After the Lilywhites’ glorious victory over Manchester City on Sunday at White Hart Lane, they need to follow it up with a win at the DW this Saturday. But Wigan are fighting for their lives in the Premier League and a positive result will have to be hard-earned. The following player battles will be pivotal in the outcome of the match.
Jermain Defoe v Gary Caldwell and Emerson Boyce
The pacy Defoe was substituted on in the 71st minute for Emmanuel Adebayor on Sunday and within 11 minutes Tottenham were leading 3-1. His movement and agility changed the game as he posed a completely different challenge to the City defensive pair. From Wigan’s perspective, it is vital that they contain him; because just one metre of space for Defoe could prove fatal to Wigan’s survival ambitions.
Arouna Kone v Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen
The ex-Sevilla Ivorian has netted an impressive 10 league goals this season and has developed the habit of popping up in the right places to find the net. The strong Spurs’ defensive pairing need to contain Kone and stop him causing Tottenham problems; if Spurs are weak in front of goal then they at least need to ensure that Wigan can’t score.
Shaun Maloney v Scott Parker
Tricky creative winger Maloney will prove the main offensive threat to Spurs and it will most probably fall to tenacious midfielder Parker to stop him from playing. During Wigan’s successful survival push last year, Maloney played a huge role and he could well help Wigan snatch a win on Saturday. It is vital that the passionate Parker contains his creative ability.
Aaron Lennon v Luis Figueroa
The returning speedy winger will be eager to show Spurs what they have been missing during his prolonged injury spell. He adds balance and an extra dimension to the team; if he beats the Honduran down the right flank then there will be many players waiting for an assist, namely Bale, Defoe, and possibly Sigurdsson or Dempsey.
Spurs need to ride this wave of momentum until the end of the season: starting with a win over Wigan.
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