- Venue: DW Stadium
- Date: Saturday, 19th January
- K/o: 15:00
Wigan defender Ivan Ramis has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Antolin Alcaraz is also missing, but new signings Roger Espinoza and Angelo Henriquez are both pushing for starts.
Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher will face a late fitness test after missing the third-round FA Cup replay against Bolton through illness.
Alfred N’Diaye is available for selection again after missing the Bolton clash due to ineligibility.
Sunderland’s fortunes have dramatically changed this season. Just a year ago, Martin O’Neill’s men arrived at the DW Stadium full of confidence and came out with a 4-1 victory, which was then their third in four matches. By February they sat 8th in the Premier League and were every inch European contenders.
Fast forward twelve months and Sunderland are sitting 6 points above the relegation zone having won just one game all month. They were eliminated from the FA Cup by Bolton and beaten 3-0 by Liverpool in the league, leaving them heading in the wrong direction in the table.
Despite a resounding 4-0 battering by Man United at the start of the month, Wigan have shown signs that they can edge away from the relegation trap door and are unbeaten in their last three matches.
But Sunderland have lost just one of their last six league matches with Wigan and Martin O’Neill will be hoping for a return to the sort of performances that made Sunderland such a formidable side last year.
Al-Habsi, Boyce, Figueroa, Caldwell, Stam, McCarthy, Beausejour, Maloney, McArthur, Gomez, Di Santo
Mignolet, O’Shea, Bramble, Kilgallon, Bardsley, Johnson, Sessegnon, McClean, Larsson, Fletcher, Campbell
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This article was first posted on January 19, 2013