I’m writing this a little earlier than usual as I will be driving down to Somerset and then Plymouth today.
Make no mistake, Wigan are a much more formidable team than they used to be. They haven’t lost at home since October, so if we sneak a win tonight it will be a mark of how far we have come. Wigan have tended to be one of our bogey teams, especially at Upton Park, although I think we did win up there fairly recently.
Clearly, the one enforced change will be the replacement of Valon Behrami. Conventional wisdom suggests that Mark Noble will come in as a straight swap, but after Savio’s bright showing on Sunday perhaps Zola might decide to give him his first start. No, to be honest, I don’t think so either.
Otherwise it will clearly be the same lineup that started against Man City.
I think the key to this game will be the performance in midfield. Wigan are a battling side so we need to have Scott Parker and Kovac at their best in the centre. They have Mido back, and he always gives us trouble, so Tomkins and Upson will need to be on their guard, especially as Zaki is also due a goal.
I’d be happy with a point, to be honest.