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Wigan V Tottenham at The DW Stadium : Match Preview

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Updated 27 Apr 2013 07:40:31

Wigan V Tottenham at The DW Stadium : Match Preview

Wigan V Tottenham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Beausejour back for Latics

Jean Beausejour is set to return to the Wigan starting line-up for the crucial Barclays Premier League encounter with Tottenham at the DW Stadium.

With Antolin Alcaraz (hamstring) out for three weeks, Beausejour is likely to profit from a defensive reshuffle that is likely to see Maynor Figueroa move back from the wing-back berth he filled at West Ham last weekend.

Wigan are seeking to complete a first ever league double against Spurs and know only three points will take them out of the relegation zone on goal difference from Aston Villa, who are not in action until Monday.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is not losing any sleep over how to stop Gareth Bale.

It has been a task beyond most Premier League defences and there must have been a point two or three weeks ago when Martinez wondered whether he would have to give any thought to it as Bale was laid low by an ankle injury.

Unfortunately for Wigan, the brilliant Welshman recovered in time to face Manchester City last weekend, and scored his 18th league goal of the season as Spurs rallied to win 3-1.

That came 24 hours after Martinez had seen key defender Antolin Alcaraz limp out of his own side's defeat at West Ham with a hamstring injury that will keep the Paraguayan on the sidelines for three weeks.

It was not the news Martinez needed ahead of a crucial phase of his side's relegation fight.

But the Latics chief does not see any point worrying about it.

"Tottenham can only play with 11. They can't play with 13 or 14," he said.

"If Gareth Bale didn't play it would just be someone else and their squad is of the highest level, so it is not as if it would be substantially easier for us if he wasn't there.

"We all agree Bale is one of the best players in world football. He will always bring an extra threat.

"But if you want to beat a team like Spurs, with Gareth Bale or not, you need a very good level of performance."

Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon has recovered from his knee injury and is available.

Forward Gareth Bale and striker Jermain Defoe suffered no reaction to their respective ankle and pelvis problems against Manchester City last Sunday and are fully fit for the trip to the DW Stadium.

Midfielder Sandro (knee) and defensive duo Younes Kaboul (thigh) and William Gallas (calf) are unavailable.

A win would push Spurs up from fifth to third just 24 hours before Arsenal and Chelsea face Manchester United and Swansea respectively.

Boss Andre Villas-Boas has challenged his team to repeat last weekend's second-half performance in what he concedes could be the match which determines whether Spurs will be playing in the Champions League or Europa League next season.

"We fought very, very hard against City," the 35-year-old said.

"It was a game we needed to win to keep us in the battle.

"It gave us a tremendous boost of confidence. To transfer it to the Wigan game is our objective.

"The opponent is completely different, they are involved in a different battle and only if we are able to transfer that motivation will we be able to get the three points.

"I think probably out of these remaining games the Wigan game could be the decisive factor for our run in."





PA

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