Fabricio Coloccini - Newcastle United News

After last week’s impressive result against Spurs, Newcastle go in search of what would be their ninth unbeaten game in a row when Wigan come to town to try and knock the Magpies off their perch.

Wigan have been in typically poor form so far this season and come May they could be forced to pull off another “great escape” as they seem to every year. However, Martinez’s men are capable of being a handful on their day and the home side will have to be wary of the former Magpies in the Latics’ ranks, who will be looking to get one over their former employers.

Patrick Van Aanholt enjoyed an impressive loan spell on Tyneside when the Geordies were in the Championship and has been similarly well-loved at the DW Stadium since joining on loan from Chelsea in the summer. Gary Caldwell will also be remembered for his time in black and white, although in truth the Scotland international never exactly looked a top class defender and continues to do so.

After a decent start to the season, Wigan have lost each of their last five games and last week were comfortably battered by bottom of the table Bolton thanks to some woeful defending which Demba Ba would have been relishing whilst watching Match of the Day.

Newcastle have been boosted this week with the news that three of their players have shaken off injuries to be available for this game. Captain Fabricio Coloccini has got rid of a toe problem to keep his place in the side and Haris Vuckic and Alan Smith are both fit again after injuries. Despite the fitness boosts, Alan Pardew is likely to field the same side that played so well against Spurs. It’s interesting to note that only three of last week’s starting XI have not been ever-present in the Toon side this season.

Shola Ameobi will be hoping his excellent cameo performance last week will lead to him displacing Ba or Leon Best up front, whilst Hatem Ben Arfa will likely be used from the bench as he has been in recent weeks.

As for Wigan, their main (and arguably only) threat, Hugo Rodallega, will be expected to start up front after making his return from injury from the bench last week. Defender Maynor Figueroa may also start after Steve Gohouri was axed at half-time in the shambolic Bolton demise a week ago.

A win for Newcastle coupled with a Chelsea defeat at London rivals QPR could move the Geordies up into third in the table but with the teams just below Pardew’s side expected to record comfortable wins against Blackburn and Norwich respectively, a win will likely be enough to consolidate the Toon’s fourth-place position.

So on paper it looks like a routine victory for the home side, but as we all know Newcastle don’t like to do things the easy way. With morale and expectation so high, the Magpies’ biggest enemy tomorrow could well be their own expectations and complacency has to be warned against.

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  1. Firebug666

    I don't think we will be complacent, i think this will be a comfortable win for Newcastle as i feel this team can and will play at their very best for 90 minutes. I also think our defence will prove to be to stong for them and a clean sheet is on the cards… NUFC 3 v Wigan 0


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