Sunderland v Latics Preview
Stadium of Light
The Latics travel up to the North East to face former boss Steve Bruce and his Sunderland side in a crucial game for both clubs.
Last weekend Martinez`s men stopped the rot of eight straight league defeats with the 3-3 draw against Blackburn in one of the most controversial games seen at the DW, poor refereeing stopping the Latics from claiming the full three points
Hopefully, if the performance from last week can be carried through to todays game, against a struggling Sunderland, the first away win of the season could well be on the cards.
Having failed to score in their last two games and with just two wins all season Sunderland are starting to feel the pressure, Bruce`s side, as always, are strong defensively, but if the Latics can keep the home attack quiet in the early stages of the game then the crowd will become restless and this can work in our favour
At least a point is required by the Latics today if we are to build on that glimmer from last week and drag ourselves up the table.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
"Sometimes the home team might underestimate the importance of the game and take it a little easy.
"But obviously Sunderland are going to approach the game like a cup final. They've got a real need for points, like we have.
"With the financial implications they've had and the players they've brought in there is a real air of expectation, but we are ready."
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce:
'One thing I have learned here, the expectation is different to Wigan'
'We have huge support, which is quite remarkable and quite fabulous, but with that is expectation
'I just hope we can beat Wigan, win the next game and we will be sitting eighth and everyone will be saying what was the problem?'
Sunderland Team News:
Conor Wickham could return
Sunderland from: Westwood, O'Shea, Brown, Turner, Bardsley, Elmohamady, Noble, Cattermole, Colback, Ji, Richardson, Sessegnon, Bendtner, Carson, Vaughan, Egan, Meyler, Gardner, Wickham.
Player to watch: Lee Cattermole
Will he make the full 90 minutes against his former club or will the red mist descend?
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Franco Di Santo and James McCarthy should have overcome injury problems leaving Martinez a fully fit squad, only the suspended Antolin Alcaraz unavailable.
Latics from: Al-Habsi, Stam, Caldwell, Gohouri, Figueroa, Diame, Jones, Gomez, Moses, Crusat, Rodallega, Sammon, Di Santo, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Watson, Maloney
Player to watch: Albert Crusat
The little winger has pace and quality and will give the Latics a great option on the counter attack
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Latics and Sunderland have met 17 times, Latics have 6 wins, Sunderland 4, draws 7
Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
Why not take a look at our excellent 'Meet the Ref` article
Kevin Friend Card Watch 2011/12
Games - 10, yellows - 37, reds - 1
Head says 1-1 draw
Heart 2-1 Latics win, as always going with the heart
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