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Wigan Athletic are desperate to pull themselves away from the relegation zone and they will try to claw their way out by grabbing maximum points against Sunderland this weekend.
The Latics are just one place above the dropzone in the Premier League table due to goal difference and they may feel that they can get a result against the Black Cats, who have had an inconsistent campaign.
The North-East side will take encouragement from their 3-0 win over West Ham United at the weekend but they will be hoping to forget their FA Cup third-round defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is still searching for his first Premier League win this season as the Black Cats prepare to welcome Wigan Athletic to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Both sides are through to the fourth round of the League Cup following their respective victories. However, Wigan are determined not to record a third consecutive defeat in the league following their 2-1 loss to Fulham last weekend.
O’Neill will be without captain Lee Cattermole after the midfielder was sent off for the seventh time in his career during the Black Cats’ 2-0 win over MK Dons in the League Cup this week, which means that David Vaughan could be placed in the starting XI.
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Ronnie Stam is likely to be placed in Wigan manager Roberto Martinez‘s defence following the long-term injury blow suffered by Ivan Ramis, while Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill is expected to keep Steven Fletcher up front with David Vaughan and Sebastian Larsson in midfield.
Wigan: Al Habsi; Figueroa, Caldwell, Stam; Beausejour, McArthur, Jones, Boyce, McCarthy; Maloney, Di Santo
Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, O’Shea, Bramble, Colback; Johnson, Vaughan, Larsson, McClean; Fletcher, Sessegnon