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January 2, 2011 4:00 PM GMT
The DW Stadium — Wigan
Referee:‬ H. Webb‎
Attendance:‬ 15277‎
Shola Ameobi 19′

Wigan Athletic - Newcastle United Preview: N’Zogbia begins suspension while Andy Carroll misses out with thigh injury

By Alex Fisher

Team News

Wigan Athletic

Wigan winger Charles N’Zogbia is unavailable for the visit of his former club as he starts a three-game suspension after being sent off against Arsenal for a headbutt on Jack Wilshere. James McArthur and Jordi Gomez will be battling it out to replace the French winger to provide that creative spark the Latics will need to record a third home victory of the season.

Defender Emmerson Boyce and striker Franco Di Santo could make a return to the squad following leg and ankle injuries respectively but both are still doubtful. However James McCarthy (ankle) and Victor Moses (shoulder) are both long-term absentees and therefore will still be unavailable.

Potential Starting line-up: Al-Habsi; Stam, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Cleverley, Watson, Thomas, Diame, McArthur; Rodallega

Newcastle United

Alan Pardew has no new injury worries ahead of their trip to the North West, but he may be able to welcome back striker Shola Ameobi and midfielder Dan Gosling. Ameobi has been out with a hamstring injury but is still doubtful for the clash, while Dan Gosling could be in contention to make his first appearance since arriving at the club on a free in July.

Meanwhile, striker partner Andy Carroll has been ruled out with a thigh injury meaning Ameobi may be thrust back into things quicker than expected.

However Pardew may not want to rush either player back into the first team in case they pick up further injuries whilst still lacking match fitness. Defender Ryan Taylor and midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa are still sidelined for the Magpies and are unlikely to be available for selection until mid February.

Potential Starting line-up: Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, Taylor, Perch; Routledge, Barton, Smith, Tiote, Gutierrez; Ameobi.

Home comforts boost for Latics

The two sides have met nine times in the Premier League with both sides dominant on their own grounds. Wigan have won all four clashes at the DW Stadium, three of them by one goal to nil, scoring five goals in the process while restricting Newcastle to just one goal.

When the clubs met earlier in the season at St James' Park they fought out an action-packed 2-2 draw. Two goals by N’Zogbia looked to have given Wigan victory but a Shola Ameobi strike and a last-minute Fabrizio Coloccini header earned the Magpies a dramatic point.

New year could lead to new start

Wigan grabbed themselves a deserved point against Arsenal after coming back from 2-1 down to get a 2-2 draw despite being down to 10 men. The Latics are now unbeaten in six league games at home, and are currently on a four-match unbeaten run which has seen them rise to 16th in the Premier League table.

However the pressure is on new Magpies boss Alan Pardew, who arrived at the club in early December and after winning his first match against Liverpool has lost the two matches since. Newcastle have recorded impressive away victories at Arsenal, Everton and West Ham already this season but are currently on a three-game losing streak away from home and will be hoping to put an end to that at the DW Stadium.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
26Ali Al HabsiGoalkeeper
-Ronnie StamDefender
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
5Gary CaldwellDefender
2S. GohouriDefender
14Jordi GómezMidfielder
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
20H. ThomasMidfielder
8Ben WatsonMidfielder
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
12Mike PollittGoalkeeper
13Steven CaldwellDefender
3Maynor FigueroaDefender
26Adrain LopezDefender
16James McArthurMidfielder
15Callum McManamanStriker
-Mauro BoselliStriker
22Stephen HarperGoalkeeper
25Danny SimpsonDefender
2Fabricio ColocciniDefender
27Steven TaylorDefender
3José EnriqueDefender
17Joey BartonMidfielder
4Kevin NolanMidfielder
24Cheikh TioteMidfielder
18Jonas GutierrezMidfielder
-Peter LovenkrandsStriker
23Shola AmeobiStriker
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
6Mike WilliamsonDefender
14James PerchMidfielder
15Wayne RoutledgeMidfielder
17Alan SmithStriker
20Leon BestStriker
30Nile RangerStriker
Players to Watch
Tom Cleverley
Tom Cleverley
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
21 1 3 0
The on-loan Manchester United midfielder has been in impressive form for the Latics this season, making 11 appearances so far and scoring three goals. With N’Zogbia suspended the responsibility for creating chances for Wigan will fall on Cleverley, a role he should flourish in.
Joey Barton
Joey Barton
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 17
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The bad boy of English football has calmed down somewhat in recent seasons and become a mainstay in the Newcastle midfield. Already this season he has won plaudits for his role on the right with some expert set-piece delivery and the Magpies will need more of the same at Wigan.
Probable Lineups
Ali Al Habsi 26
Ronnie Stam 0
Antolín Alcaraz 32
Gary Caldwell 5
S. Gohouri 2
Jordi Gómez 14
Mohamed Diame 21
H. Thomas 20
Ben Watson 8
Tom Cleverley 23
Hugo Rodallega 20
Stephen Harper 22
Danny Simpson 25
Fabricio Coloccini 2
Steven Taylor 27
José Enrique 3
Joey Barton 17
Kevin Nolan 4
Cheikh Tiote 24
Jonas Gutierrez 18
Peter Lovenkrands 0
Shola Ameobi 23
Newcastle are struggling at the moment, and with Wigan’s impressive home record the Latics could extend their unbeaten run to five games. They will feel the effects of the absence of Charles N'Zogbia through suspension but they should still have enough to beat a Newcastle side struggling for confidence under their new manager.
Editor's Prediction
Wigan 1
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