Event Date: March 17, 2013 17:00 CET
This Sunday, Wigan Athletic will welcome Newcastle United to DW Stadium, where they will try and reduce the three-point gap between them and the safety zone. If they manage to beat the Magpies and the seventeenth-placed Aston Villa lose to QPR, then the Latics could jump from their current position of 18.
They won’t get a better chance than this to add a valuable three points to their total, as Newcastle were involved in Europa League action on Thursday, and even though it was at their own home, at least a small amount of tiredness must have crept into their system.
Both the teams have been in good form of late in their respective cup competition. Newcastle recently managed to knock free-spending Russian giants Anzhi Makhachkala over two legs, while Wigan caused an even bigger upset by thumping Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park in their FA Cup tie.
Striker Callum McManaman, who was on the scoresheet against the Toffees last weekend, is still nursing his ankle injury and is unlikely to feature in Sunday’s game. On-loan Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi also picked up a serious ankle injury in the same game. The young Japan international is done for the season.
The Latics may have another edge in this fixture, as Newcastle’s star winger Hatem Ben Arfa, who has been struggling for match fitness for quite some time now, is likely to be benched. Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini are also out injured, which means that January signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Rob Elliot will once again feature as their replacements.
The home side has triumphed in all of these two sides’ last three fixtures. That trend should continue to remain valid this weekend too. The recommended play for this game is to back Wigan Athletic with Ladbrokes’ DrawNoBet option at a return of 1.65.