Wigan Athletic - West Ham

After a fantastic start with an opening-day win against Aston Villa (2-0 away), Wigan made three defeats in a row. First Wolverhampton took all three points from DW Stadium, then Man.Utd. did the same in a big style (0-5) and in last round Latics were defeated at Goodison vs. Everton (1-2). All that is followed with embarrassing exit to Blackpool (1-4 away) in the League Cup and 2-12 goal difference in those four games! New manager Roberto Martinez starts to feel pressure. During the transfer market, team lost two best players, Valencia and Cattermole, while transfer deadline day was a frustrating affair. Ex-Swansea player Ferrie Bodde reportedly topped Wigan’s list, but no deal was brokered so Martinez must hope he’ll be able to stabilize his floundering team with existing players. Despite the result, team showed some progress against Everton, but they simply need some time to gel up and their results should be better as the time pass. Jason Koumas has shaken off his muscle problem and Martinez has no fresh injury doubts after the international break. Excellent French, Olivier Kapo, is also back in training after ligament damage he suffered in pre-season, but is not yet match-fit. Wigan have lost nine of their last 12 league games.

Zola's second season in charge of West Ham has begun with a win, draw and defeat. Starting win against Wolverhampton (2-0 away), goalless draw in last round at Ewood vs. Blackburn and home defeat vs. Tottenham. And maybe, they put the best display against Spurs, showing potential for a top half of the table. With two lucky shots (including Cole’s disaster mistake), visitors scored twice and turned the result in their favor. The biggest concern for Zola was scoring enough goals, with mentioned Carlton Cole shouldering much of the workload. It should be solved with a new signing, Alessandro Diamanti from Italian side Livorno. He made a debut for reserve team, scoring two times from free kicks (6-0 win over Birmingham), which should be enough to find himself in starting eleven. Second club’s acquisition is defender Manuel da Costa, from Fiorentina and he also could make his debut. Midfielder Valon Behrami is back in training after long time knee injury, but won’t be ready for all 90 minutes and will probably start the game from the bench. Defender Herita Ilunga (cheekbone) remains an absentee. West Ham did the double over Wigan last season and have a good record at the DW Stadium, winning four of the five Premier League matches. 

My opinion is hosts are not (even the slight) favorites here and they need some time before start collecting the points and maybe make a run in the middle of the table. On the other hand, visitors have talented and very well balanced team that already have started to notice good results. I think they’re closer to victory, but cover a possibility of draw with Asian handicap (DNB). Odd (arround 2.35) is high and definitely worth of bet. 

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