Saturday, 3 November 2012

Latics v Tottenham - Premier League Preview

The Latics are aiming to bounce back from their midweek cup exit at the hands of Bradford City, as they go in search of back to back league wins for the first time this season, against in a form Tottenham at White Heart Lane.

Roberto Martinez opted to make nine changes to his starting XI on Tuesday evening, and is likely to call upon the same side that secured their first home league win of the campaign against West Ham last weekend.

Franco Di Santo

Long term absentees Albert Crusat and Antolin Alcaraz are still unavailable while Ryo Miyaichi is still struggling with injury following his return from international duty with Japan.

The Spaniard will be looking towards striker Franco Di Santo to the line, who was rewarded for his fine recent form with his first senior international call up for Argentina, for their friendly with Saudi Arabia this month.

Despite also being knocked out of the Capital One Cup in midweek, Spurs head into the game in great form and currently find themselves in fourth spot. The Latics will have to ensure that the influential Gareth Bale is kept quiet, as he netted three times against them last season.

Three seasons ago the Latics suffered a humiliating 9-1 defeat at White Hart Lane, but followed that up with a 1-0 win of their own, the following season.

Gareth Bale

Having been able to pull off a number of great escapes in previous seasons, this campaign has been seen by Martinez as a significant one, where he is keen for his side to be genuinely considered as an established Premier League side.

In order to achieve this, a level of consistency must me maintained, as Martinez explained to the media on Friday afternoon: “Now is the time to bring consistency in performances and results which is where our focus is right now.”

“We know it’s going to be a tough game for us but our aim is to carry on the good football shown against West Ham United last weekend, taking that level of performance to White Hart Lane to be as good as we can be.

“There are lessons to take from our last two away games against Sunderland and Swansea City, aspects of our game that need to improve if we are to get a positive result on the road.”

In what is already shaping up to be a tough November, with Liverpool, West Brom, Reading and the Champions Manchester City to come. Martinez and his team know that the next month will determine their season and they will be looking to pick up something on the road and will of course have fond memories of their last trip to North London when they beat Spurs’ rivals Arsenal.

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