Tottenham Hotspur looked sensational for much of last season and at one point even had people whispering that they might title contenders. Meanwhile, Wigan was on their way to sure relegation. But when winter turned to spring, both teams' fortunes changed. Spurs tanked and ended up missing out on the Champions League and Wigan finished hot as can be to avoid the drop with room to spare.
Luckily for Spurs, they don't have to play the Latics in the spring (at least not yet). If last year's story holds -- and there is no reason to believe it won't so long as we are perfectly lazy -- Tottenham will have no problem on Saturday. Wigan are still in their fall and winter swoon and Spurs are picking up points, even if not always beautifully, and are en route to the Champions League.
The Latics are coming off of an impressive 2-1 win over West Ham, but that was their first win in six Premier League contest so this is still the same cold weather Wigan that we saw last year. That said, there is a way through for Wigan and predictably, it is through Kyle Walker.
Arouna Kone, Jean Beausejour and Maynor Figueroa can all cause problems for the Spurs right side if isolated on Walker. To be fair, anyone could put Walker in a bad spot, but those three especially can do it.
The question for Spurs will be whether they can find goals. Clint Dempsey has had a bad first month with Spurs and with Gylfi Sigurdsson also failing to impress, there isn't an in-form option to replace him. Moussa Dembele will miss yet another match through injury, taking away his dynamic play from the middle and as good as Jermain Defoe has been, he doesn't bring others into play the way Emmanuel Adebayor does. The Togolese is finally healthy again and will be available for selection, but he will likely be relegated to bench duty as he works towards fitness so the onus will be on Defoe to play well again.
Of course, there is that whole playing for a full 90 minutes thing. Spurs haven't managed that, instead starting exceptionally only to fall apart late. It is so very Spursy, and so very Andre Villas-Boasy.
Match Date/Time: Saturday, November 3; 11 a.m. ET, 3:00 p.m. local
Venue: White Hart Lane, London, England
TV: Fox Soccer Plus (USA), Sportsnet Regional (Canada)
Streaming: Fox Soccer 2 Go (USA)
Radio: Talksport Radio (UK)