Date:Wednesday September 10 2008
Wigan will welcome Roy Keane's fiercely competitive Sunderland to the JJB Stadium, hoping to shut out the memory of a 3-0 drubbing from Man City at the Stadium of Light.
Roy Keane, I agree, has assembled a squad of real quality and has done well for Sunderland and I can't see them lingering down in the relegation scrap, but I don't see us Latics there either. Both sides, it has been said, have assembled some top notch quality into their teams and I think this will be a highly competitive game at the JJB Stadium.
Unfortunately internationals are being played at the moment so hopefully, the Latics won't have any massive injury worries to be concerned about, fingers crossed.
One of the real stars of the Wigan team has been Egyptian Amr Zaki -- he has produced incredible form over the past three games and has produced sound performances. I fully expect his good form to continue as do I expect Wigan to progress even further under Steve Bruce.
Make no mistake, this is going to be a very stern test for both sides and Wigan will be buoyed by a win away from home and a good one as well but Sunderland will be looking to regain some confidence after their loss to City but that said, City will not be a walkover this season.
Both Keane and Bruce are highly respected managers and are also good managers so I think the tactical thinking here will be of extreme interest. Keane will field a good side at the JJB as will Bruce and with a lot of physical and mental strength on show, it could be an action-packed showdown.
Wigan's defence remains sound as ever and hopefully, all players will be fit. I'm hoping Paul Scharner might return for this game but if not, I do hope Titus Bramble continues his rather impressive form in his place.
The midfield I think is going to pose a problem for Roy Keane's side. It really is a hard-working, no nonsense midfield and they will realy be posing threats to anything Sunderland may throw at us whilst proving to be a threat to them as well.
Roy Keane will have to be on the lookout for Amr Zaki - the lad is on impressive form and Sunderland's defence will have to be at its utmost best to deal with him - if Chelsea had problems, then I can see Sunderland struggling to cope with the determined Egyptian Gladiator.
This is going to be a good game I feel and Wigan are strong at home and have developed a fierce side. Credit must also go to Roy Keane for developing an impressive outfit at the Stadium of Light but I think that Wigan might just nick this home game.
RESULT: WIGAN 1 SUNDERLAND 0
PLAYER TO WATCH
This man is going to cause our defence some problems. He'll have to be watched as he's notable for scoring goals. Let's hope he has one of his off days. He's all yours otherwise, Paul, or Titus.
PLAYER FOR SUNDERLAND TO WATCH
Without doubt, this man is living up to his reputation and Craig Gordon will really struggle against the Egyptian Gladiator - he will have to be at his very best this Saturday.
POSSIBLE STARTING WIGAN XI
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Date:Wednesday September 10 2008
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