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Premier League

  • 16 October 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 44415

Newcastle United - Wigan Athletic Preview: Fabricio Coloccini set to return for home side after groin injury

Newcastle United - Wigan Athletic Preview: Fabricio Coloccini set to return for home side after groin injury

Team News

Newcastle United

Defender Fabricio Coloccini has overcome the groin problem that caused him to be substituted in the first half of Newcastle's last game against Manchester City.

Danny Simpson and Danny Guthrie are fit again after making comebacks in the reserves, but manager Chris Hughton will have to decide if they are sharp enough to play any part in the game.

One player who there is no uncertainty about is Hatem Ben Arfa. The French midfielder faces a lengthy absence after the double leg break he received after a tackle from Manchester City midfielder hardman Nigel de Jong.

Leon Best, Dan Gosling, Steve Harper, and Steven Taylor are also long-term absentees.

Possible Starting XI: Krul; Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Jose Enrique; Routledge, Tiote, Barton, Gutierrez; Nolan; Carroll.

Wigan Atheltic

Manager Roberto Martinez has Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley fit after a knee problem and goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi has recovered from a virus.

Antolin Alcaraz is a doubt and is rated 50-50 to start the match by the club's official website, while Gary Caldwell will not be risked despite returning to action for Scotland.

Possible Starting XI: Al Habsi; Boyce, Gohouri, Steven Caldwell, Figueroa; McCarthy, Thomas, Diame, Gomez, N'Zgobia; Rodallega.

Newcastle look to avoid third successive home defeat

Chris Hughton will be hoping the side that beat Aston Villa 6-0 turn up, rather than the side who have lost 2-0 to Blackpool and 2-1 to Stoke City in their last two Premier League games at St James' Park.

Newcastle did not lose a single home game in the 2009/10 Championship winning season but have not continued this form into their Premier League campaign. In fact, Newcastle have won just two of their last 13 Premier League games at St James' Park and have lost three of their last four.

With the exception of their remarkable 6-0 victory over Villa, Newcastle have failed to score more than one goal in a league game this season. The St James' Park faithful will be hoping this changes when Wigan visit on Saturday.

Latics look to build momentum

Perhaps surprisingly, Roberto Martinez's Wigan side are the only Premier League team who are yet to concede away from home this season. They may have only played two games away from the DW Stadium but a 1-0 against Tottenham at White Hart Lane and a hard fought 0-0 draw against Birmingham at St Andrews are two results that have made people who tipped the Latics as certain relegation candidates sit up and take notice.

Wigan fans could not be blamed for being optimistic going into their game with the Magpies as they are unbeaten in their last three games against Saturday's opposition. However, they would do well to remember they have failed to win in their last five visits to St James' Park so will be looking to break their recent hoodoo.

Whilst the Latics are keeping goals out, they are also struggling to score. They have not managed a goal in the first-half of a Premier League game this season and will be hoping that they manage to put this right at St James' Park.

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Players to watch

A. Carroll

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Andrew Carroll has been tipped to be included in Fabio Capello's England squad for the friendly with France next month, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts to being dropped to the substitutes bench a fortnight ago in Newcastle's last match against Manchester City.

Chris Hughton told BBC Sport that Carroll "just wants to play football and enjoy it, he will not be fazed by talk about England."

It seems the Magpies will need Carroll to enjoy his football on Saturday as the striker, who recently penned a new five-year contract, will need to be at his unplayable best if Newcastle are to break down a solid Wigan back line.

C. N'Zogbia

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Charles N'Zogbia has not sulked since being re-instated into the Wigan midfield after his failure to move to a different club this summer. It seemed as if N'Zgobia was on his way to join former boss Steve Bruce at Sunderland but any transfer has not materialised and manager Roberto Martinez has had no problems with putting the wantaway winger back in his side.

The Latics will play on the counterattack at St James' Park and will rely on N'Zgobia's pace to catch a somewhat shakey Newcastle defence on the break. His delivery from both open play and set-pieces will also be crucial if Wigan are to pile more misery on to the Magpie's home form this season.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Newcastle United

Wigan Athletic


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