Wigan v Newcastle, 16:00
– Wigan’s last effort in the league was a 0-4 defeat at home to Liverpool, a result they will be keen to banish from memory with the arrival of another dangerous outfit in Newcastle this weekend.
– Maynor Figueroa continues to be a bastion of strength in defence for Roberto Martinez’s side this season. He now leads the Wigan squad for defensive contributions with 261.
– Scottish midfielder James McCarthy’s influence on Wigan’s performances this season has been enormous, as evidenced by the fact that he has completed more passes in the opponent’s half than any other Wigan player (702) at an average rate of one every 3.8 minutes.
– Franco di Santo may not have been at his most accurate in front of goal at times this season, but it has not diminished his willingness to let fly when he finds himself in promising positions. He has had 54 attempts on goal this season (55% of which have been on target), second only to Arouna Kone with 56.
– Newcastle showed good grit to overcome a Stoke 2-1 at St James Park last weekend, with goals from Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse helping them to come from behind and deservedly claim all three points.
– Yoan Gouffran has showed some promising touches in the early stages of his Newcastle career, another in a line of talented Frenchmen to join the Magpies’ squad. He’s already registered 2 assists and 12 efforts on goal since arriving on Tyneside.
– Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse continues to fill the sizeable void left by Demba Ba’s departure. His well taken goal last time out in the league is something we all know him to be capable of and he is steadily improving his general shot accuracy, now sitting at 51.9% from 52 attempts.
– Despite struggling to nail down a regular place in the starting XI at times this season, it has proven difficult for any other Newcastle player to replicate Hatem Ben Arfa’s ability to take the game to opposition defences. The gifted midfielder still leads the Newcastle squad for dribbles with 27.