Following the first six games of the campaign, some would argue that both of these sides have experienced positive starts by their own standards. Even though Wigan sit in a lowly 16th position, the fact that the Latics are not yet in the relegation zone will be pleasing for fans considering their struggles in the past. However, Everton are likely to be even more satisfied, with the Toffees experiencing their best start to a season in eight years as they occupy 2nd place in the top flight.
Few people will argue with the fact that Wigan’s survival last term was bordering on a miracle and many were impressed at just how Roberto Martinez masterminded such an achievement. However, despite that success, most have once again tipped the Latics for another campaign of struggle. On first viewing, that looks likely, with the club hovering just two places and one point above the bottom three. Moreover, their form leading into this clash isn’t very good at all, with Wigan picking up just one point in their last four Premiership outings. Nevertheless, something that will always work in Wigan’s favour is their unpredictability and the fact that the Latics have proved over the last couple of years that they can beat anyone on their day should hold them in good stead for the rest of the season.
Everton are a completely different animal on the other hand and David Moyes finally seems to have found the right formula for the way in which the Toffees start a season. For many years the Goodison Park outfit have struggled in the opening months of a campaign, yet this year this certainly is not the case and the fact that the club are just three points behind Chelsea speaks volumes about their success. They approach this game having collected seven points from their last three top flight outings, while they have also managed to win two out of the three games they have played on the road this term.
In relation to team news, Wigan have been handed a pleasant surprise for the game after Jordi Gomez’s red card that he picked up against Sunderland last week was rescinded. However, it’s not all good news and Roberto Martinez is preparing to be without Antolin Alcaraz again as he continues to struggle with a groin injury. Everton on the other hand look set to hand a late fitness test to Steven Naismith, who is currently struggling with a calf problem. Should Naismith not pull through, he’ll join the likes of Darron Gibson and Tony Hibbert who are already ruled out of the game.
There’s no doubt that Everton have started much more successfully than their opponents ahead of this game, but we have a strange feeling that Wigan could snatch all the points. The Latics are used to causing surprises and with the club classed as massive underdogs in this encounter, we think they could cause an upset and record a 2-1 win.