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Match Preview: Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

After picking up a festive three points on Boxing Day, the Lads head to Lancashire to take on Championship strugglers Wigan Athletic - here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images


Thursday 29th December 2022

(23rd) Wigan Athletic v Sunderland (9th)

Championship

DW Stadium

Kick-Off: 19:45


Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are sold out.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via www.safc.com.

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)

Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at www.RokerReport.com!


The build-up...

The journey to take us over the halfway mark of the season has been a strange one, but here we are, 24 games in and we are one point outside the play-offs.

Our Boxing Day victory over Blackburn Rovers was a welcome three points at the Stadium of Light where the form guide was becoming a slight concern, but today takes us back on the road to Blackburn’s Lancashire neighbours Wigan Athletic - where we have a decent record.

We have only suffered defeat once in the past six occasions stretching back to 2010, with our last meeting at the DW ending in a 3-0 for us back in February of this year. We also have to go back to the 18th October, when we travelled to Blackburn Rovers, since the last time we didn’t take anything from an away fixture.

Since then we have won two and drawn two on the road, which is the type of form that would see us 4th in the table based on away form alone this season, and with Wigan currently boasting the worst home record in the division with only two victories and three draws from the 12 played so far, we’ve got reason to be confident of a result going into tonight’s fixture.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Wigan Athletic gave a prime example last month of how much loyalty generally exists in football.

Leam Richardson helped the club survive relegation when he arrived at the club and then won the title in his first full season to take them back to the Championship. Then on the 10th November, he was sacked as they lost six out of seven games and dropped into the bottom three.

Five days later, Yaya Toure, who is currently a coach at Spurs, ruled himself out of the running, and two weeks later, his brother Kolo Toure was appointed as the new manager.

Toure’s reign began with a solid draw at Millwall following the World Cup, but a home defeat to Sheffield United and a 4-1 thrashing at Middlesbrough on Boxing Day has suggested this won’t be a quick fix.

Currently sitting second bottom of the table, with only Huddersfield below them and three points from safety, Wigan are in desperate need of three points. Their home record doesn’t read well however, with only two wins on home soil this term and only one win in the last five at the DW.

As usual with Wigan, expect a few familiar names, with James McClean, Max Power and Nathan Broadhead all making the starting XI for Wigan at Middlesbrough on Boxing Day.

Wigan Athletic v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship - DW Stadium
Wigan Athletic manager Kolo Toure
Photo by Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images

The betting...

The bookies have the Lads at fairly short 7/4 for the away win tonight, with Wigan priced at 8/5 to pick up all three points and the draw is 21/10.


Head to head... at Wigan

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 5
  • Draws: 4
  • Wigan Athletic wins: 4
  • Sunderland goals: 18
  • Wigan Athletic goals: 14

Last time we met... at the DW Stadium

Saturday 26th February 2022

Sky Bet League One

Wigan Athletic 0-3 Sunderland

[Wright 2’, Stewart (pen) 38’, (pen) 87’]

Sunderland: Patterson, Winchester, Wright, Xhemajli, Cirkin, Gooch, Evans, Matete, Embleton (Clarke), Pritchard (Neil), Stewart Substitutes not used: Hoffman, Hume, Dajaku, Roberts, Defoe

Wigan Athletic: Amos, Darikwa, McClean, Naylor (Massey), Whatmough, Tilt, Lang, Power, Magennis (Humphrys), Keane, Edwards (Shinnie) Substitutes not used: Jones, Watts, Bennett, Rea

Attendance: 20,136

Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Ross Stewart of Sunderland scores the third goal from the penalty spot the last time the two sides met at the DW Stadium back in February
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Pascal Chimbonda

After starting out with Le Harve and Bastia in France, Chimbonda moved to Wigan Athletic in the Premier League for a mere £500,000 in 2005. A year later, Spurs paid £4.5 million to take him to White Hart Lane.

Roy Keane brought him to Sunderland two years later from Spurs to link up with Steed Malbranque and Teemu Tainio who had made the same move north. It didn’t last long however, when six months later Chimbonda moved back to Spurs, which lasted another six months until Blackburn swooped to take him to Lancashire.

Spells at Queens Park Rangers and Doncaster Rovers followed before Chimbonda hung up his boots.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images


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