Arsenal welcome Wigan Athletic to the Emirates on Monday night looking to extend their lead over fourth-placed Tottenham.
We took full advantage of their slip up last week by beating Wolves to make the gap five points, and with Spurs not playing a league game this weekend due to their FA Cup commitments, we can now make the gap eight points with a win over Wigan.
Arsenal won the reverse fixture 4-0 at the DW Stadium earlier in the season but visitors are a different side to the team we faced back in December.
Wigan come to London is great form having won four of their last five, including wins over Stoke, Liverpool and Manchester United last time out. So it’s clear the Latics shouldn’t be underestimated. If we go into this game like we did against QPR two weeks ago, we will drop points. Make no mistake.
Laurent Koscielny will miss out again, serving the second of his two-game ban after picking up 10 yellow cards this season. Johan Djourou did well against Wolves and will continue alongside Vermaelen at the back.
Arsene Wenger has no fresh injury worries ahead of the game, but Kieran Gibbs and Gervinho have a chance of returning after missing Wednesday’s win at Molineux.
However, it’s likely Santos will continue at left back while i’d like to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain given a start on the left. Yossi Benayoun did very well against Wolves but the Oxe has been under-used in recent weeks and he deserves a start. Rosicky should also come back in, with Ramsey returning to the bench.
Francis Coquelin and Abou Diaby will return to full training this week, so are still unavailable. Long term injury victims Jack Wilshere, Per Mertesacker and Emmanuel Frimpong are all still out.
Roberto Martinez will continue to do without the services of striker Hugo Rodallega, who has missed several weeks through injury. That’s good news for the Gunners as on his day, Rodallega can be a danger.
Martinez is expected to name an unchanged side from the team that beat Man Utd.
Despite Wigan’s recent revival, it’s hard to see past a home victory here. We’ve won eight out of nine and are full of confidence. Only our attitude can prevent us going eight clear of Spurs. If we turn up and put in a professional display, we will win the game. Take them too lightly and points will be dropped. But i can see the lads doing the job. Arsenal 2-0 Wigan.
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