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Premier League preview: Wigan v Everton

Everton striker Nikica Jelavic will be the main danger for Wigan when the two sides clash in the English Premier League on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Croatian scored twice for Everton in their 3-1 win over Southampton last week and has three goals for the season to sit equal ninth on the Premier League scorers’ standings.

Jelavic’s brace against Southampton takes his career tally to 12 goals from 18 league games for Everton, since joining the Merseyside club from Scotland’s Rangers in January.

Everton defender Seamus Coleman gave his teammates plenty of praise after the Southampton game, which was Jelavic’s first starting appearance back from a knee injury.

“He (Jelavic) scored a lot of goals in Scotland and people may have wondered whether he could do it here but he’s come down and made it just as easy,” Coleman said.

“He is a fantastic striker and if you give him half a chance he’ll score a goal.

“It is great he has been scoring regularly.”

Everton head to Wigan as the second-placed team in the Premier League, having claimed four victories and one draw in their opening six matches.

It has been an uncharacteristically good start for Everton under manager David Moyes and they have also been unusually dangerous in the forward third with Marouane Fellaini (three goals) and Victor Anichebe (two) also impressing up front.

Fellaini has thrived in a more advanced role this season, regularly playing just behind the lead striker, after a couple of seasons where he was often used as a defensive midfielder.

With a creative and exciting midfield of Kevin Mirallas, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman providing goal-scoring opportunities, Moyes’ team have been pulling teams apart and they will fancy themselves at Wigan, who have conceded 11 goals this season.

Wigan are one of the six-worst defensive sides in the Premier League but manager Roberto Martinez will hope the likely return of Paraguayan defender Antolin Alcaraz may help against Everton.

Martinez’s team lost 1-0 away to Sunderland last week.

For Everton, Steven Naismith should return after missing the Southampton game with a knock, while Anichebe should have recovered from a chest infection and Tony Hibbert (calf) is also expected to be fit.

Thu 4 October, 2012
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