Tottenham will face Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Saturday evening, with the knowledge that three points against the struggling Latics will temporarily boost them above Arsenal, in the race for Champions League football next season. The reverse fixture between these sides finished in favour of Roberto Martinez's men, with Ben Watson scoring just before the hour mark.
Where to Watch
Kick-off is at 3pm BST. Highlights will be available on Match of the Day on BBC One and BBC One HD, from 10.30pmBST.
Wigan come into this game after a 0-2 defeat at West Ham United. Martinez has developed a reputation in recent campaigns for phenomenal end-of-season results and surviving relegation by narrow margins. If the Spanish manager wishes to do that again this year, he will have to get a move on; Wigan have won only twice in the last five Premier League games.
The Latics are 18th and in the final relegation spot, with Aston Villa three points ahead. As things stand, then, not only do Wigan need to make up those three points but also worry about goal difference: they have -23 compared to Villa's -27. All of this means the game between the two, at the DW and on the final day of the season, could become an epic fight for Premier League survival.
Martinez has a reasonable home record, with four wins and as many draws from 16 games. The problem is at the back though. They've conceded 32 goals at home, which is the most in the league. And against a side who have been particularly prolific on the road (Spurs have scored 31 in away games and only Manchester United (35) have scored more), this is likely to be a major problem.
Meanwhile, Tottenham fans received some good news early on Saturday, after manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed the club could retain Welsh wizard Gareth Bale, despite overwhelming interest from Real Madrid, if they qualified for the Champions League.
Spurs are on an absolute high after a stunning late charge saw them beat Manchester City 3-1 at White Hart Lane. And Bale, we need hardly add, was on the scoresheet. The defeat means AVB remains with two points of Arsenal in third and enjoys the advantage of a game in hand. Champions League qualification, and holding on to Bale for at least one more year, are now well within Tottenham's grasp.
The win over City also helped ease fears of a late season crumble; Tottenham were winless in three games (all 2-2 draws) when Roberto Mancini came to town. The good news, though, is the club have not lost a game, in any competition, since Fulham beat them in mid-March. Domestically though, they need to start winning games, with only one win in the last five.
On the road, Spurs have been superb. They've won more games than any side except United and lost the least number in the league.
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): L L W D W
- Last Match: West Ham 2 - 0 Wigan Athletic
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W D D D W
- Last Match: Tottenham 3 - 1 Manchester City
Antolin Alcaraz (hamstring) is unavailable and Spain centre-back Ivan Ramis (anterior cruciate ligament) is out for the season, leaving Martinez to start Maynor Figueroa in the centre of defence. Ben Watson (leg) has resumed training but is not fit to play. Jean Beausejour could drop to left-back, to cover for Figueroa, as he did against the Hammers in the last match.
Probable Line-Up: Robles; Scharner, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, Gomez, McCarthy, Beausejour; McManaman, Kone, Maloney
William Gallas (calf) and Younes Kaboul (thigh) are definitely unavailable. England international Aaron Lennon (knee) is available but is expected to start from the bench. Fellow international Jermain Defoe is expected to start after a good performance against City last week.
Probable Line-Up: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Parker, Dembele; Dempsey, Bale, Sigurdsson; Defoe