Premier League preview: Wigan v Everton
Wigan are without a win in their past eight Premier League games, a run Everton will want to continue when they visit DW Stadium on Saturday.
The fixture pits two sides with contrasting recent fortunes – Wigan cannot buy a win, while Everton appear to have found their spark just in time for the run home.
Wigan have won only three matches this season and scored fewer goals than any other side (20), leaving them three points adrift at the bottom of the league.
Boss Roberto Martinez was thrilled to hold on to striker Hugo Rodallega in the January transfer window, after he was targeted by Wednesday’s opponents Spurs, who dished out a 3-1 thumping at White Hart Lane.
But Rodallega has scored just two league goals this season, both coming in the past four games, compared to his 10 last term, and his lack of scoring form is one of the reasons Wigan are struggling.
He was an unused substitute against Tottenham while new signing Jean Beausejour played the full 90 minutes.
Both men will need to find their touch in the final third if Wigan are to have any chance of survival.
They next take on a resurgent Everton, who are likely to hand a start to 5.5 million-pound signing Nikica Jelavic.
The Croatian forward scored for fun while at Rangers with 30 goals in 45 appearances, and his new boss David Moyes knows how much his poaching instincts could help his side.
Only Wigan have scored less than Everton this campaign and it has been an area of concern for some time.
With Louis Saha offloaded to Tottenham and Tim Cahill scoring his first goal for 12 months recently against Blackburn, the weight of expectation on Jelavic’s shoulders, given the money flashed by the cash-strapped club, will be enormous.
Everton have been gathering momentum of late and are up to 10th place following their shock 1-0 win at home over leaders Manchester City, thanks to ex-Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson’s deflected strike.
Undefeated in four, with two wins and two draws, Moyes’ men could not have hoped for a better opponent than rock-bottom Wigan to keep that run going.