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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Wigan v Spurs - 02.04.11

Last Season's Corresponding Game - Won 3-0
This Season's Home Game - Lost 1-0
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What happened in the Premiership in Match 31 2009-10

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Wigan

Prem          Pl  W  D  L   For-Ag  Pts
Home           6  3  2  1   18 - 5  11
Away           5  2  2  1    9 - 6   8
Total(Prem)   11  5  4  2   27 -11  19
Grand Total   11  5  4  2   27 -11  19

Last Six Premiership results:-


West Brom  2-2   Wigan
Wigan      4-3   Blackburn
Liverpool  1-1   Wigan
Wigan      0-4   Man Utd
Man City   1-0   Wigan
Wigan      2-1   B'mingham

Blackburn  0-1   Spurs
Spurs      2-1   Bolton
S'derland  1-2   Spurs
Blackpool  3-1   Spurs
Wolves     3-3   Spurs
Spurs      0-0   West Ham

Pos       P  W  D  L  F-A   GD  Pts
 5 Spurs 29 13 10  6 41-34   7  49
20 Wigan 30  6 12 12 29-51 -22  30
We have to win this one!

Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy made an astute observation within his introduction to the club's interim financial statement published yesterday (31st March, 2011). he has clearly had his attention drawn to certain statistics and said this:-

"The statistics will show how fiercely competitive the Premier League now is. We shall look back and be disappointed with our form against clubs in the bottom quarter of the table if we fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League at the end of this season. It has been in these fixtures where we have taken fewer points than any other team in the Premier League and this is the anomaly in what has otherwise been one of our greatest ever seasons."

This season's poor record against teams who would be involved in the struggle for Premier League survival started with the home match against Wigan on 28th August, when we lost 1-0 to the team we beaten by that marvellous score of 9-1 last season. We didn't even manage a home league goal until our third such game in September against Wolves in a match which was one of our rare successes so far this season against bottom sides.

Wigan have spent 20 weeks of this season in the bottom three, and yet with 30 points they are just three points behind 13th placed Blackburn, with everything to fight for, and plenty to achieve. It's become a well-worn cliche, but there really are no easy games in the Premier League. Wigan's points total after 28 games was the highest of a bottom placed Premier League side since Oldham in 1993. Whether their sixth season in the premier league is their last remains to be seen.

Last year's 3-0 win at the DW Stadium was our most convincing away result there, but it came courtesy of two late goals by substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko. It was the start of a purple patch for "Super Pav", who scored 8 goals in 7 games between February and the end of March. It is a fact that Pavlyuchenko was our top scoring striker in 2010, and in all games, he is our top scoring striker so far this season with 11 goals. It is likely that Pavlyuchenko will start this game alongside Defoe, who will be after his 100th Premier League goal to become just the 20th player to hit this mark. Defoe has 66 league goals for Spurs to his name, and is behind Teddy Sheringham and Robbie Keane (97 & 91) in the quest for 100 Premier League goals in Spurs' colours.

In one or two cases, injury worries will dictate Harry Redknapp's team choice for tomorrow's game. Gareth Bale is described as doubtful for the Real Madrid game, so I suggest he is hardly likely to travel to Wigan. Steven Pienaar is fit and raring to go, and may start on the left. William Gallas is also an injury worry, and maybe Corluka will cover in the middle with Hutton at right back? Ekotto and the fit Dawson have to play. Tom Huddlestone is back in full training and may be on the bench here, with perhaps Jenas and Sandro in the middle. It is not likely in my view that both Modric and Van der Vaart will start, and both may be on the bench with Lennon playing on the right wing. Kranjcar will fancy a start too. What do I know? It's guess work anyway, with Harry seeking to save his best selection for Tuesday in Madrid.

As long as we have got our best players on the bench, just in case things go pear-shaped, then I think that Spurs have got the players to overcome a Wigan side that has won two of their last three games at home. Chelsea are at Stoke this week-end and Man City at home to Sunderland. Spurs simply have to win this one to keep the pressure on these two teams that are still within our reach at the top. I'll take us to edge it 2-1.

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