Defeat in this fixture last year for Sunderland after a long winless run ended Steve Bruce’s reign as manager at the Stadium of Light.
While there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Martin O’Neil is under any pressure whatsoever, he will still be keen to get Sunderland’s first win in the Premier League this season in front of his own supporters. The Black Cats have been solid if not spectacular so far, although the record signing of Steven Fletcher already looks like money well spent with four goals in his first three appearances for the club.
Fellow new signing Adam Johnson finally made his first appearance at the club since arriving from Manchester City in Sunderland’s League Cup win over MK Dons in midweek but he remains a doubt for this match with a thigh injury. Elsewhere, Carlos Cuellar and Seb Larsson could feature after being rested for the tie at Stadium:MK, while captain Lee Cattermole sits out the first match of a three game suspension after picking up a red card in the match.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez will just be a little concerned after his side’s listless performance in their 2-0 home defeat to Fulham last week. For all of their attractive approach play, Wigan have looked a little lethargic particularly in front of goal, although Arouna Kone’s pace and willingness to work has caught the eye for the Latics.
Defensively Wigan were poor last week and Martinez will not be helped by the news that Paraguay international centre-back Antolin Alcaraz will miss the trip to the North East with a groin injury. Elsewhere, Franco Di Santo is likely to remain absent due a calf problem.