West Brom v Wigan, 15:00
– West Brom saw off Southampton last weekend with a 0-3 victory with proved to be a dramatic affair with three players sent off.
– Gareth McAuley will have an incredibly important role this weekend, structuring a defence against a Wigan side who will be battling for their lives. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index certainly suggests he is up to the task though, having made a squad-high 303 defensive contributions at an average rate of one every 10.5 minutes he’s been on the pitch.
– Midfielder James Morrison will once again be the conduit through which most of West Brom’s game will flow this weekend. Morrison has successfully completed 595 passes in the opponent’s half this season, the highest in the Baggies squad, at an average rate of one every 4.6 minutes.
– One wonders where West Brom could have found themselves this season without the powerful contributions of Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian striker having provided exactly a third of their 42 goals this season. His rewards in front of goal can be credited to his accuracy in front of goal, as despite struggling to find the net before last weekend he still has a shot accuracy rate of 66.2%.
– A late own-goal denied Wigan a much-needed three points as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Tottenham in a result which left their Premier League future still very much in doubt.
– Wigan fans will be keen to Arouna Kone display some of trademark sharp shooting this weekend ahead of the looming fixture against Swansea in the league and the FA Cup Final against Manchester City a week on Saturday. Kone has been in fine form this season, racking up a squad-high 75 attempts on goal, with one of those attempts finding their way on target on average once every 58.5 minutes he’s been on the field.
– Ali Al Habsi may well be set to reclaim his place ahead of a crucial run of games for Wigan. The big stopper has made 138 saves this season at an average rate of one every 19.5 minutes this season, a level of expertise that Roberto Martinez could do with as the Lactics approach a few weeks which will define their season.
– Honduran international Maynor Figueroa is set to miss the season’s run-in following a groin injury sustained last weekend against Tottenham. Figueroa has been an integral part of Wigan’s season to date, making a squad-high 295 defensive contributions, including 187 interceptions.