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Sporting Kansas City's Roger Espinoza will sign for Wigan in January
Wigan received a pre-match boost ahead of this game when it was confirmed that they'll be able to sign Sporting Kansas City's Roger Espinoza in January after he was granted a work permit.
Speaking to the official Wigan website, manager Roberto Martinez said:
He has been developing into an exciting footballer over the last three seasons in the MLS and has enjoyed terrific experiences at international level, specifically his role with Honduras in the Olympic games... The games versus Spain and Brazil in that tournament showed the winning and strong mentality that he possesses which will be an important asset to our squad.
Martinez will look to bring in further reinforcements because, for all the good football Wigan play, they've not picked up enough points lately and have only two wins from their last eight games.
The manager was infuriated last week after a tackle from Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson injured one of his star midfielders James McCarthy.
After the game, he told BBC Radio Manchester (via bbc.co.uk/football):
Clearly he was targeted. They got away with it. You don't want to see players injured in such a ruthless manner.
Martinez knew that for this match against Arsenal he'd need his best players available, and it looks as though McCarthy will miss out.
The youngster has been in fine form this season, and if he's out, it'll make Wigan's task even harder on Saturday.
Wigan aren't the only team to get a pre-match boost ahead of this fixture.
Arsenal announced via their official website on Wednesday that Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all signed new long-term deals at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger said:
We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts. The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players, in order to get them to develop their talent at the club.
You have to wonder about the logic at Arsenal sometimes.
Yes, it is important to keep talented players together, but surely that should also stretch to key players as well.
Arsenal have lost Robin van Persie in the last six months, and it looks like they'll be losing Theo Walcott fairly soon as well.
I commend Wenger's belief in youth and his transfer policy, but fans are hungry for success and trophies.
They'll only be patient for so long until something has to give.
Make no mistake, although Arsenal's 5-2 win at Reading on Monday will have boosted morale, it still doesn't make up for the fact that they've looked poor for the last couple of months.
They need to string a set of results together, and they'll be keen to keep things ticking over through the Christmas period.
In terms of this match, I see it being a tough match for Wigan.
Arsenal may well dominate possession, but it comes down to who will be more ruthless with the chances they create.
I think Wigan will make it difficult for the Gunners, but Wenger and his players will head back down south with all three points.
Prediction: Wigan 1-3 Arsenal