Wigan Athletic-Stoke City Preview
By TOM BENNETT
STATS European Football Writer
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Wigan Athletic will be looking to move out of the Premier League relegation zone as they visit the Britannia Stadium to play Stoke City on Tuesday evening.
The Latics (5-4-14) have taken just one point from their three league games in 2013, but remain just one point from safety going into the latest round of Premier League matches. Roberto Martinez's side were handed a morale boost as they progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Macclesfield on Saturday, and the Wigan manager was delighted with the win.
"What is important is that as a football club were are equipped to deal with three competitions within one season," said Martinez. "It's not about using 12-15 players, it's about using our full squad and allowing the levels of competitiveness to grow with each week, and progression in the FA Cup will help to bring that.
"We want to go as far as we can in the competition and who knows where that can take us, but for now it's helping to bring a winning feeling around the club and that is a real positive feeling to have."
Stoke City (6-11-6) are comfortably mid-table with 15 games remaining, but they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester City on Sunday, prompting manager Tony Pulis to turn his attention towards guaranteeing Premier League safety.
"We've got to move on now because getting to 40 points is the priority, as it has always been and we now have a massive game on Tuesday," he said. "There are no gimmes in this League and Wigan will be a tough one. They are fighting for their lives and they have been a little bit of a bogey side for us.
"They are a good side, but we have played well against them for long periods in recent matches, but have not got the results that we have deserved."
Stoke have doubts over Geoff Cameron (hamstring) and Rory Delap (calf), while Marc Wilson remains out with a broken leg. Wigan have concerns over the fitness of Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and Albert Crusat (knee), but Ivan Ramis (knee), Adrian Lopez (hamstring), Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Ben Watson (broken leg) remain out.
The Potters twice came from behind to draw 2-2 when these teams met at the DW Stadium in September on Peter Crouch's equaliser in the 76th minute. Wigan had over 60 percent of possession in the game, but Stoke managed more than twice as many shots on target (7-3).
No team outside of the top six has managed more road wins than Wigan's three this season, but the Latics have averaged less than one goal a game away from home (10 goals in 11 games). The Potters have lost just once at home all season, conceding only 11 goals in 11 games, but their tally of 14 goals scored at home is the lowest in the top half of the league.
Updated January 27, 2013