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Preview: Wigan Athletic vs Sunderland

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Sunderland goalscorer Sebastian Larsson (r) and John O' Shea celebrate the winning goal during the Barclays premier league game between Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers at Stadium of Light
Sunderland goalscorer Sebastian Larsson (r) and John O' Shea celebrate the winning goal during the Barclays premier league game between Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers at Stadium of Light

It looks like the lads are going to have to do it all again, to try and climb out of the bottom three. Just as we start to get our act together, so do the rest of the lower league teams, and the fifteen points we have sees us sit just at the top of the relegation zone, two points behind Wolves.

So is there any better a game to go out and close the gap again, than against Sunderland. Well there are other teams i would rather be playing just at the minute. The new man in charge has lifted them right up since joining after our last encounter two months ago. And after beating Manchester City, Sunderland will go into this one full of confidence.

So what about us, how are we fairing?

Well the squad will pretty much be unchanged from that of the one that faced Stoke. The only real difference will be the absence of Gary Caldwell, who's stupid hand ball now means that he will miss the next three fixtures.

I would like to hope that Emmerson Boyce will slot back into the center back position. Yet the Barbadian has disappeared out of the squad after a groin injury, and his presences would be a much more wanted one, than the flimsy nature of Steve Gohiuri.

Elsewhere Victor Moses's second goal of the season must be a boost. Finally his little runs are paying off, and hopefully he can start to find his feet and his goal scoring form. We all know that he can do it, its just a case of when.

The squad should go into this on a high after the back of a good end to a tricky December picking up six points from six games, which included Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. Not bad going on the whole. Yet we still need to get more points and push up the table.

Sunderland come into the game like i said before on a real high. Martin O'Neil has really galvanized the squad and given that extra bit of belief. Which can be very deadly to the opposition, Wigan will have to hold strong and not crumble under what will be a strong amount of pressure.

Its hard to pick a man to watch, as any of Sunderland's players could really pop up and cause Wigan a problem. Yet Sebastian Larson has re hit his top form, and will and can cause any side problems . His pace and ability to attack and get in behind full backs makes and instant problem.

It doesn't then help that the lad and can cross the ball well into the box. This is where I fear our problems may lie. Without Gary Caldwell then we are vulnerable to the ball coming into the box, as Caldwell is our strongest defender when it comes to the ball dropping into the box.

If Emmerson Boyce were to return then I would say the threat would be distinguished.

Larrson is also very good and free-kicks and corners. Which we are very well known for giving away needlessly.

The game will make for interesting viewing and its always good to have a night game. I would like to see goals, but these fixtures usually produce very dull 1-0 affairs.

Many Wigan fans, including me would take a boring 1-0 win for the Latics.