Date: 2nd January 2012 at 10:43pm
Written by:

The Latics face Sunderland tonight in the first game of the New Year at the DW Stadium, Roberto Martinez will be hopeful that his team can carry on the good form that saw them come through a tough December with heads held high and some useful points in the bag

A win against the Black Cats would see the Latics climb to the dizzy heights of 16th and get them out of the bottom three for a week at least

A win would also give the Latics their first double of the new season having beaten Sunderland at the Stadium of Light back in November, Franco Di Santo knocked home a late winner to see off Steve Bruce’s side 2-1

Of course Sunderland have got themselves a new boss since then, Martin O’Neill coming in and steadying the ship with some great results, three wins from five games, the latest on Monday when they beat Manchester City with some dramatic late finishing of their own

So no doubt a tough game for the Latics, but one that they should, if they play to their potential, get something from

What The Bosses Say:

Latics boss Roberto Martinez

The change of Manager at Sunderland has galvanised the team and they have had some very positive results since Martin O’Neill’s arrival’

‘There seems to have been in a big change in the way they play and the belief they have in themselves which will mean we’ll have to be at our best.

‘Going into January it’s a very important game for us after the month we’ve had in December; facing Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.

‘We’ve passed the month with flying colours and have shown a real belief in ourselves, playing outstanding phases of football and coupling that with results in the score-lines.

‘The results have been good enough I feel to take us into 2012 ready to get the rewards this team deserves.’

Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill

‘Wigan are strong. It won’t be easy for us, we’re not good enough for it to be easy for us. So to play again [so soon] is a problem.’

Wigan Athletic Team News:

Gary Caldwell is suspended following his sending off at Stoke, Steve Gohouri will come in to replace him

Latics probable: Al-Habsi, Stam, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Jones, Diame, McCarthy, Gomez, Moses, Rodallega

Player to watch: Momo Diame

This will be Diame’s last game before he jets off to take part in the ACN for Senegal, will he sign off with a stormer?


By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Sunderland Team News:

Bardsley, Bramble and Brown all doubtful

Sunderland from Mignolet, Gardner, Brown, Kilgallon, O’Shea, Colback, Larsson, Vaughan, Elmohamady, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner, Ji,Carson, Laing, Meyler, Noble

Player to watch: Lee Cattermole

Former Latics player Cattermole never sees the game out on his return against us for one reason or another


By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Any Previous?

Latics and Sunderland have met 18 times

Latics 7 wins, Sunderland 4, draws 7

Ref Watch:

A change in the advertised referee appointment now sees Mike Dean replace Kevin Friend

Why not take a quick look at our ‘Meet The Ref’ article

Mike Dean Card Watch 2011/12

Games – 19, yellows – 64, reds -1


By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Match Prediction:

Head and heart says Latics win, 2-1 or 2-0

Up Next:

FA Cup 3rd Round
Swindon Town v Latics
County Ground
Saturday
7/01/12
3pm

Premier League
Latics v Manchester City
DW Stadium
Monday
16/01/12
8pm



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