Vital Football

Latest Sunderland AFC News

Wigan Athletic Preview (A) - January 19

Wigan Athletic Preview (A) - January 19

WEATHER PERMITTING, Sunderland head to the DW Stadium this Saturday to take on Roberto Martinez's Wigan Athletic.

With the Latics perched in 17th - outside of the drop zone on goal difference alone - and Sunderland six points and three places higher, it could prove to be an important clash in the Barclays Premier League relegation dogfight.

It's been something of a disappointing season for Wigan. After winning any number of friends for their 'tiki taka'-lite style of play and admirable approach to every game, this looked like the season the Lancastrian outfit could finally push on away from the drop zone.

Although they're not in bottom three at this point, which is in itself a rarity, the height of ambition for Martinez and Wigan supporters would surely have been higher.

One enormous loss for Martinez will be top-scorer Arouna Kone, who had headed to South Africa for the 2013 African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast.

With six league goals in 20 starts for his new club, the former Levante, Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven and Roda JC hitman has quickly made himself at home in England and will be a big miss so long as the Cote D'Ivoire remain in the tournament.

Stepping up to the plate with be Franco Di Santo. Far from the most prolific forward to ever grace the Premier League, the diminutive Argentine is a workaholic and has shown enormous improvement in recent seasons.

A stunning strike at Fulham in Wigan's last league game was enough to secure a point for the away side and the former Chelsea striker will be keen to prove a point by adding to his 13 goals in 108 Premier League appearances.

Behind Di Santo, former Celtic and Aston Villa winger-cum-attacking-midfielder Shaun Maloney has stepped into a crucial role at the DW Stadium in recent times.

Poached from Celtic Park for just £1m in 2011, Maloney has five goals in 33 appearances for the Latics.

Maloney had previously worked under Martin O'Neill at Celtic before the Ulsterman bought the Malaysian-born Scottish international to Villa Park.

With just 30 appearances in two seasons in the Midlands, Maloney quickly returned to the SPL giants, making 55 appearances and scoring 13 times before Martinez tempted him to another crack at English football.

Deployed behind the furthest-most forward, Maloney has thrived and provides a key link between the striker and the midfield.

Martinez lost key defender Ivan Ramis against Fulham last weekend meaning that Antonlin Alcaraz could be rushed back despite lacking 'match fitness' in the words of his manager.

Ben Watson (broken) leg and Albert Crusat (knee), Ryo Miyiachi (ankle), Mike Pollitt (hip) and Adrian Lopez (hamstring) are all out too.

Sunderland will miss Wes Brown (knee) and Lee Cattermole (knee), who suffered a recurrence of his knee problem in training on Thursday.

Defenders Carlos Cuellar and Danny Rose (both hamstring) are doubtful, meaning new signing Kader Mangane could be handed a debut.

Predicted line-ups:

Wigan Athletic:
Al-Habsi; Boyce, Caldwell (c), Alcaraz; Beausejour, Figuero; Jones, McArthyer; McCarthy; Maloney; Di Santo.

Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, O'Shea (c), Bramble, Colback; Johnson, Larsson, Vaughan, McClean; Sessegon; Fletcher.

Referee: Mr A Taylor.



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

Writer:safc123
Date:Friday January 18 2013
Time: 3:11PM

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Lewis Tips Joshua to Win

Vital F1 - Blog: Sochi Preview

Recent Sunderland A.F.C. Articles

Stats: Middlesbrough v Sunderland

All the stats from Middlesbrough (1) vs (0) Sunderland, Riverside Stadium, 26/04/17 Att: 30,742

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Team Sheets

Sunderland go to the Riverside Stadium as the visitors to Middlesbrough for the latest Premier League game.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Follow On Twitter

Sunderland go to the Riverside Stadium as the visitors to Middlesbrough today, this will be a 7:45pm kick-off.

Defoe - Cattermole's Been A Big Miss

As Sunderland prepare for the relegation clash with Middlesbrough, whatever the outcome both clubs are near certain to go down, Defoe's spoke glowingly about Cattermole.

Archived Vital Sunderland Articles

Vital Sunderland articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Sunderland
Write For Vital Sunderland
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Middlesbrough MotM
Suggested By:
Pickford0%
Jones0%
O Shea0%
Denayer0%
Manquillo0%
Cattermole0%
Ndong0%
Gibson0%
Khazri0%
Defoe0%
Anichebe0%
Sub-Borini0%
Sub-Januzaj0%
Sub-Rodwell0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 33 25 3 5 78 40
2 Spurs 33 22 8 3 74 47
3 Liverpool 34 19 9 6 66 28
4 Man City 32 19 7 6 64 28
5 Man Utd 32 17 12 3 63 26
6 Arsenal 32 18 6 8 60 24
7 Everton 34 16 10 8 58 23
8 WBA 33 12 8 13 44 -3
9 Southampton 32 11 7 14 40 -5
10 Watford 33 11 7 15 40 -17
11 Stoke 34 10 9 15 39 -13
12 Crystal Palace 34 11 5 18 38 -8
13 AFC Bournemouth 34 10 8 16 38 -14
14 West Ham 34 10 8 16 38 -15
15 Leicester City 33 10 7 16 37 -13
16 Burnley 34 10 6 18 36 -16
17 Hull City 34 9 6 19 33 -31
18 Swansea 34 9 4 21 31 -29
19 Middlesbrough 34 5 12 17 27 -19
20 Sunderland 33 5 6 22 21 -33
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

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

Sunderland A.F.C. Fixtures (view all)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : AFC Bournemouth (H)
Barclays Premier League
May 6 2017 3:00PM : Hull City (a)
Barclays Premier League
May 13 2017 3:00PM : Swansea City (H)
Barclays Premier League
May 21 2017 3:00PM : Chelsea (a)
Barclays Premier League
Write for Vital Football