Wigan Athletic vs Newcastle United match preview

Posted on April 27th, 2012 | 24 Comments |

Wigan Athletic.
Wigan - Coming good just in time?
Venue: D.W. Stadium, Wigan.
Date: Saturday, 28th April, 2012.
Kick-Off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral Whistler).

Hmm, well despite the large difference in the Magpies’ and the Latics’ respective league positions, this could well be an interesing game.

Roberto Martinez and Atletico Wigan’s progress has followed a fairly similar pattern to that of last season, ie staring into the abyss most of the time, then finally pulling themselves together for a string of stylish and surprising results which look like pulling them out of the mire at the eleventh hour, well they would if fellow strugglers, Queen’s Park Rangers hadn’t decided to pull off one or two surprising results of their own as the Premiership season edges towards it’s denouement. The catalyst for this change in form seems to have been a switch from what has looked like a 4-5-1 formation earlier in the season, to a highly offensive Cruyffian style 3-4-3 formation from Señor Martinez. Of course, our Silver Supremo, Alan Pardiola, has been on a similar road to Damascus recently, switching from his old 4-4-2 to more attacking 4-3-3 which has reaped remarkable dividends with the electrifying form of players such as Hatem Ben Arfa and new boy, Papiss Cisse, leading the way.

Stats, previous matches etc…

In terms of their last six games, Newcastle have been untouchable, being the only team in the Premiership to have won all of their last six games. However, despite their still lowly position, Wigan’s hasn’t exactly been too shabby either, as they have won four out of their last six games, taking the scalps of no lesser teams than Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool. Even though their last game was a 2-1 away defeat to Fulham, if the season had started six games ago, Newcastle United would be top of the Premiership and even more amazingly, Wigan would be third with Manchester United separating the two. Looking over the whole season though, Wigan have the worst home form in the division, having only won a mere three games at the DW Stadium, two of those victories have been their last two home games though, and the one before that was a draw. Let’s take a look.

Wigan and Newcastle – Last six Premiership games
Team Results P W D L Pts
Wigan L-W-W-L-W-W 6 4 0 2 12/18
Newcastle United W-W-W-W-W-W 6 6 0 0 18/18

I think you’ll agree that it makes great reading for any Magpies’ fan. Looking at our last six games at the DW Stadium though, things don’t look so good as apart from our last game there, a 1-0 victory with Fenham goal machine, Shola Ameobi, scoring the winning goal, we have lost all of the rest! Still, the last one is the most important and we broke the voodoo there.

Finally for this section, let’s take a look at their home form vs our away form in the last six home / away games.

Wigan home form v Newcastle away form
Team Results P W D L Pts
Wigan W-W-D-L-D-D 6 2 3 1 9/18
Newcastle United W-W-L-L-W-L 6 3 0 3 9/18

Here we see parity in that both sides have garnered nine points from a possible eighteen. So, in conclusion fpr this section, despite the considerable difference in the clubs’ league position and Newcastle United’s perfect recent form, Wigan may indeed give us a game so there will be no room for complacency with the Latic’s recent renaissance.

Team news and squads

Wigan Athletic

On the Wigan side, Franco Di Santo (F), has a doubtful calf, Ronnie Stam (D) has a doubtful hamstring and Hugo Rodallega (F) will probably face a late fitness test after returning to training but I’ve pencilled him in. Finally, Albert Crusat (M) should definitely be up for selection after returning from injury.


Chris Kirkland (G), Ali Al-Habsi (G), Mike Pollitt (G), Gary Caldwell (D, C), Antolín Alcaraz (D), Maynor Figueroa (D), Steve Gohouri (D), Emmerson Boyce (D), Adrián López (D), Jean Beausejour (M), Mohamed Diamé (M), Jordi Gómez (M), James McArthur (M), James McCarthy (M), Albert Crusat (M), Ben Watson (M), Hendry Thomas (M), Shaun Maloney (M), David Jones (M), Hugo Rodallega (F), Victor Moses (F), Conor Sammon (F), Callum McManaman (F).

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Franco Di Santo (F, Calf), Ronnie Stam (D, hamstring),

Newcastle United

What is it with Haris Vučkić? He’s 6’2″, built like a brick outhouse, and yet everytime he falls over, he seems to shatter like a piece of fine crystal. Anyway, he joined the like of Steven Taylor (ruptured achilles), Peter Lovenkrands (thigh) and Sammy Ameobi (knee) on the long term injury list some time ago with his knee. Meanwhile, another injury magnet, Sylvain Marveaux (groin), has actually been back in training, but remains doubtful, as does Gabriel Obertan with a small knock. Danny Guthrie should be available though after recovering from his calf / shin injury.


Tim Krul (G), Rob Elliot (G), Steve Harper (G), Danny Simpson (D), Davide Santon (D, M), Ryan Taylor (D, M), Shane Ferguson (D, M), James Tavernier, James Perch (D, M), Fabricio Coloccini (D, C), Mike Williamson (D), Cheik Tiote (M), Yohan Cabaye (M), Danny Guthrie (M), Gabriel Obertan (M), Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa (M, F), Mehdi Abeid (M), Dan Gosling (M), Demba Ba (F), Papiss Cisse (F), Shola Ameobi (F), Leon Best (F).

Injured: Steven Taylor (achilles), Peter Lovenkrands (thigh), Haris Vučkić (knee), Sammy Ameobi (knee).

Doubtful: Sylvain Marveaux (groin), Gabriel Obertan (knock).

What the managers have said

Well, it was a case of beware the wounded animal for Alan Pardiola, who is wary of a bottom feeding Wigan who, despite their recent good run, are still fighting for their Premiership lives in these last few games. He said:

“We have some tough games. All of the games coming up are difficult. When you come up against these bottom sides, they are fighting for their lives. We’ve got that on Saturday at Wigan and it’s going to make it really difficult.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, Roberto Martinez had this to say about his Wigan side:

“I am extremely proud of the team and the results we have been getting, but we have done nothing, we need to concentrate on the next three games. That is not just for myself but for everyone – the staff, players and everyone connected to the football club.”

Moving on to the matter in hand, ie tomorrow’s game, he then added:

“All we are talking about is Newcastle and making sure we are as good as we can be in the next three games, and nothing else.”

And that just about wraps it up, except to say that we will be here with our usual “match banter” post, which will go out around an hour before kick off, and we will also be posting match highlights as soon as the game is finished, along with a match report and video of the video of the whole match if / when it becomes available. Oh! and of course:

Howay the Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1092 articles on this blog.

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24 Responses

  1. Nice work, Worky! Personally, I would like Wigan to stay up, much like I’d like an English club to win the CL, but needless to say, both of these scenarios take a back seat to our own success. HWTL and let’s hope for another sublime team performance and a straight three points.

  2. Dont kid yourself in regard to league position, if you are handicapping these last four games.
    There are those fighting for survival, plus those going for european spots.
    Each side with an agenda.
    Except Everton,who’s agenda is playing for contracts and the extra few bucks for league finish, but non the less, a tough side to beat at home.
    I expect a difficult but entrtaining game from Wigan, at present on a roll, having recently beaten L’Pool., Man.U. and Arsenal.
    Dont anyone start counting chickens yet !

  3. Although I want to say I am ‘fearing’ these last 4 games, I am actually trying very hard to just ENJOY them.

    We have qualified for Europe and that is above all expectations. And have nothing to prove or lose.

    Yes, you could argue that we have 4th spot to lose…but it could be out of our hands anyway (Chelski).

    The reason for the ‘fear’ I have is that if this bubble burst and say worse case we lose ALL 4 games. Then the hard work that Newcastle still would have achieved over the 38 games will be look at as a failure with some fans.

    Over the course of this season I have seen fans on this sites expectations rise and rise and I just now fear that with 4 tough games left that they will forgot that we have qualified for Europe.

    Now this isn’t aimed at all fans, just a few. I just hope people look at where we were at the end of last season and think of our ‘dream’ of just finshing in the top half.

    And please do not think I am being negative – I think 6pts in last 4 games is possiblem, just others think it should be 12!


  4. I think Raylor should come in for Ben Arfa as he has something to prove against his old team and we have to be a bit more defensively inclined.

  5. Nah, not really. Just wanted to imagine reaction of Andymac and Chuck to that comment!!!!

  6. I seem to remember he/she’s working his/her ticket, which resulted in, a workey ticket/agitator.
    Anyone care to explain, the meaning of the expression.
    And does it relate only to the North East ?

  7. Dreamer @ 3 “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (FDR). We have nothing to loose and everything to play for. We could play some of our best football of the season in these four games. I think (hope?) that is the more likely scenario. AND I would rather finish 4th for doing so and still miss out on the CL due to Chelsea, than finish 5th and miss out anyway. Let’s entertain in style! It can only bode well for players wishing to stay at, and others to join, NUFC.

  8. Yeah, what’s a workyticket anyways? Some kinda code for a paedophile?

    This is a critical and tough match any way you slice it. Wigan are playing some good football recently so league standing and history are moot (we’re playing even better football recently).

    Think we can knick it. Pity Wigan still have a lot to play for. Ditto Citeh. Until recently it seemed that MCFC’s away form was lackluster. Not so much these days.

  9. Chuck: it wasn’t a fishing trip, I explained it 1 minute later. Anyway, game is on live here again tomorrow, too early to start drinking!!!???

    I will probably go to the local “soccer” bar to watch the Mancs on Monday though.

    Howay the Lads.

  10. Worky, for the benefit of Tripp, you should post a “how to speak Geordie” guide. You know, the one with clarts and spelks in it.

  11. I genuinely think chelsea won’t win the champions league. Bayern are going to make it extremely hard as they are playing in front of their home crowd. Puts them in the best position for it. I think getting 3rd is a hell of a stretch considering arsenals final 3 games which on paper they will be tipped to take away all 9 points. But on our day with the current 433 we’ve been playing and our amazing form we should take away the full 12 points available. So I think we need to hope for
    1. Bayern to beat chelsea
    2. Man utd to beat man city (knock citys confidence)
    3. Arsenal to have a few bad games (with walcott out then their game may take a hit)
    4. Chelseas fixture congestion to tire out their top players
    If these 4 things happen then that makes life much easier for us in terms of our points total and final league position. And ultimately get us into that elusive cl spot! Oh and we need tottenham to keep being shite. Almost forgot about them there.

  12. webbo says:
    April 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    “the game is on saturday isnt it?”

    Aye. it is and I’ve corrected it. Sorry about that.

    I did this preview after a night with no sleep whatsoever. I checked all the text then put the match details at the top, but I was falling asleep by that stage and my brain wasn’t functioning properly.

  13. Tripp says:
    April 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    “Yeah, what’s a workyticket anyways? Some kinda code for a paedophile?”

    Eh? It’s a trouble maker, generally, or you know when you get a spoiled bairn that won’t stop crying and wants this and wants that etc, they’re “working their ticket.”

  14. hey dont worry im not havin a go iv got to pick the mrs up at 2 n will make it back for kick off but if it was on sunday id be knackered

  15. We play at the DW Stadium tomorrow. In a round about way, I think it is short for Dave Whelan Stadium, since DW Sports Fitness is the sponsor.

    Should almost be like a home atmosphere with 4,500 there.

    How about renaming St. James’ Park the Mike Ashley Arena?

  16. Does anyone know of a bar in Perth Australia where Newcastle
    fans meet to watch the game.

  17. Thanks, Worky. I know some of the Geordie expressions, but it’s always fun to learn a few more.

  18. thanks toonwanderer.

    let me know how the lucky shag went you are the second guy who has asked about Oz.

    i know at least one geordie heading off down there to fix trains. so if it isnt you they you will definitely be with one geordie at least.

    let us all know how it went.