Roberto Martinez’s side have the chance to go five points clear of the relegation zone, although it’s a big ask to see them winning at the Emirates despite the recent excellent run of form which saw them beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s team by a single goal last week.
Wigan are 11/1 (bet365 £200 free bets) to claim victory and they will be full of confidence after a deserved win against United where they dominated proceedings for much of the contest. They had previously been unlucky to lose 2-1 at Chelsea and Ferguson admits they are in a false position.
A lack of goalscorer has been a problem for Athletic this term, although it was Shaun Moloney that scored a peach of a winner last week and the former Celtic midfielder is 20/1 (Ladbrokes) to open the scoring at the Emirates against a side that cruised to a 3-0 win at Wolves last week.
Arsenal are extremely well-placed when it comes to a top four finish in the Premier League, sitting five points ahead of Tottenham and Newcastle, with a victory in this match likely to give them an unassailable total when it comes to two teams leapfrogging them.
There will be some meaty bets piling in at odds of 2/7 (Paddy Power bookmaker) about the Gunners claiming victory and they do have 12 victories from 16 home games this term, with Arsene Wenger’s side having won eight of their last nine matches.
This includes a recent 1-0 win over Manchester City to demonstrate how powerful they have become at the Emirates this term, with Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott likely to make this a difficult evening for the Wigan defence. The Dutchman is heading towards a first ever Golden Boot prize and can be backed at 9/4 (Coral free bets) to score the first goal here.
Walcott is available at 13/2 (Bet Victor) and does appear to have hit scoring form in recent games which is good news for England’s Euro 2012 tilt, while there is an attractive 4/5 about Arsenal leading at half-time and full-time in this game at Paddy Power.
Perhaps Wigan will limit the home team to a few chances and a 1-0 and 2-0 victory for Arsenal can be backed at 8/1 and 13/2 respectively. The Gunners defence certainly looks strong with Thomas Vermaelen stopping everything in his tracks.