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Premier League

  • 11 September 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: P. Walton
  • • Attendance: 15844
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Premier League Preview: Wigan Athletic - Sunderland

Premier League Preview: Wigan Athletic - Sunderland

Which team will turn up?

Wigan are a mystery wrapped up in an enigma. After two drubbings at the hands of Chelsea and Premier League new boys Blackpool, they then claimed a fine 1-0 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Sunderland have had a stop-start opening to their campaign. Throwing away points against Birmingham and then losing to Stoke were frustrating for the Black Cats’ followers. On the other hand, they then beat Manchester City 1-0 last weekend with a gutsy display.

Both teams therefore, are coming off the back of surprising victories and they will probably be thinking they can each follow up at the DW Stadium.

For Wigan this week, the focus will be in scoring their first league goal at home. Roberto Martinez’s men have conceded 10 and scored exactly none so far this season and were humiliated by Blackpool – many people’s tip for instant relegation – on opening day.

Martinez said after the Tottenham game: "I think today was a real test, a mental test. We had to be a team today, we had to have [those] ingredients you need in any sort of performance to be competitive, and we showed that in abundance.

"There are many areas we need to improve, get better, but today [we showed] the platform."

Hopes and expectations

Sunderland has been in a state of euphoric shock since their last minute winner against City and they will hope it can galvanise their season into life. Some big budget spending on transfer deadline day for Asamoah Gyan will help out Darren Bent, whose goals have saved the Black Cats in this season so far.

The unwelcome news for Sunderland are the comments made by manager Steve Bruce regarding his odds of becoming England manager. Bruce said: “This is a terrific job, a fantastic job.

"But I think if I got offered England or, was in the frame, it would mean I'd done a very, very good job here. I think most of our supporters would be happy with that."

Even though an appointment is likely to be nearly two years away, fans will be hoping the FA chooses one of Bruce’s fellow contenders.

TEAM NEWS


Wigan Athletic

Charles N’Zogbia could play on the left of midfield tomorrow after missing the trip to Spurs. The winger has remained at Wigan after a proposed move to Birmingham fell through. Chris Kirkland returns to the side after a hip injury but Victor Moses is struggling to overcome an ankle injury.

Gary Caldwell is definitely out with a hip problem.

Probable line-up: Kirkland; Gohouri, Alcaraz, Boyce, Figueroa; McCarthy, Diame, Thomas, N’Zogbia; Rodallega, Boselli.

Sunderland

Record signing Asamoah Gyan could go straight into the team up front with Darren Bent. The £13million signing is likely to replace Frazier Campbell who injured his cruciate ligaments in the win over Manchester City. Michael Turner also misses the game with an ankle injury, Phil Bardsley will probably take his place. John Mensah can return after recovering from his hamstring niggle.

Probable line-up: Mignolet; Ferdinand, Mensah, Bramble, Richardson; Malbranque, Cattermole, Henderson, Elmohamady; Bent, Gyan

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Players to watch

C. N'Zogbia

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Charles N’Zogbia has never been one to keep quiet when a strong transfer offer comes in for him. The midfielder was seconds away from moving to Birmingham but couldn’t agree personal terms. Saturday will reveal whether he will get his head down now and work towards helping Wigan survive relegation.

A. Gyan

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Your money would be on Darren Bent to be the person to follow, but Asamoah Gyan’s price tag alone draws the attention onto him. The Ghanaian had an eventful World Cup with a fantastic goal against the USA and then a last minute penalty miss against Uruguay to send Ghana through to the semi-final. Uruguay won on penalties. The former Rennes striker will hope he can justify his transfer fee to the Sunderland faithful.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Wigan Athletic

Sunderland

Wins
1
0
4
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Wigan Athletic FC Wigan Athletic
Draw
Sunderland AFC SUN
Sunderland AFC Sunderland
19%
42%
39%

Top 3 Predictions

Wigan Athletic FC WIG
0 - 0
Sunderland AFC SUN
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
1 - 1
Sunderland AFC SUN
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
0 - 2
Sunderland AFC SUN

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