Roberto Martinez takes his Latics team to the North East determined to hang on to an excellent away record this season, in 3 league and cup games It`s two wins and one draw with no goals conceded.
That record will be put to the test this afternoon with Newcastle trying to get back on track following a decent start to the season they have lost their last two league games, so today should see them come at the Latics with all guns blazing.
Martinez will have some selection dilemmas ahead of the game, Jordi Gomez performed well against Wolves and scored a stunning free-kick, Tom Cleverley has made himself available for selection following his two good performances for the Under 21`s this week.
Add to this Diame, McCarthy, Watson, Moses, Stam, Thomas and McArthur also vying for the midfield places then the boss has some serious choices to make.
Up front is another area that could see a change, Rodallega, Boselli and Di Santo will all be wanting to run the Latics front line, Di Santo could get the nod with Hugo playing out wide.
If Alcaraz fails his fitness test expect to see one of the Caldwell brothers step in, otherwise it should be as you were.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘They have got a group of players with great experience in the Premier League enjoying a great period in their careers.
‘They are really hard to play against, hard to break down’
‘I`ve watched them four times now this season and in every game they were the better side but didn`t always get the result that they deserved’
‘They have got a great team ethic, a great togetherness and a few individuals who are world class’
‘St. James Park is a football environment that we will have to be ready to perform in’
Newcastle United Team News:
Guthrie & Simpson are both classed as doubtful due to lack of fitness, whilst Best, Gosling, Ben Arfa, Harper and Steven Taylor are all out
Krul, Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Campbell, Jose Enrique, Routledge, Nolan, Carroll, Tiote, Barton, Gutierrez, Ameobi, Soderberg, Lovenkrands, Ryan Taylor, Smith
Player to watch: Andy Carroll
A lot’s been said about the big striker, it’ll be interesting to see if he lives up to the hype.
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Antolin Alcaraz is rated 50/50 otherwise its a fit squad to choose from:
Al Habsi, Boyce, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Stam, McCarthy, Thomas, Diame, Gomez, N’Zogbia, Di Santo, Watson, Rodallega, Kirkland, Boselli, Moses, Steven Caldwell, Gary Caldwell, Cleverley
Player to watch: Charles N’Zogbia
Interesting to see how Charlie reacts to the boos he will undoubtedly recieve also intersting to see how the Geordies react to seeing Charlie play in his ‘true’ position
Latics and Newcastle have met on 11 previous occasions
Latics 5 wins, Newcastle 4 wins, draws 2
Last Six Meetings
26/12/2008 – Premier League – Latics 2 Newcastle 1
15/11/2008 – Premier League – Newcastle 2 Latics 2
26/12/2007 – Premier League – Latics 1 Newcastle 0
01/09/2007 – Premier League – Newcastle 1 Latics 0
25/02/2007 – Premier League – Latics 1 Newcastle 0
19/08/2006 – Premier League – Newcastle 2 Latics 1
Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
Why not take a look at our excellent Meet The Ref article
Heart says 1-0 Latics win
Head says 1-1 draw, a close game either way
Latics v Bolton Wanderers
Latics v Swansea City