Premier League preview: Bolton v Wigan
Points will be like gold dust on Saturday when bottom club Wigan journey to Reebok Stadium to meet fellow Premier League strugglers Bolton.
Bolton were anchored to the foot of the league table for much of the first half of the season, but Owen Coyle’s men seemed to turn a corner late last month when they enjoyed a 3-1 win over Liverpool at home.
They followed that effort with a 0-0 draw at home against Arsenal, but just as things were looking up they were dealt a blow at Norwich on Saturday, going down 2-0 to Paul Lambert’s side.
Wigan have taken over Bolton’s mantle as cellar dwellers, and you have to go back to December 10 last year to find Roberto Martinez’s team’s last victory in the league – a 2-1 triumph at West Brom.
Wigan have gone nine games without a win in the league, leaving them on 16 points – two behind Blackburn Rovers and four adrift of Bolton, who are in 18th position.
In their most recent match, however, they played out a 1-1 draw with an in-form Everton side at home.
In their last meeting this season, goals from Nigel Reo-Coker, David N’Gog and Chris Eagles powered Wanderers to a 3-1 win at DW Stadium on October 16.
Coyle has some selection headaches ahead of the crunch fixture, with Spanish defender Marcos Alonso (ankle) joining long-term casualties Sean Davis (knee) and Stuart Holden (knee) on the sidelines.
South Korean international Lee Chung-Yong is racing against time to play this season, after breaking his leg in a pre-season friendly against Newport County.
Martinez’s squad is looking in good shape ahead of the match, with Shaun Maloney having a good chance to resume from a calf injury while defender Antolin Alcaraz made the bench against Everton after overcoming a groin strain.