Wigan are faltering in their quest to secure an eighth successive season in the top flight as they have lost five of their last six encounters. With only three wins all season a severe upturn in form is required and taking on Everton will not do much to breed confidence. In the 15 Barclays Premier League meetings between the two sides they have enjoyed the sweet taste of victory just twice. Everton climbed into the top half courtesy of a first win in five games after Darron Gibson’s first goal for his new club proved decisive against Manchester City. It was David Moyes's 150th Premier League victory, making him the fourth manager to reach the milestone after Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp. The Toffees have lost just once from their previous four away from home, with three of their four wins on the road this term coming against sides in the bottom five.
• Wigan have gone nine matches without victory at home since August (D3, L6).
• Everton have only scored eight goals in their last 11 Premier League games and never more than once in a game in that run.
Wigan will welcome back Mohamed Diame to their midfield following his return from the Africa Cup of Nations. Hugo Rodallega seems likely to earn a recall to the Wigan starting lineup having started on the bench in the 3-1 defeat to Spurs in midweek. He could take the place of Franco Di Santo who picked up an ankle knock in a challenge with Benoit Assou-Ekotto. The only problem remains with Antolin Alcaraz who continues his recovery from the groin injury he picked up against Sunderland.
Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic are set to be included in Everton’s squad. The latter seems more likely to start, replacing Denis Stracqualursi in attack. Sylvain Distin and Jack Rodwell are edging closer to fitness but are not quite ready while Phil Jagielka, Leon Osman and Seamus Coleman are still some way off a comeback.
Possible starting XIs:
A Al-Habsi • E Boyce, G Caldwell, M Figueroa • R Stam, M Diamè, J McCarthy, J Gomez, J Beausejour • V Moses • H Rodallega
T Howard • P Neville, T Hibbert, J Heitinga, L Baines • L Donovan, M Fellaini, D Gibson, R Drenthe • T Cahill • N Jelavic (or D Stracqualursi)