Wigan Athletic are looking for back to back Premier League wins as they take on Sunderland at the DW Stadium this afternoon.
With much of the pre-match focus on former Latics connections at Sunderland, managers, coaches and players the selection problems facing Latics boss Roberto Martinez seems to have taken a back burner.
Following on from an excellent win and more importantly performance against Spurs at White Hart Lane it would be expected for the Latics to keep the same starting eleven from that game but the boss has four players available to him that he didn`t a fortnight ago.
New signings Tom Cleverley and Franco Di Santo have come into the squad, Chris Kirkland is available for selection after getting over a minor injury and Charles N`Zogbia has impressed in training both with his attitude and application so he too is pressing for a recall.
It is a good problem to have and it shows that the Latics squad is finally getting some quality in depth.
Sunderland come to the DW Stadium with new signing Asamoah Gyan waiting to be unleashed on the Premier League but he may have to wait a little longer, no training, international travel and all the excitement of joining a new club leaving the Ghana international tired and rated at 50/50 for today
It would be easy to talk about Bruce, Black, Cattermole, Bramble, Benson etc but I`m not going to apart from saying that I can see either Cattermole or Bramble being really fired up and getting a red card for an over exuberant tackle.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez
‘The type of performance with which we achieved the result at Spurs was very pleasing’
‘Now is the moment for us to back it up with a similar performance at home and make sure that we are a consistent team with all of the real high points in our performance that we’ve already shown.
‘We’ve been delighted with the way that the internationals have gone this week as everyone has had a part to play and I think it has been a positive experience from an individual point of view.
‘Every time you go away with your national team, there is a feeling of pride that you bring back to our dressing room.
‘The players who stayed behind have been able to work really well and I think it’s been a positive break for everyone.’
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce
‘Our record there is awful, but then again, I would never under-estimate Wigan.
‘It’s a difficult place for everyone to go to, and I just hope we can go and perform.
“I had 18 months at Wigan and I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it”
“We had a degree of success there – we had to have had, otherwise I wouldn`t have got the job at Sunderland.
“But make no mistake they want to turn me over.
“There`s plenty of people there who will be motivated by the desire to perhaps show the old manager a thing or two.
“But that`s natural and it`s not my concern.”
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Gary Caldwell is still way off afetr his hip operations and Victor Moses is out with an ankle injury otherwise Martinez has a full squad to choose from. James McCarthy has a slight knee injury but is expected to play
Al Habsi, Stam, McArthur, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Thomas, Diame, McCarthy, Boyce, Rodallega, Boselli, Gomez, Pollitt, Watson, S Caldwell, McManaman, Mustoe, Kirkland, N’Zogbia, Di Santo, Cleverley
Player to watch: Momo Diame
The midfield will be an important area in this game and Diame will need to be strong
Sunderland Team News:
Fraizer Campbell and Michael Turner are out but Mensah returns and new signing Asamoah Gyan is rated 50/50 due to being tired?
Mignolet, Ferdinand, Mensah, Bramble, Richardson, Elmohamady, Henderson, Cattermole, Malbranque, Welbeck, Bent, Carson, Zenden, Riveros, Colback, Waghorn, Gyan
Player to watch: Titus Bramble
Former fans favourite, will Titus disappoint and have a great game or will the occassion get to him and have a howler
Latics and Sunderland have met on 15 occasions
Latics 6 wins, Sunderland 3, Draw 6
Last Six Meetings
06/02/10 – Premier League – Sunderland 1 Latics 1
28/11/09 – Premier League – Latics 1 Sunderland 1
14/03/09 – Premier League – Sunderland 1 Latics 2
13/09/08 – Premier League – Latics 1 Sunderland 1
09/02/08 – Premier League – Sunderland 2 Latics 0
05/01/08 – FA Cup – Sunderland 0 Latics 3
Peter Walton (Northants)
Why not take a look at our excellent Meet the Ref article
Herat says Latics to win 2-0
Head says 1-0 Latics win, either way I see a home win and a clean sheet
Latics v Manchester City
Sunday 19th September 2010