Newcastle perspective: Mark Jensen, The Mag.
Once again the team will more or less pick itself; even the option of playing utility player James Perch in midfield was taken away when he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season at the Britannia Stadium. Shola Ameobi might have a chance of making the bench but it definitely looks as though tonight comes too early for Hatem Ben Arfa to return.
We turned in a better performance against Stoke last Wednesday but another defeat makes it four in a row - from matches that all looked winnable. Defeat tonight would be the first time Newcastle have ever lost five on the bounce in the Premier League. This says it all as to where the Toon are at this moment in time.
While Newcastle have had their problems on past visits to Wigan, it is a different story at St.James’ Park. United remain undefeated against the visitors with four wins and two draws in the Premier League.
Newcastle to win without conceding at 3.35. Wigan have only scored four goals on their Premier League travels and so as long as NUFC score at least one, a home win without conceding looks good.
Papiss Cisse to score first at 5.75. Rumours of the striker's demise might have been premature and his sharp finish against Stoke can be the spark for him to score again.
Newcastle to lead at half-time at 2.60. We might be missing our best creative players, so we definitely need to take the match by the scruff of the neck from the first whistle.
Score prediction: Newcastle 2-0 Wigan (10.00)
The Latics have somewhat of an injury crisis ahead of tonight's game: playmaker Shaun Maloney and defenders Ivan Ramis and Antolin Alcaraz are still out, while Gary Caldwell is a major doubt. David Jones, who has been drafted into midfield since Ben Watson's injury, could also miss out. Jordi Gomez, who bagged a hat-trick against Reading last week, should continue in attacking midfield.
It's been a topsy-turvy few weeks for Roberto Martinez's side: good wins against Reading and Tottenham have boosted spirits, but toothless displays against Bradford (in the League Cup) and West Brom provide cause for concern. With games against QPR and Norwich coming up, this could be a crucial month for Wigan.
A 1-0 reverse on Tyneside last year was understandable, but Wigan more than made up for it, thumping Newcastle 4-0 at home. The departed Victor Moses was the catalyst for the win, but Wigan will take heart from that result this evening.
Both teams to score at 1.70. The Magpies' defence hasn't been at its best this year, so back Wigan to make a game of it.
Jordi Gomez to score at 4.75. The classy Spaniard was in deadly form last weekend, and will be keen to add to his tally.
The draw at 3.40. Newcastle's recent form suggests they won't have it easy this evening. The draw looks the logical bet.
Score prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Wigan (6.75)