Wigan v Tottenham: Gary's Cald down to shut back door

WIGAN'S players made the ultimate apology to their travelling fans in November, refunding the unfortunate witnesses who made the 400-mile round trip to see the horrendous 9-1 defeat...

PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW BY BEN PEARCE

Wigan Athletic v Tottenham Hotspur

Sunday, 4.15pm

WIGAN'S players made the ultimate apology to their travelling fans in November, refunding the unfortunate witnesses who made the 400-mile round trip to see the horrendous 9-1 defeat.


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However, the Latics have an even better opportunity to placate their fans this weekend, by gaining revenge when their torturers from N17 come to their own back yard on Sunday.

Fortunately for Spurs, the DW Stadium has hardly been a fortress this season. Roberto Martinez's have only won three of their 12 home games in the league, and just one of their last nine - against struggling Sunderland back in November.

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Ironically, the rearguard which was decimated in Tottenham has not been a major problem in Wigan.

While only Hull and Burnley have conceded more top-flight goals in total, less than a third of those have come at home (15 out of 49).

Martinez bolstered his back line in January by bringing Gary Caldwell down from Celtic, and fans claim that the defence has looked much more organised since the arrival of the 27-year-old Scottish international, suggesting that they have missed a vocal organiser at the back since Arjan de Zeeuw left in 2007.

Wigan's apocalyptic demise 13 weeks ago owed much to former Tottenham left-back Erik Edman - who was deputising for Maynor Figueroa and was largely at fault for six of the goals.

Unfortunaely for Spurs, the 31-year-old's contract was cancelled earlier this month and instead they will face Figueroa, the Honduran who scored from his own half against Stoke in December.

Tottenham may face a better Latics defence this weekend, but Wigan's problem at the DW Stadium has been at the other end of the pitch.

Only Wolves have scored fewer than the meagre 11 Premier League goals that Martinez's boys had netted in front of their own crowd.

Much of the blame must fall on striker Jason Scotland, who turned 31 on Thursday. Although relatively cheap at �2million, he has failed to score in the Premier League after following Martinez from Swansea last summer, despite holding down a first-team place throughout the campaign. His only goal for Wigan came against Notts County in the FA Cup.

Hugo Rodallega has been more dangerous, netting seven times, but Martinez boosted his attacking options in January, paying �2.5m to take 19-year-old prospect Victor Moses from Crystal Palace.

Ham&High Sport verdict: Spurs have returned to their traditional form away from home, winning just two of their last 11 trips away from the Lane in all competitions.

Meanwhile, the Lilywhites have won just one of their four visits to Wigan, and nothing about their recent performances on the road suggests that they will do this time.

Prediction: Wigan 1 Tottenham 1

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