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Premier League preview: West Brom v Wigan

West Bromwich Albion will hope loan signing Carlos Vela can give them an edge when they host relegation rivals Wigan on Tuesday.

Mexican international Vela arrived at the Hawthorns on Friday and will remain on loan from Arsenal for the remainder of the season.

The 21-year-old forward has struggled to make an impression at the Emirates Stadium behind Robin van Persie, Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner as Arsenal challenge for the Premier League title.

But his unpredictable talent could prove vital as West Brom battle against returning to the Championship at the first time of asking.

Roberto Di Matteo’s side are 16th in the table, three points clear of the last relegation place, which is occupied by Wigan.

West Brom have won just twice in eight league matches and lost 2-0 away to Blackburn in their last outing on January 23.

Wigan meanwhile can climb out of the relegation zone if they beat West Brom and Birmingham lose or draw.

But they have played one game more than their hosts on Tuesday and two more than Birmingham.

Wolves, the team immediately beneath them, also have a game in hand.

If Wigan lose and West Ham United win or draw, they could find themselves at the bottom of the table, something manager Roberto Martinez will be desperate to avoid.

West Brom are still without Steven Reid due to a knee injury, while Marc-Antoine Fortune and Giles Barnes are both in doubt.

Wigan have overcome many of the injury problems that blighted the first half of their season, but Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley is still suffering from a hamstring problem.

Viktor Moses made his long-awaited return from a shoulder injury in Wigan’s 0-0 FA Cup fourth-round draw with Bolton on Saturday.

And Martinez will be hoping the promising forward can make a difference as his team battle to retain their Premier League status.

Mon 31 January, 2011
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