form teams meet at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon when Wigan Athletic host West Bromwich Albion.
Wigan have built on their incredible run of results at the end of last season with a solid start to this campaign, culminating in an impressive 1-0 win at Tottenham last weekend. Speaking in his Thursday afternoon press conference, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez revealed that he is delighted with his team's performances as they go in search of a third straight win.
"To get three wins in a row would be a huge achievement in this league," said Martinez. "We did so in the last three matches of last season against Blackburn, Wolves and Newcastle and it represents a real change of mentality for us.
"It has always been the case that we always reached the last third of the season where we really needed those points to save us. To do so in November would be a real change - rather than having to win, it's wanting to win. The manner in which we achieved the previous two wins - they haven't been accidents or lucky results, they have been deserved wins with very good performances against two good teams."
West Brom are flying high in fifth, and attacking star Peter Odemwingie has credited manager Steve Clarke with the team's successful start to the season.
"It is so obvious many players have improved and the manager deserves a lot of credit for that," said the Nigeria international. "His goal this season was to increase the number of passes we make and that makes you enjoy the game more and brings more excitement. We create so many chances and those things are also very encouraging.
"We will be surprised to finish in the top six or seven but I don't think we will say it is a mistake if we keep playing like we have for the past two months. We need to consider also there is a bit of instability amongst the other teams under the top four so that is the hope. The weekend results helped us to bridge the gap that was there and if we keep playing like this, and the rest of the teams outside the top four are still unstable… you never know."
Wigan may be without James McArthur and Antolin Alcaraz, while West Brom have doubts over Steven Reid and James Morrison.
West Brom have failed to beat Wigan in their last four meetings, with the Baggies' last win away at Wigan coming in 2005.
The Latics' total of 11 points after ten games is their highest at this point of a Premier League season since 2007. West Brom sit in fifth going into the Premier League weekend - their highest top-flight position after ten games since 1982. West Brom have mustered only three goals away from home this season and have won just one of their last ten on the road in the league.