Premier League Preview: Sunderland - Wigan
Martin O'Neill's men have lost suspended captain Lee Cattermole but hope to collect their first Premier League win over Roberto Martinez' side, which has lost three in five games.
By Arthur Virgo
Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Rose
Larsson, Vaughan, Colback, McClean
Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa
Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour
Maloney, Boselli, Kone
Sunderland could field a defense unchanged from last weekend with Wes Brown (knee) and Phil Bardsley (ankle) injured, and Carlos Cuellar (hamstring) still doubtful, forcing midfielders Craig Gardner and Danny Rose again to start at full back alongside Titus Bramble and John O'Shea.
Team captain Lee Cattermole incurred a three-match ban following his mid-week red card and is unavailable. David Vaughan and David Meyler could compete to replace him in his holding role.
Seb Larsson (hamstring) is set to recover to start on the right of midfield, but he is also another option in the middle of the park should he make space for winger Adam Johnson (thigh), who faces a late fitness test after his return from injury.
Striker Fraizer Campbell (foot) is unlikely to be available after picking up an injury last weekend.
Wigan could be without Antolin Alcaraz (groin), who is still doubtful, meaning Maynor Figueroa is set to start on the left of a back three, with Jean Beausejour at left wing back.
Midfielder James McArthur was dropped to the bench last weekend, but he will compete with Ben Watson for a start alongside James McCarthy.
Target man Franco Di Santo (calf) is also doubtful. His absence could create an opportunity for striker Mauro Boselli, who scored two goals in a mid-week League Cup win, to join Shaun Maloney and Arouna Kone in an attacking three, with playmaker Jordi Gomez another option.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sunderland has not won in its last 12 Premier League matches - drawing nine - and is only the third team ever to draw their opening four Premier League matches. No team has ever drawn their opening five games.
- Martin O’Neill’s side has scored four Premier League goals from just six shots on target this season, with striker Steven Fletcher (pictured, right) netting all of them with just four attempts on target.
- The Black Cats are yet to go behind this season, having scored all four of their goals in the first half of games. They have, however, gone on to drop two points in each of their last three league matches after taking the lead.
- The Mackems are the only team in the top flight without a single headed attempt at goal this season.
- Wigan has just four points so far, the club's lowest haul after five matches in any of its eight Premier League seasons, tying equalling the low standard set in 2010-11.
- Robert Martinez’s side has drawn just one away game in 2012 in the Premier League, having won five and lost five.
- Franco Di Santo has scored a 90th-minute goal in each of his last two visits to the Stadium of Light, netting a late winning goal last season in his side’s 2-1 win last November, although the second match between the two finished in a 4-1 win for Sunderland at Wigan's home DW Stadium.
- Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole and Titus Bramble were both signed from Wigan, following their former manager, Steve Bruce, who took charge at the Weirside club in 2009. Cattermole joined the same summer for 6 million pounds, while Bramble joined a year later in 2010.
Top 3 Predictions
Sunderland 2-0 Wigan Athletic
- 16.33 %
Sunderland 2-1 Wigan Athletic
- 14.29 %
Sunderland 1-0 Wigan Athletic
- 10.2 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Jan 19, 2013||Wigan Athletic 2 - Sunderland 3|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Sep 29, 2012||Sunderland 1 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Jan 3, 2012||Wigan Athletic 1 - Sunderland 4|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Nov 26, 2011||Sunderland 1 - Wigan Athletic 2|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Apr 23, 2011||Sunderland 4 - Wigan Athletic 2|
|May 19, 2013||Tottenham 1 - Sunderland 0||EPL|
|May 12, 2013||Sunderland 1 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|May 6, 2013||Sunderland 1 - Stoke 1||EPL|
|Apr 29, 2013||Aston Villa 6 - Sunderland 1||EPL|
|Apr 20, 2013||Sunderland 1 - Everton 0||EPL|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|