Steve Bruce takes his Latics side up the A1 to face Sunderland today with just three points separating the two sides in the table.
Worryingly for Bruce must be the lack of wins, it is now 8 games since Latics beat Spurs with a last minute Maynor Figueroa goal and though there have been four draws it is the lack of scoring that is letting the side down.
Last week against West Ham the Latics only created a couple of chances and Robert Green in the West Ham goal wasn`t troubled by either, add to that the fact that we have only scored two goals in the last eight games and then the cause for concern jumps straight in to your face.
Bruce has hinted that he will reshuffle his attack, he says Zaki may benefit from a spell on the bench, not scored in open play since October 18th, and go with Mido, no goals from open play, and Rodallega , no goals at all.
The question that begs to be answered though is are we creating chances for the forwards?
Since Wilson Palacios left for Spurs in January we have been woeful in scoring and seeing as Palacios hadn`t scored for us maybe it was his creative spark that is missing.
I bet the end of the season cant come soon enough for Bruce so that he can concentrate on sorting out a playmaker for the centre of our midfield because we certainly need one
What the bosses say:
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
Talking about new signing Cho Won-hee
‘It’s a big ask to throw him in after three months out.
‘I want to give him every opportunity to be physically right, and it might be this weekend, the weekend after, or the one after that. We will see because I don’t want to rush him.
‘When you sign a player from overseas it’s always about how they adapt to playing in England, but with his personality he will give himself every chance.’
Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia:
‘If we can win on Saturday, that takes us to 35 points and we have earmarked 41, so we would be six points off that.
‘It is tight. We have got to pick up points. I would like to be in Wigan’s position right now rather than mine, to be honest with you.
‘But we are confident enough. We don’t have a fear. We know we are capable of beating them.’
Sunderland Team News:
Kieran Richardson abd Nyron Nosworthy are out Anton Ferdinand and Teemu Tainio are doubtful
Fulop, Gordon, Bardsley, McCartney, Collins, Ferdinand, McShane, Davenport, Ben Haim, Whitehead, Malbranque, Tainio, Leadbitter, Edwards, Yorke, Reid, Cisse, Jones, Murphy, Healy.
Player to watch: Malbranque
Talented player who can cause problems for the opposition
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Cattermole suspended and Sibierski once again injured, new signing Cho Won-hee available now his papers have come through.
Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Cattermole, Watson, N’Zogbia, Valencia, Kapo, Zaki, Mido, Kingson, Pollitt, Edman, Brown, Boyce, Rodallega, Sibierski, Koumas, Cho.
Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega
The Colombia forward could be in line for a start here today and fans expect a lot from the talented player, lets see if he can deliver
Sunderland 2-0 Wigan Athletic
9th February 2008
Referee Mike Dean
All League Games:
Sunderland 3 wins, Latics 3, Draws 5
Mike Dean (Wirral)
Games – 22
Yellows – 91
Reds – 8
Heart says 0-1 Latics win
Head says 1-1 draw
Latics Vs Hull City