Wigan Athletic v Chelsea: Match Preview

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Wigan Athletic v Chelsea; DW Stadium; Barclays Premier League; Saturday 17 December 2011, 17:30

Team News

Antolin Alcaraz is a doubt for Wigan with a rib injury, so Latics boss Roberto Martinez may look to Emmerson Boyce who is set to return to the starting line-up.

Chris Kirkland has recovered from the back problem that cut short his loan spell at Doncaster, and so the injury-prone goalkeeper is in contention for a place on the bench.

For Chelsea, David Luiz returns from the one-game suspension that ruled him out of Monday's Stamford Bridge clash with Manchester City, and Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has no new injury worries ahead of the trip to the North West.

Villas-Boas wants to keep momentum

Andre Villas-Boas believes Chelsea are now in a strong position to build on the ground they have made up in recent weeks, and is hopeful his in-form side can maintain their current momentum to narrow the gap at the top of the Barclays Premier League table.

A hard fought 2-1 victory over leaders Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Monday night moves the Blues to within seven points of the summit, and the Portuguese tactician is targeting an extended run of form to keep the pressure on the teams at the top.

Three successive victories has catapulted Chelsea right back into the title race, and with winnable fixtures over the festive period to come - starting with today's trip to the DW Stadium to face a lowly Wigan - Villas-Boas is optimistic about the future.

"The fact that Manchester United have moved to within two points of City because of our victory changes the perspective of how the Premier League looks," he said.

"Nothing is decided in December and January, we have reduced the distance by five points over the last four games and Man City play Arsenal this weekend so that could have an influence.

"We play Wigan, Tottenham, Fulham and Aston Villa; if we can shorten it by another five points that would be magnificent but we will see."

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Wigan Athletic

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