N’Zogbia begins suspension while Andy Carroll misses out with thigh injury...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.
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
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.