Premier League match time arrives at the DW Stadium, where Wigan are set to host Aston Villa on Tuesday, January 25.
This game will be played in lieu of an earlier meeting scheduled in December that got postponed, owing to snowy weather. The sides haven't met earlier this season, and the teams are coming off contrasting results, in match week 24.
Wigan capitulated in an abject 3-0 loss to Arsenal, away at the Emirates Stadium. Pent Shed Wigan The Gunners rode on a Van Persie hat-trick that took the striker's tally to 7 goals in 5 games, and was the clearest sign of the Dutchman's return to match fitness.
Wigan simply rolled over, in the face of a rampaging Arsenal attack, and the decay was there for all to see, a total lack of direction, tactics, morale and confidence. Martinez's squad made no attempt to change the tempo of the game, or even to mount a serious attack on the Arsenal goal.
The only positive that came out of the game was Al-Habsi' brilliance in goal, but for which, a cricket score seemed likely. The result left Wigan in 18th place, just ahead of Wolves in 19th and West Ham in 20th.
Aston Villa sprung a surprise 1-0 win over Man City to give their beleaguered coach Houllier a reprieve. The scorer was Darren Bent who was bought from Sunderland in the January transfer window. After going ahead on 18 minutes, Villa stuck to a game plan, keeping the ball for the larger part in safe areas.
They survived an anxious 10 minutes at the end of the game when Man City launched a series of attacks. Collins in particular was brilliant in the back-line. Houllier appears to be getting his act together, with the senior players of the side beginning to rally round him. With a player like Makoun set to follow in Bent's footsteps, Villa's fortunes appear to be on the rise. They are currently in 16th place, hovering just above the relegation mine.
Head to head, in 10 games between Wigan and Aston Villa, Wigan have established a 4-3 advantage. The last time these sides met was in March 2010, in a game hosted by the Latics at the DW Stadium. Villa won that encounter 2-1.
Of their last 10 league games, Wigan have won just the one, while losing 4 and drawing 5; Villa have 2 of their last 10, while drawing 2 and losing 6.
Wigan have won 2 of 12 home games, this season, while drawing 6 and losing 4. Villa have 2 of 11 away games while drawing 4 and losing 5.
On current form, Wigan will be considered lucky if they can salvage a point from the game.
Wigan had the following players in their starting eleven against Arsenal: Al-Habsi, Gohouri, Caldwell, Caldwell, Figueroa, Stam, Diame, Watson, Thomas, N'Zogbia and Rodallega. Di Santo, McArthur and Boyce were used as substitutes.