FT: Everton 2 Wigan 1

Thanks for joining us today. Everton just abut deserved their win today after improving in the second half but Wigan fans can take heart from a battling display. On another day they would have left with a point.

As for Wigan, they stay in the bottom three - they've lost ground on Southampton today and are now one point from safety.

There's the final whistle - Everton win 2-1 and it's another three points in their battle for a top-four spot. They are back into fourth for now.

Caldwell the latest to be booked. He went into Heitinga with a boot high. Luckily there didn't appear to be contact but it was dangerous. Fair decision.

Wigan bang it long via Figueroa but it''s overhit and the ball runs out for a goal kick.

McCarthy lashes a shot over the top from the edge of the box, right of centre. is that the last chance?

Beausejour crosses well from the left. It's nodded down for Di Santo who is adjudged to bring the ball under control with his arm. Correct decision.

Figueroa has a shot blocked on the edge of the box as Wigan push for the equaliser.

Jelavic joins Figueroa in the book.

Figueroa is booked for catching Naismith late. No difference in that challenge to some that went unpunished earlier.

Oviedo nicks the ball from Gomez to end Wigan's latest attack down the right.

A dangerous delivery from Baines is well dealt with by Wigan in their own six-yard box.

Naismith is stopped by a good challenge in the Wigan box. The ball goes out for a corner.

Worth mentioning there was a hint of handball about that Kone goal as the ball looped towards him.

Gomez tries a shot from outside the box. It deflects up off a defender and Howard is able to grab. This is going to be a nervy finish for the home side and their fans.

GOAL - KONE. Wigan back in it as Kone pokes home after Everton fail to deal with a a looping ball. Maloney's shot flew up into the air. Jagielka and Baines both failed to clear and Kone nudged it past Howard. Another game without a clean sheet for the Toffees who could now panic.

Jordi Gomez comes on for Wigan, replacing Stam. Wigan must attack now.

Everton should see it through from here but you never know!

GOAL - JAGIELKA. Neville swings in a good cross from the right and Jagielka, still up from the corner, nets with a fine header which goes in off the underside of the crossbar.

Naismith flicks a header down the line to Jelavic. He races down the right before trying to pick out Naismith. However, Boyce's excellent tackle denies the Scot.

Di Santo gets up for a header but sends it wide under pressure from a home defender. He wants a corner but isn't getting one.

Di Santo scored in the reverse fixture and has netted at Goodison in the past. Can he find an equaliser here?

Di Santo is coming on for Wigan in place of David Jones.

Almost 2-0. Baines lashes in a cross-shot from the left which Naismith slides in on at the far post but can quite get the touch he needs to score.

Everton are making changes as they look to steady the ship. Johnny Heitinga replaces Hitzlsperger, while Bryan Oviedo comes on for Anichebe.

Another opportunity for the Latics. A good move ends with a low ball in from the right to Kone but with the Ivorian in a good position in front of goal, Neville makes a vital block. Good spell this for the visitors.

Almost an equaliser. Maloney miscues a shot which is heading wide. Distin intervenes and sends the ball goalwards but luckily for him it's straight at Howard. Had it been either side that would have been an own goal.

Replays show that was a bit nasty from Pienaar. He wasn't very near the ball when he went in on Caldwell and his studd clearly caught the knee.

Pienaar tries to thread the ball through to Naismith but the pass is cut out on the edge of the box. Caldwell got caught by Pienaar in the process there and is now limping. He's got a cutt on his knee.

Good news for Everton fans - the Croat is back on his feet, although he is walking somewhat gingerly.

Jelavic injures himself with a perfectly good tackle on Figueroa. He's down holding his knee - it could be a bad one as the contact was at the side of the joint.

From the corner, Caldwell rises at the far post and heads the ball back across goal only for the ball to drop well wide. Goal kick.

Maloney scampers down the left but is tracked by Jagielka, who is forced to concede a corner. Better from Wigan now after a wretched start to the second half.

All sorts of controversy as Maloney goes down in the box but no penalty is given. Osman didn't get the ball and it looked like he just caught a bit of Maloney. Mr Mason says no though - perhaps thinking he was already on thje way down when contact was made. Wigan not happy but the game goes on. Beausejour was booked, presumably for his protests.

All sorts of system problems here so apologies for the lack of updates thus far in the second half.

Everton looking to double their lead break with Jelavic. He's tackled by the ball almost runs to Naismith. Narrow escape for Wigan.

GOAL - OSMAN. The England midfielder's shot from the edge of the box takes a wicked deflection off Caldwell and wrong-foots the keper.

Hitzlsperger cracks a shot against the bar from 25 yards plus.

Early Everton attack sees Jelavic get to the byline on the left. His pull back almost finds Pienaar but Wigan manage to clear.

Thomas Edison expects a "tough" second half for Everton but is predicting they will still emerge 2-0 wnners.

Everton are out to 4/5 for the win at the break, with Wigan now a tempting 5/1. They've defended pretty well so far and look lively on the break. 0-0 is just a 3/1 shot now at Sky Bet. Click here to bet in-running.

As I head off for a cuppa, let me have your feedback. I particularly want to hear on what you'd do now to change things - Everton will expect to win this to stay in the top-four race, while surely a point will suit Wigan given their position in the bottom three. Is it time for Franco Di Santo? What's David Moyes' next move? Email me: andy.schooler@bskyb.com

There's the half-time whistle and it remains goalless. A disappointing game so far. Everton have had more of the play but have failed to do much with it. Wigan look a little more dangerous when they attack but 0-0 is the right scoreline based on what we've seen in the first half.

The fourth official signals there will be one added minute.

Everton's attack continues but ends when Pienaar chips the ball into the box but straight into the arms of Al Habsi.

Everton win a free kick 30 to 35 yards out, just left of centre. Gibson hits it but it cannons off the wall.

Replays show it did appear to his his shoulder. Probably the correct decision that.

The fifth flag kick is punched by Al Habsi to Maloney who, still in the box, appears to nudge it under control with the top of his arm. The ref says shoulder and penalty appeals are turned down. Think that fits into the category 'seen them given'.

The fourth comes to Pienaar beyond the far post. He crosses - guess what - it's turned behind.

The first corner is headed behind, as is a second and a third is then turned behind by a foot.

Anichebe fails to find Jelavic in the box. However, the ball bobbles around as Wigan fail to clear, eventually coming back to the Nigerian. He tries a shot himself but it deflects wide for a corner.

Everton clear another ball into their box but the defending looks awkward due to the wet conditions. Still no goals but one mistake could change all that.

A poor ball into the box from Maloney is a real waste. Stam was in acres of space further back on the right. The ball should have gone to the right-back but instead it's over-hit and goes out for a goal kick.

Not a great game this. Everton are struggling to break down the visitors, who are arguably looking more threatening when they do go forward.

Jagielka has a 25-yarder blocked by Figueroa

Anichebe's shot at the other end takes a deflection and runs out for a corner. Baines' delivery is easily dealt with though.

Wigan attack down the left through Kone. He finds Stam coming up from the back by Howard, diving to his left, saves the shot.

Everton have a couple of attacks break down deep in Wigan territory - they are struggling to find that killer final ball.

Good tackle from Baines this time stops Wigan's latest attack with Maloney looking to find his way through the middle.

Kone tries to break dow the left but he's stopped by a - this time - perfect sliding tackle. Jagielka was the man with it.

Now it's Anichebe sliding in on McCarthy. Another free kick. Everton need to stay on their feet more here. Cards can't be far away now.

Shaun Maloney strikes the free kick powerfully but Howard steps to his right to make a comfortable save.

Darron Gibson brings down McCarthy around 25 yards from the Everton goal. Free kick in a dangerous position here. Gibson gets what looks like a final warning from Mr Mason.

Some neat interplay between Maloney and Kone on the edge of the box but the moves comes to nothing as Everton regain possession.

This time it's Jelavic who rises for a header in the Wigan box. However, the result is the same as Anichebe's effort - well wide of the target. Still 0-0.

Little between the sides so far. Everton enjoying more of the ball, as you'd expect, but they've yet to trouble Ali Al Habsi.

Hitzlsperger bends the ball into the box from the left and Anichebe rises only to head the ball wide of the far post.

Anichebe is late on McCarthy with a sliding tackle. Again, just a word from ref Mason.

Wigan deal with the first and then a second flag kick before Pienaar commits a foul and the pressure is lifted.

Everton attack down the left. Baines skips past Ronnie Stam and finds Pienaar. His shot is turned past his own near post by Boyce. Corner.

Plenty of stop-start stuff at the moment as Everton are awarded a free kick deep in their own half.

Osman's cross from the right is headed behind by Maynor Figueroa for Everton's first corner. From it, Baines delivers to the far post where the ball comes off Distin's midriff and runs wide.

Jagielka receives treatment, jogs to the side of the pitch before resuming.

The corner is a decent one. The ball is cleared to the edge of the box from where McCarthy tries one. His shot is charged down though. The game is then stopped as Jagielka is down having clashed heads with Emmerson Boyce.

Jagielka mis-kicks and the ball goes behind for the game's first corner.

Confusion in the Everton defence almost proves costly. With Arouna Kone lurking, Sylvain Distin has to get a late toe on the ball. The ball flicks up into Howard's arms. Wigan appeal for a back pass but it wasn't - it was just panic in the home penalty area.

Pienaar slides in and catches David Jones. Free kick but no card - ref taking into account conditions you feel.

Worth mentioning that Phil Neville, Leon Osman, James McCarthy and Franco Di Santo are all just one booking away from a ban. If any one of the four is booked today, they will miss their club's weekend game.

Wigan's first attack is down the left via Jean Beausejour. He whips in a cross which is too close to Tim Howard, who collects albeit at the second attempt. That probably shows how wet the ball is.

Everton go straight on the attack and Victor Anichebe blasts high and wide after a decent lay-off from Nikica Jelavic.

Kick-off: Wigan, in a black kit today, get the game under way attacking the Gwladys Street end.

The teams emerge from the tunnel to the sound of the Z-Cars theme, as is traditional at Goodison. They are led by today's referee, Lee Mason, who will be getting us under way shortly.

It's worth letting you know that it's chucking it down at Goodison right now as the players continue their warm-up. No concerns about the game going ahead though. Looks like the ball will be fizzing off the turf - could be a tough day for the goalkeepers.

If you are just joining us, all the team news can be found below. Kick-off is at 1500 GMT.

Today is the first set of reverse fixtures in this season's Premier League. These two sides played out a 2-2 draw back in October at the DW Stadium. Overall, Wigan have a poor recent record against the Toffees - they've not won in any of the last eight. There have been four Everton wins and four draws in that period.

Everton fan Keith O'Brien emails to say: "I defo think we are top 4 quality now. Think once we click in all departments we are going to dish out some heavy defeats to any club. If we beat Chelsea (on Sunday) we will have a great chance top 4 or 3. Fingers crossed Jelavic clicks again, needs bit of luck."

Are Everton genuine top-four contenders? And are Wigan going to teeter on the brink only to survive yet again? Let me know your thoughts - and how you think this one will go tactically following those team announcements. Email me at: andy.schooler@bskyb.com.

My thoughts on this one? Everton have been playing well and have lost just twice this season. Wigan have taken just one point from the last possible 15. With that in mind, I'm expecting a home win but with Everton having not kept a clean sheet since September, both teams to score may be worth a bet. I'll go 3-1 Everton - the same prediction as our first emailer of the day, Stewart MacLaren. That's 11/1 at Sky Bet, while both teams to score can be backed at 8/11.

Wigan also make once change to the side that lost 1-0 to Arsenal on Saturday. Gary Caldwell returns with Franco Di Santo dropping to the bench in what looks a more defensive line-up.

The team announcements mean Phil Neville will play his 500th Premier League match today - it looks like he will be at right-back with Phil Jagielka reverting to his favoured position of centre-back. Thomas Hitzlsperger is the man who comes into the side, replacing Johnny Heitinga.

Wigan team: Al Habsi, Kone, McCarthy, Caldwell, Jones, Maloney, McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour, Stam, Figueroa. Subs: Pollitt, Ramis, Golobart, Gomez, McManaman, Di Santo, Boselli.

Everton team: Howard, Baines, Gibson, Jagielka, Jelavic, Distin, Hitzlsperger, Neville, Osman, Pienaar, Anichebe. Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Naismith, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios.

Everton are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games against Wigan and punters expect the Toffees to extend that record today. Everton are odds=-n with Wigan friendless in the betting at 11/2 with the draw 16/5. Nikica Jelavic is popular at 7/2 to net the first goal for the home side. If you fancy a bet on today's game, you can place one by clicking here.

Welcome along to today's game - it's a 1500 GMT kick-off. We'll have the team news shortly. In the meantime, if you'd like to send in your comments, feel free to email me at: andy.schooler@bskyb.com. I'd particularly like to hear your thoughts on whether Everton are really serious contenders for a top-four spot and if Wigan are going to make another great escape having slipped into the bottom three recently.

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