Vital Football

Latest Sunderland AFC News

Wigan Athletic Preview - Away, January 3

Wigan Athletic Preview - Away, January 3

SUNDERLAND START the New Year with a trip to Wigan Athletic, and the opportunity to face the side whose victory over the Black Cats spelt the end for Steve Bruce.

It`s fair to say that both sides have come a long way since a Franco Di Santo tap-in earnt Bruce the sack on November 26 2011.


Roberto Martinez`s Latics outfit have been on one of their best runs since climbing into the Premier League, taking points off of Stoke, Liverpool and Chelsea as well as collecting a win against West Brom.

Sunderland of course have taken off under Martin O`Neill tasting defeat just once in their opening five games under O`Neill including Sunday`s sensational victory over Manchester City at the Stadium of Light.

Returning to Wigan though; central to the transformation in form has been Martinez`s tactical nous. The Spaniard has switched from his oft-used 4-5-1 system and utilized a 3-5-1-1, which includes wing-backs.

Whilst there have been humblings by Arsenal and Manchester United during this improved run, the improvement has been marked for a side who looked doomed for relegation earlier in the campaign.

The men who have found themselves thrust in at wing-back are Ronnie Stam and David Jones. Stam, 27, arrived from FC Twente last summer. Although the Dutchman can never have truly called himself a 'regular` during his time at the DW Stadium, he does look to have found a niche now as the right wing-back in Martinez`s new creation. Tough in the tackle but equally capable of pushing forward and supporting the attack-minded players, the Breda-born utility man has made 26 league starts as a Latic with a further 14 appearances coming from the bench.

On the opposite flank, Jones did not make his name as a defender, let alone a wing-back. The 27 year-old was used predominantly as a central midfielder throughout his career to date, taking in spells with Wolves, Derby County and Manchester United before arriving in Lancashire.

Another tough-tackling type, Jones has also taken in a spell in Holland where he plyed his trade for NEC Nijmegen on-loan from Old Trafford back in 2006.

Another man who has impressed recently is Spanish midfielder, Jordi Gomez. The former Swansea City, Espanyol and Barcelona man arrived at the DW in 2009 in a £1.7m swoop from Martinez`s former club.

The flamboyant playmaker has been amongst the goals of late for Wigan, scoring penalties against Sunderland and West Brom as well as bagging against Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers. A cute passer of the ball, Gomez is the central creative force in the midfield trio.

Martinez will be without the defensive trio of Chris Kirkland (back), Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) and captain Gary Caldwell (suspended).

O`Neill has defensive headaches of his own with Wes Brown (groin),Titus Bramble (Achilles) and Michael Turner (knee) all out. Keiren Westwood (illness) is also a doubt to take a place on the bench.

Skipper Lee Cattermole was subbed through injury against City but should be fine to resume his midfield berth whilst Phil Bardsley (thigh) and Kieran Richardson (illness) are doubts.

Probable Teams:

Wigan Athletic:
Al-Habsi; Alcarez, Gohouri, Figueroa; Stam, Gomez, McCarthy, Diame, Jones; Moses; Rodellega.

Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, O`Shea, Kilgallon, Bardsley; Larsson, Cattermole (c), Vaughan, Colback; Sessegnon; Bendtner.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:safc123
Date:Tuesday January 3 2012
Time: 10:38AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Sunderland A.F.C. Articles

Sunderland Interested In Reading Midfielder?

Sunderland are one of the clubs who are linked with a move for Reading USA international midfielder Danny Williams.

Kazan Make Yann M'Vila Deal Difficult To Conclude

Sunderland are not finding it easy to put together a deal to bring Yann M'Vila to the club on a permanent basis.

Six Clubs Set 2015/16 Premiership Records

Who were the six clubs to register a record breaking or equalling 2015/16 campaign?

Giaccherini's Agent Paving The Way For Chelsea Move

Emanuele Giaccherini`s agent says that the player is keen on a dream move to Chelsea after having a good Euro 2016 so far with Italy.

Archived Vital Sunderland Articles

Vital Sunderland articles from

Site Journalists

JoJo
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Would you like to see DeAndre Yedlin back on a permanent move next season?
Suggested By:
Yes please.95%
No thank you.5%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 38 23 12 3 81 32
2 Arsenal 38 20 11 7 71 29
3 Spurs 38 19 13 6 70 34
4 Man City 38 19 9 10 66 30
5 Man Utd 38 19 9 10 66 14
6 Southampton 38 18 9 11 63 18
7 West Ham 38 16 14 8 62 14
8 Liverpool 38 16 12 10 60 13
9 Stoke 38 14 9 15 51 -14
10 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 50 6
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 47 4
12 Swansea 38 12 11 15 47 -10
13 Watford 38 12 9 17 45 -10
14 WBA 38 10 13 15 43 -14
15 Crystal Palace 38 11 9 18 42 -12
16 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 9 18 42 -22
17 Sunderland 38 9 12 17 39 -14
R Newcastle 38 9 10 19 37 -21
R Norwich 38 9 7 22 34 -28
R Aston Villa 38 3 8 27 17 -49
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Sunderland A.F.C. Results (view all)

Sunderland A.F.C. Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Flasher4
2.francis batter2
3.At The3rdstroke1
4.acid man1