AVB: Wigan can upset Gunners
Published 13/05/2013 | 16:33
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is backing Wigan to pull off another shock win over Arsenal on Tuesday night and boost his own side's hopes of hanging on to a Champions League qualifying place.
Emmanuel Adebayor's late winner at Stoke on Sunday lifted Spurs back over their north London rivals into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League table, but the Gunners will regain pole position with a win at the Emirates.
But with the newly-crowned FA Cup winners heading to London knowing they need another win to stand any chance of staying in the top flight, Villas-Boas said: "Obviously there is great emotion and motivation going through the Wigan players' heads at the moment, and we saw the message from Dave Whelan saying they are absolutely focused."
He added: "I expect them to give them a hard game because the objectives are there for both teams. Arsenal are a very experienced side, but Wigan are very, very motivated to save themselves."
A win for Arsenal would take them back above Tottenham with one game to play - the Gunners go to now-safe Newcastle on the final day while Spurs face Sunderland at White Hart Lane.
And while Arsenal have to remain favourites to clinch fourth spot, Villas-Boas said: "For us the objective was to take this into the last game of the season and that is what we will do."
Villas-Boas singled out Clint Dempsey for helping to keep Spurs' Champions League dream alive after his long-range equaliser following Steven Nzonzi's early strike, before he set up Adebayor's late winner.
Dempsey has gained something of a reputation for coming up with crucial strikes and the American admitted he would like to score more after notching what was his seventh of the season at the Britannia Stadium.
Dempsey told Spurs TV: "I haven't scored as many goals as I did last year but I'm pleased that they're important ones. Hopefully I can keep scoring important goals that also get my goal tally up.
"It keeps our dream alive that in the last game we will get the right result, and then maybe with a little bit of luck and the way the results go in the Arsenal games we might have a chance."