Tottenham vs. Wigan: Complete Preview for Saturday's EPL Match

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 1, 2012

WIGAN, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur competes with Mohamed Diame of Wigan Athletic during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur at DW Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

On Saturday, Tottenham host Wigan at White Hart Lane, in a clash of two clubs coming off of shocking losses in the Capital One Cup during midweek.

Both clubs will look to get back to their winning ways, as both won 2-1 last weekend in the EPL.

Capital One Cup Disappointment

As mentioned above, both clubs suffered upset losses in the Capital One Cup during the week.

Wigan were held goalless through 120 minutes with League Two side Bradford City and ended up losing in a penalty shootout, 4-2, with Shaun Maloney and Jordi Gomez missing penalties.

Tottenham also missed a crucial penalty in their Round of 16 match with Norwich City on Wednesday.

Clint Dempsey's miss in the 90th minute sealed the fate of Spurs, as they fell 2-1 on the road at Carrow Road.

Recent Form

Tottenham come into this match in much better form than their visitors, with five wins in their last six EPL matches.

Last weekend, Spurs went on the road and took care of business with a 2-1 win at Southampton, which should have been by a few more goals.

Spurs let their foot off the pedal in the second half, and that almost cost the club a full three points, as Southampton were the better side for most of the second half.

However, Spurs have been able to handle their business for the most part against the clubs in the bottom half of the table, with wins over Reading, QPR, Aston Villa and Southampton.

Wigan are a fairly easy club to figure out, and based on their form, they overachieve at home and play poorly on the road.

The Latics' only win on the road in the EPL this season came in the second match of the season, when they beat Southampton 2-0.

At home, the club have earned five of their eight points and have drawn with Everton and Stoke, while beating West Ham last week 2-1 at the DW Stadium.

On the road, trips to Manchester United, Swansea City and Sunderland have all ended in losses.

Two of the Best Summer Transfers on Display

Tottenham did do more business in the summer than Wigan, but both clubs possess a player who joined over the summer who's proving to help their club immensely.

For Wigan, Arouna Kone has been their best player this season, with three goals, which is tied for the club lead along with Franco Di Santo, and two assists.

Kone scored 15 goals last season in La Liga while on loan at Levante from Sevilla, helping the Spanish club qualify for the Europa League by finishing sixth in the Spanish top flight.  

In the summer, Roberto Martinez bought the striker from Sevilla, and he has proven to be one of the steals of the summer transfer window.

Amongst the many moves that Tottenham made at the end of summer transfer window, the signing of defender Jan Vertonghen from Ajax was lost in the excitement over Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey moving from Fulham.

Vetonghen has been one of the most valuable players for manager Andre Villas-Boas this season, as he has made the transition to left-back after injuries to Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Kyle Naughton.

The center-back has been able to easily link up with Gareth Bale on the left wing and make the Spurs attack more threatening than it already was.

Tottenham Projected Lineup

Friedel (GK), Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Sandro, Huddlestone, Bale, Lennon, Dempsey, Defoe

Villas-Boas has stuck with the same 11 players throughout most of the EPL season so far, playing a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Vertonghen will once again be asked to shift over to left-back due to injuries of the other two left-backs on the roster.

Tom Huddlestone will most likely get his third start of the season alongside Sandro in the defensive midfield position, as Moussa Dembele is still out injured.

Jermain Defoe remains the lone striker up front, a role in which he has flourished this season, with five goals in the EPL.

Wigan Projected Lineup

Al-Habsi (GK), Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour, Maloney, Di Santo, Kone

Wigan are one of the few clubs that have consistently played with three defenders.

Martinez has employed a 3-4-3 formation for most of the season, and it has given the Latics more goals, but it has also led to the fifth-most goals conceded in the EPL with 16.

The defensive trio of Ivan Ramis, Gary Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa has shown plenty of promise, but they are clearly missing the presence of Antolin Alcaraz, who is currently out injured.

The attacking trio have produced seven of the club's 10 goals on the season and seem to play well together, with Kone being the focal point of the attack.

Prediction: Tottenham 3, Wigan 1

Tottenham should be able to cruise to victory at home, given their success at White Hart Lane and Wigan's struggles away from home.

Defoe should get on the score-sheet once again, but do not count on Spurs recording a clean sheet, as their play in the second half this season has not been stellar, and their one clean sheet in nine matches shows their inability to keep a shutout.

However, Spurs should get past that one flaw in their play and earn a fairly easy win at home.


    Spurs Plot 11th Hour Swoop for Liverpool's Rhian Brewster

    Tottenham Hotspur logo
    Tottenham Hotspur

    Spurs Plot 11th Hour Swoop for Liverpool's Rhian Brewster

    via footballlondon

    Ronaldo Breaks Record for Most Int'l Goals by European

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Ronaldo Breaks Record for Most Int'l Goals by European

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report

    Liverpool Eye Bundesliga Duo Pavlenka and Sommer

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Liverpool Eye Bundesliga Duo Pavlenka and Sommer

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report