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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 12:24 GMT
Wigan v Newcastle (Sun)
Wigan v Newcastle

JJB Stadium
Sunday, 25 February
Kick-off: 1300 GMT
Coverage on the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Five Live & highlights on MOTD


Wigan striker Caleb Folan should be fit to face Newcastle despite picking up an ankle injury at Watford.

The Latics failed on an appeal to have Fitz Hall's red card at the Hornets last week overturned.

Newcastle captain Scott Parker will return for the trip to Wigan after recovering from a hamstring problem.

Antoine Sibierski (hamstring) could be back while defender Oguchi Onyewu is available again after being ineligible for the Zulte-Waregem game.


606 DEBATE: Your views on the match

Wigan (from): Filan, Jackson, Kilbane, McCulloch, Boyce, Skoko, Hall, Johansson, Landzaat, Baines, Granqvist, Haestad, Valencia, Folan, Unsworth, Taylor, Cywka, Aghahowa, Heskey, Baines, Nash.

Newcastle (from): Given, Harper, Srnicek, Solano, Babayaro, Taylor, Bramble, Onyewu, Moore, Huntington, Butt, Parker, Milner, Duff, N'Zogbia, Pattison, Martins, Dyer, Sibierski, Luque, Carroll, LuaLua.


  • Wigan striker Caleb Folan
    "We played with real passion against Watford and we need to reproduce that against Newcastle.

    "I also think the fans can make a big difference for us and I hope they get behind us in the same way as they did at Vicarage Road.

    "They were magnificent against Watford and cheered us on all the way."

  • Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder:
    "Obafemi Martins has been a terrific buy, I feel whatever he achieves this year will be a bonus.

    "Next year after he has had a full season with us and we have Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi fit and new signings, he will take off in a big way.

    "Week by week, Oba is building a big reputation as a striker to fear."

    BIG-MATCH FACTS

    WIGAN ATHLETIC earned a valuable point at Watford midweek to maintain some vital breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone. But they'll need to maintain the momentum in Paul Jewell's 250th League match in charge. They face a Newcastle outfit, so desperate for a first piece of major silverware since 1969 that the lure of the Uefa Cup may take their focus off the Premiership.

    Jewell's side were holding a comfortable mid table position three months ago, but one win in 12 Premiership outings has had the alarm bells ringing at the JJB.

    A goal from Jason Roberts gave Wigan all three points in their first ever League meeting with Newcastle at the JJB in October 2005 - a victory that sent the then Premiership new boys to the dizzy heights of second in the table. Now they desperately need to maintain their 100% home League record against the Magpies.

    NEWCASTLE UNITED were charging up the Premiership table until the end of 2006, when their form hit somewhat of a stutter. Victories in every other of the last five League outings, has left Glenn Roeder's men as mid-table non-entities - seven points outside the top six. But they go into this game buoyed by Thursday's 1-0 home win over Zulte-Waregem, which has landed them a tie against AZ Alkmaar in the last 16 of the Uefa Cup.

    The Tyneside club have gone 13 Premiership matches since a clean sheet and have only managed four all season. They cannot be faltered for resilience though, having gained 11 points from matches in which they were losing. Only Arsenal can top that (18 points).

    Shola Ameobi scored the decisive goal that handed Newcastle all three points from a tense seasonal opener with Wigan at St James' Park. The Tyneside club are aiming to notch a third successive League win over the Latics, and thus do the 'double' over them for the first time.

    REFEREE

    Alan Wiley (Burntwood, Staffordshire)

    SEQUENCES/RECENT FORM

    WIGAN ATHLETIC

    Going into the weekend: 17th 26 points
    (all statistics are ahead of this weekend's round of Premiership fixtures)

    1. Won only two of the last 16 Premiership matches.

    2. Accrued 14 more points by this same stage in their first Premiership campaign, last season.

    3. Won 110 of 249 League matches under Paul Jewell, and require a draw to register 400 League points since the current manager took charge.

    4. Opened the scoring in 14 top flight matches, and gone on to win seven of them.

    5. Scored more goals than any other club in the first five minutes of Premiership matches (five) and conceded more in the last five minutes (eight).

    6. Conceded 44 Premiership goals so far this season, at one every 55 minutes on average. Only Charlton have an inferior top flight defensive record, with 47 goals shipped.

    7. Effectively dropped 19 points from winning positions in Premiership matches this season - that's more than any other club. Lost home to Manchester United and away to Blackburn, Tottenham, Reading and Arsenal, and drawn home to Watford and away to Middlesbrough having led in all seven matches.

    8. Used more players in Premiership matches this season than any other club, with the exception of Aston Villa and Sheffield United. All three have fielded 30.

    9. A north-west derby at Manchester City follows this, before a clash with Fulham at the JJB and a visit to Charlton.

    NEWCASTLE UNITED

    Going into the weekend: 9th 36 points
    (all statistics are ahead of this weekend's round of Premiership fixtures)

    1. Won four of the last five in all competitions, including the last three.

    2. Lost one of the last six Premiership matches.

    3. Need to score five goals to total 800 in the clubs' Premier League history.

    4. The current total of 36 points after 27 matches is on a par with last season, when they had 39 after 28 games and went on to complete a seventh placed finish.

    5. Only West Ham and Tottenham have also managed just four clean sheets in this top flight season. No club has registered fewer.

    6. Gained 11 points from matches in which they were losing. Beaten Reading and Liverpool at home, and Tottenham away, and drawn home to Manchester United and West Ham, having been behind in all five games.

    7. Lost the lead nine times in top tier encounters this term, and effectively dropped 15 points from matches in which they in a winning position. Drawn three (home to Everton and Manchester United, and away to Arsenal) and lost three (home to Fulham, and home and away to Bolton) in which they held the lead.

    8. A 2-3 victory at Tottenham on 14 January is the only points gained from a last available 15 on the road. Beaten only West Ham, Blackburn and Spurs on their top flight travels this term.

    9. Failed to score in seven matches on their Premiership travels. Only West Ham (10) and Watford (eight) have missed the target more often in top flight matches away from home.

    10. Premiership fixtures in March are home to north-east rivals Middlesbrough next Saturday, away to Charlton and home to Manchester City.

    KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES

    WIGAN ATHLETIC

    Henri CAMARA and Emile HESKEY are Wigan's joint top scorers with six goals each, all scored in the Premiership.

    When he next plays, CAMARA will be making his 50th appearance for Wigan.

    Emile HESKEY needs one more goal to total 100 in English League football (Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Wigan).

    New signing David UNSWORTH needs to score once to total 50 club career goals.

    Emmerson BOYCE is the only remaining player to have started each of the Latics' League fixtures this season.

    Suspended: Fitz HALL

    NEWCASTLE UNITED

    Obafemi MARTINS is Newcastle's top scorer with 14 goals - 10 of which are Premiership goals.

    If he figures, Scott PARKER will be making his 50th Premiership appearance for the Magpies.

    LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME

    Wigan Athletic 1-0 Newcastle United
    15 October 2005 - Ref: Phil Dowd
    Wigan scorer: Roberts 40

    THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE

    Newcastle United 2-1 Wigan Athletic
    19 August 2006 - Ref: Martin Atkinson
    Newcastle scorers: Parker 38, Ameobi 64
    Wigan scorer: McCulloch 59

    HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS

    Home and away
    League: Wigan 1 win, Newcastle 2, Draws 0
    Prem: Wigan 1 win, Newcastle 2, Draws 0

    at Wigan only
    League: Wigan 1 win, Newcastle 0, Draws 0
    Prem: Wigan 1 win, Newcastle 0, Draws 0



    SEE ALSO
    Lawro's predictions
    23 Feb 07 |  FA Cup


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