Sunderland V Wigan Preview
Stadium of Light
Sunderland face another massive home game against Wigan this weekend as we look to win our first game since November 2009 in the league. Sunderland were promised to be 'relegation-proof' with the money spent on players but we seem to be heading for another battle this season.
Wigan are also on a very bad run of form and after their poor result at home to Notts County, Sunderland have to fancy their chances as they look to move away from the bottom three and go two unbeaten.
Steve Bruce said: 'You have these bad spells in your career but you hope you come through and learn from them. I'm the same manager who got us off to the best start to a season in 30 years, don't forget.
'For whatever reason in the last eight weeks, it's gone pear-shaped. We've been all over the place at times and to not win in 10 games is an horrific run and just not good enough. We're working hard to put that right and I won't shy away from the challenge.'
Bruce added: 'There's no hiding the fact we're on a dismal run and the pressure's on, but we know we're capable of beating Wigan, who aren't on the best of runs and have their own problems.'
Sunderland Team News:
John Mensah is the main injury doubt this weekend but should be replaced by Alan Hutton who will slip straight into the right back position. Loan signing Benjani will occupy the bench but will be aiming to get his home debut if things are not working in the later stages of this game.
Anton Ferdinand and Kieron Richardson will also both miss this game but Bruce will welcome one of his strongest teams in the past few months in this massive game.
Player to watch: Darren Bent
Bent has went a few games without a goal and that normally means he will score this weekend. This game is crucial for all the fans and players and if the midfield can provide him with a decent cross or pass we can rely on Bent to notch his 16th of the season.
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Mario Melciot is the major doubt for Wigan with a neck injury and will face a late fitness test. New signing Moses, who was linked to Sunderland, will make his debut but Moreno will miss out as he has not been cleared in time.
Player to watch: Titus Bramble
He was the focal point for all abuse and mickey taking by Sunderland fans after his woeful performances with Newcastle. Steve Bruce managed to turn his career around at Wigan and he will be looking to stop Bent and Jones this weekend. Here is hoping he has another 'tits up' moment and we can capitalise on his error!
Match Facts & Stats
In the Premier League, the Black Cats have beaten Wigan only once in seven attempts.
Steve Bruce's side have scored just three goals in their last five games on home soil.
Referee: Stuart Attwell Assistant referees: Trevor Massey & Mick McDonough Fourth official: Nigel Miller
2-0 to Sunderland. We have to make the most of our home advantage and punish a poor Wigan team after they lost to Notts County this week. If we can play well and defend like we did on Monday I have a feeling we can finally get those 3 points we so desperately need.
Sunderland face Pompey away on Tuesday 9th Feb.