Bournemouth v Wigan
Saturday, Jan 06 – 15:00pm
Bournemouth held Brighton to a 2-2 draw on New Year’s Day, and have now won just two of their last 12 matches in the Premier League. The Cherries experienced a good run in the EFL Cup, before being knocked out by Chelsea last month, and Eddie Howe will be looking for more of the same in the world’s oldest cup competition. Howe has confirmed that he will be fielding some fresh faces for today’s match, with Ryan Fraser expected to return to action, after sitting out the Brighton game with a hamstring problem. Joshua King, Jermain Defoe, and Tyrone Mings are all sidelined with injuries.
Wigan have been in fantastic form over the last few weeks, and currently sit top of the League One table, winning 17 of their 25 league matches – including four of their last six. Attacking midfielder Nick Powell scored the only goal when the Latics beat Northampton Town on Monday, and has hit top form recently, scoring 6 goals in 11 matches for Wigan since the start of the season. Paul Cook could be without Alex Bruce for today’s match, who is struggling with back injury; however, Ryan Colclough could return to the starting XI following a recent shoulder problem.
What the stats tell us:
- The last time these two sides met in the FA Cup was back in 2013, with Wigan beating Bournemouth 1-0 in a third round replay – the Latics went on to win the tournament that year.
- Bournemouth’s last FA Cup clash with Wigan marked the last time the Cherries drew a match in the tournament – they have won four and lost five since.
- Wigan have only lost one of their last seven matches against top-flight opponents in the FA Cup – losing 4-0 to Man United last season.
- The Cherries have lost three of their last four matches at home in the FA Cup – failing to find the back of the net on each occasion.
This is a tale of one team in top form against another in miserable form; however, Bournemouth are two divisions above Wigan – which has to count for something. The Cherries will be looking for a confidence booster today, but this one could be a potential banana skin for the home side, so Eddie Howe’s decision to rotate his squad may not be a wise one. Wigan have been great all season, and we can see them causing an upset here.