Rob's Prediction: Wigan V Newcastle
Wigan got an impressive 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday night and that will give them huge confidence going into Sunday's clash with Newcastle. However, the blot on the copy book is that Wigan will be without Charles N'Zogbia, who initiated a silly challenge on Jack Wilshere, though there was suspicion of Wilshere egging N'Zogbia on.
Nevertheless, with N'Zogbia missing, it might mean a rare start for Mauro Boselli if Hugo Rodallega is put out onto the wing. I suspect that Tom Cleverley will also be put onto one of the wings as well as his time at Wigan could be nearing an end, which means Roberto Martinez needs to dwelve into the market to try and get some reinforcements for what, it has to be said, is a squad that is paper-thin.
Newcastle have done well this season but have recently hit a blip - they'll come to the DW Stadium knowing a win will shift them away from troubles. Alan Pardew for me was a surprise choice to replace the unfairly dismissed Chris Hughton.
However Newcastle don't have a good record at the DW Stadium and Newcastle's return of 5 points from a recent 24 is not a good return for them at the moment. Despite this, I think Newcastle will be absolutely fine this season but I think this is more of a crunch time for us than for Newcastle, in all honesty.
I think as long as we hold onto Rodallega and N'Zogbia, as many have said, with a couple of decent transfer window reinforcements, we will be fine. Apparently, according to the Daily Mail, our budget is 10m. That'll be enough hopefully to see enough good incoming players to steer the club in the right direction as well as the talents of N'Zogbia and Rodallega to keep us up.
I've a nasty feeling about this game. Despite the fact Newcastle have an atrocious record at this ground, it means nothing. Also, Andy Carroll and Charles N'Zogbia are out, so things are balanced up in that respect. It will be a cagey game as neither team will really want to commit until they sense an opportunity to do so whilst keeping things steady. I think both teams should be happy with a point today, without the goals. Wigan 0-0 Newcastle
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
I wonder who we'll sign in the window? Leroy Lita has been tipped as well as Manchester United's Macheda. Both would add some bite to Wigan's squad and if we can hang onto Rodallega and N'Zogbia, it could be a profitable future in the short term for Wigan - get to summer and if we are still in the Premier League, that is the time to build a squad capable of challenging for glory. In our case, European places.
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