Tuesday, 7.45pm, Live on Sky Sports 1
WE'RE off to the north west – and it's do or die for Wigan as they welcome Swansea to the DW Stadium, desperate for maximum points in order to increase the pressure on the rest of the relegation pack.
Roberto Martinez's side currently occupy the final drop zone place and sit three points off nearest pretenders Sunderland and Newcastle so it's vital they pick up the points from this vital clash.
With just three league games remaining – and a tough trip to Arsenal on the horizon _ the Latics will know they must make the most of their home advantage in this encounter in order to realistically keep their top tier dreams intact.
The FA Cup Final against Manchester City on Saturday will provide some respite from that wearing Premier League campaign but Martinez will be desperate not to let that looming Wembley trip distract his side from what is unmistakably a massive game for the hosts.
Swansea go into this clash in miserable form. No side is on a longer winless run that the Welsh side – and it has been a whopping seven outings since Michael Laudrup's side secured three points.
There's no denying this year will be looked back on as an incredible season for the visitors but since lifting the League Cup back in February they have managed just one win in the league.
That they still sit ninth in the table even after that run is testament to the emphatic way the Swans began the campaign and they will be desperate not to slip into a less respectable lower-league position with just a few left to play.
Wigan like to play an open and free-flowing game, especially at home, and that is conducive to goals, goals, goals.
The Latics need to “go for it” at this stage in the season – and no goalless draws all campaign suggests that killing games isn't part of Martinez's philosophy.
In fact, five of the Latics' last seven home games have gone over 3.5 goals and that is available at a whopping 3.55.
Additionally, only one side has failed to score at the DW Stadium this season – and that was Norwich back in March – which suggests the visitors will be presented with a chance or two.
But Swansea are capable of grinding out a low-score draw. Indeed, no side has been involved in more 0-0 stalemates than Laudrup's side, which leads me to under 2.5 goals at odds of 1.95 as a slightly more cautious but ultimately safer option.
The hosts will line up for this clash with an attacking feel to their side and it is no surprise hotshot forward Arouna Kone is 5.4 favourite to break the deadlock and add to his 11 goals this campaign.
There is also value in Shaun Maloney to be the first to notch in this game at 8.4 – and the Scot has hit three goals in his last two for the hosts.
The visitors are likely to be without influential frontman Michu and that means Laudrup is likely to call upon Luke Moore to lead the line in this one which could make the 9.4 available on him to be the first to make his mark on this clash worth a look.
And for those fancying one at long odds, look no further than Emmerson Boyce for the hosts – who has already notched three this season – and is a massive threat in the air from set-pieces.
Three of Wigan's last five Premier League goals have been headers, which shows just how much emphasis they place on making their set-pieces count, and the towering centre-half is 40 to break the deadlock here.
Martinez's side will be desperate to alleviate some of the end of season pressure in this game, and I expect them to come out all guns blazing.
They have scored in the first half in three of their last four home outings and I reckon they will be looking to notch as early as possible in order to give themselves some breathing space.
Add to that, the visitors have conceded in the first 45 minutes in their last four on the road and I don't expect this one to remain goalless for long.
Wigan are available to be winning at half-time and full-time at a cracking 3.05 and that's definitely worth a look – but I also fancy Wigan to score in both halves at a tasty 2.42.
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.95
Shaun Maloney FGS @ 8.4
Wigan to score in both halves @ 2.42