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.
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.
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
Think you can predict the week's results?
Test your knowledge at Soccer Millionaire for your chance to win £10,000,000!!