Sunderland v Wigan Athletic
Sky Bet League One
Stadium of Light
Kick-Off: 3.00pm - Saturday 5th December 2020
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Newcastle (not online)
With Sunderland on the verge of beginning a new era after the appointment of a sporting director, and ownership and managerial rumours swirling around, it would be easy to forget we also have the small matter of a League One fixture to navigate.
In some ways this fixture could not have been better timed as we look for a first win in six games against a Wigan Athletic side who find themselves in all sorts of trouble at the foot of League One.
Sunderland again manage to cling on to the coat tails of those above them by virtue of those teams displaying similar form to us. Many fans are expecting a reaction from those players hoping to play their way into the new manager’s plans.
Wigan are in deep trouble, with eight points so far this season – and with four defeats in the last five League One fixtures things are looking ominous. But, the last two games – a draw at home to Bristol Rovers and a tight affair with high-flying Lincoln City where they lost by the odd goal in three – have provided a glimmer of hope.
These two performances may have lifted spirits going into December but they need to start picking up points quickly. Caretaker manager Leam Richardson took over after John Sheridan left for Swindon Town in November and he’s looking to prove he could be the man to step into the Wigan hot seat.
Sunderland Team News
No doubt the shape and line-up will still be very much in the Phil Parkinson mold, anything else would be a surprise with the build-up to the game taken by one his coaches, Andrew Taylor.
Reports are that Aiden McGeady may be part of the squad but he will likely appear in the latter stages, especially if we have the same scenario as midweek against Burton repeating itself.
Possible XI: Lee Burge, Conor McLaughlin, Bailey Wright, Tom Flanagan, Jack Diamond, Grant Leadbitter, Josh Scowen, Denver Hume, Chris Maguire, Will Grigg, Danny Graham
Wigan Athletic Team News
Wigan will leave it late to assess the fitness of Welsh international Lee Evans who returned to training this week, but Viv Solomon-Otabor, Gavin Massey, Will Keane and Darnell Johnson remain out.
Joe Garner has been the danger man so far for The Latics with six goals in all competitions so far.
Possible XI: Jones, James, Tilt, Long, Pearce, Perry, Merrie, Garner, Naismith, Palmer, Joseph
Last Time We Met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 29th September 2012: Barclays Premier League
Sunderland 1 - 0 Wigan Athletic (Fletcher 51’)
Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, O’Shea, Bramble, Rose, Johnson (Vaughan), Larsson, Colback, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher Substitutes not used: Westwood, Kilgallon, Meyler, Campbell, Wickham, Saha
Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Rais, Figueroa, McCarthy, Caldwell, McArthur (Miyaichi), Boyce (McManaman), Gomez, Kone, Maloney (Di Santo), Beausejour Substitutes not used: Politt, Jones, Watson, Boselli
Just like the midweek fixture against Burton Albion, the bookies see this as a one-horse race, with Sunderland at 2/5, an away victory priced at 15/2 and the draw 18/5.
For a correct score, a 2-0 victory to Sunderland is the favourite at 5/1, and a Sunderland victory by 3-0 is 15/2. Wigan to get the only goal of the game and win 1-0 is priced at 20/1 and a repeat of the midweek 1-1 is priced at 15/2.
With Charlie Wyke likely to be ruled out through injury, Danny Graham and Chris Maguire are favourites to bag the first goal for Sunderland both at 7/2.
I thought Parkinson going and the motivation to impress a new manager would spur us on to victory against Burton in midweek – so I’m predicting a delayed reaction and we’ll comfortably beat a much troubled Wigan Athletic.
Sunderland 2 - 0 Wigan Athletic