Arsenal have clawed their way back in to the Champions League chase, which makes this away match against Wigan all the more important to continue their positive momemtum
Despite all the doom and gloom hanging over Arsenal at the moment, things aren't necessarily that bad for Arsene Wenger's band of merry men. They've only lost once in their last seven Premier League matches, netting 16 goals (including two five goal outburst) and beating their rivals Tottenham. They've also pulled themselves back up to fifth place, only two points behind Spurs for a Champions League spot. Yet, things are not all right because there's still the feeling that when it comes down to it, this team isn't very good.
It seems more likely that this Arsenal team is just inconsistent at the moment and definitely shaky in the defense at times. It's a team you can't fully trust to achieve the result that you think they should be capable of. This week's match against Wigan is another good litmus test for the Gunners as Wigan are a team they should be. No disrespect intended to Roberto Martinez's team, but Arsenal should win this game.
If they don't, the concerns will continue to mount and the questions will continue to be asked. If they do, they could find themselves right back in the Top 4...what a silly sport this is.
Wigan sit in 17th, stuck in the relegation zone thanks to goal differential. They aren't expected to beat Arsenal but any result in this match would be a big boost for the Lactics.
Wigan injuries and suspensions
Out: Antolin Alcaraz (groin). In doubt: James McCarthy (ankle)
Arsenal injuries and suspensions
Arsenal are mostly healthy with no new injuries and the same few names still recvoering from long-term issues. Wigan would be without James McCarthy who injured his ankle against Norwich. Alcaraz won't be back until after the new year.
Match Date/Time: 1:45 p.m. local, 7:45 a.m. ET
Venue: The DW Stadium, Wigan, England
TV: ESPN2 (U.S.), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.), TSN2 (Canada)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)