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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Martinez Expecting Tough Test

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez says games against Everton are as tough as any in the Premier League.

The Blues travel to the DW Stadium on Saturday looking to pick up a fifth win of the season and maintain their grip on second spot.

Everton have lost only one away game against the Latics in their history and Martinez is wary of the challenge facing his side.

"Games against Everton have always been close calls, especially here at the DW Stadium," said the Spaniard.

“They have different dimensions in the way they play, they can stretch you as a team and have the individuals to really penetrate the opposition.

“Their work rate and competitive edge is as good as you’ll find anywhere in the Premier League, and they appear to be continuing with the momentum picked up back in January, playing with confidence and smiles on their faces.

“We’ll have to be at our best, there’s no doubt about that."

Midfielder Jordi Gomez will be available for the match after the red card he picked up at Sunderland last week was rescinded.

Martinez will also have striker Franco Di Santo to call upon after he made his comeback from a calf injury at the Stadium of Light.

Paraguayan defender Antolin Alcaraz is unlikely to feature however.

“Franco has recovered well from his injury,” said Martinez. "He came off the bench at Sunderland and has since been working hard with the group to fully regain match fitness, so I expect him to be available.

“Antolin’s situation is a bit different. He’s been recovering well but it’s too early at this stage to tell whether he’ll be available or not for Saturday."

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