Wigan vs Newcastle – Match Preview


It will be a tough game today at the DW Stadium against Wigan Athletic, and we have to hope we can do a lot better than in last season’s fixture, when we taken apart 4-0 by a rampant and revitalized Wigan side.

And it could be that Wigan are coming into some form again, as they again try to avoid relegation, and certainly last time out at Everton last weekend they turned in their best performance of the season to beat the Toffees 3-0 on merit, and reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

But Newcastle are also in good form right now, and we have just reached the quarter finals of the Europa League, with one of our best results of the season when we beat Russian club Anzhi 1-0 on Thursday night at St. James’ Park, with a last second goal from Papiss Cisse.

In their last eight games Wigan have three draws and a 3-0 win at Reading, so only 6 points from those eight games, and they have played better away from the DW Stadium this season, than they have at home.

Bottom teams QPR and Reading were both beaten on the road yesterday – QPR losing 3-2 at relegation rivals Aston Villa and Reading losing 1-0 at Old Trafford, and Newcastle are 9 points above the relegation zone and Wigan, who are 3rd bottom on 24 points.

Alan Pardew will again play a strong side today, and we think quite a number of the lads who played on Thursday night will line up today, although Ben Arfa will not play – with the sad news that he will now be out for the season with that hamstring injury of his.

Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran will start this game, after being ineligible for the Europa League, and Yohan Cabaye is a doubt, although we think he will start today.

So this is a side Alan Pardew could play today:

Debuchy Taylor (S) Yanga-Mbiwa Santon
Gouffran Anita Cabaye (c) Sissoko Marveaux
Subs: Harper Haidara Perch Tiote Gutierrez Obertan Ameobi (S)

The Newcastle manager could also find starting places for Haidara, Tiote and Gutierrez, and since that starting eleven above shows only two changes from the side that started on Thursday night, Pardew may want to bring in some fresh legs.

Wigan could be a very difficult side, although they have been inconsistent this season, and this is what Alan ha shad to say about the opposition:

“They gave us the runaround last year when we were in good form and it was a big blow to our Champions League chances so it’s a game where we need to take a slight bit of revenge.”” They’re on a high, for sure, and we’ve had our best result of the season so there’ll be a real good feeling among the players and that’ll make for a good game.”

“I think Roberto has a side where perhaps even himself, he scratches his head at times. They were unbelievable last week – it was perhaps one of the stand-out results of the year. “I don’t think anyone in the game expected them to win quite as emphatically as they did and yet on other occasions they’ve not been at their best.”

“You can get a team like that, a kind of inconsistent team, but I’m sure now he’s looking for consistency just to get them over the line.”

62% of our readers think Newcastle will win today – but the vote count is low – so here’s a chance to vote for how we’ll do today:

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We need to take something out of this game, and if we can keep up our solid form of the last several weeks, we could even get the win – and that would be only the second win on the road this season.

So another away win is due this afternoon – and maybe we can do it and get our third win in a row in all competitions.

Howay The Lads!!

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117 comments so far

  • toonbrother

    Mar 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #1

    i hope pardew abandons this wingerless formation he has used in the last two games. I watched the Everton game and Wigan will ruthlessly exploit the isolation of our fullbacks if he does.

  • saxonfenken

    Mar 17, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #2

    If Mr T calms down he will not be nearly so effective as he is. We will never know how much his break up play and strong tackling stops teams from scoring, does his odd lapse causes more goals against than those that he stops. an impossible stat to work out

  • toonbrother

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #3

    This is the formation i would like to see today if Cabaye isnt fit to start
    ………….Jonas….Tiote (Captain)


  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #4

    Toonbrother…I don’t our ‘wingerless’ formation; it fits the players we have.

    …we just need two defensive CM infront of our defense safeguarding them.

    Our CM have been our achilles heel as far as I think 🙂

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #5


  • 5Danny94

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #6

    ————— Elliott —————
    —————- Cisse —————-

    I’d love it if Taylor was captain, but for some reason Pardew seems to believe that Tiote is the best role-model for us. I can almost see Jonas starting above Marveaux if Pardew wants to use Sylvain as an impact sub, although I’d love the man forever if he played Haidara at right back and shoved Santon on the wing. He won’t, but just imagine…

  • toonbrother

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #7

    @Jesper. I respectfully disagree, We have good quality, energetic wingers in Marveaux, Gouffran, Obertan and (when he’s in the mood) Gutierrez. Pardew has for some reason chosen to play without wingers in recent games leaving the full backs to act as the only wide men. Not only does it leave our fullbacks exposed defensively it has -strangely enough- inhibited our attacking play starving Cisse of goalscoring opportunities.

    Im not a big fan of Pardew but I do like the fact he’s open to trying something new. Im just not sure this particular idea is having the desired effect offensively or defensively

  • CramlingtonMag

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #8

    Surely today is the day to see what the effect of leaving out tiote is. Wigan dont have Diame any more so the risk of being overpowered in midfield is gone. Tiote was awful at times on thursday and in my opinion simply doesnt deserve a starting place on his perfomances this season. I would prefer to see anita start. He has been hard done by since the january arivals.

  • cyprus

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #9

    Obertan? hmm

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #10

    A Happy St Patricks day to all you fine men. I’ll try to have a pint of Guinness for all of you 🙂

  • kww

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #11

    our fullbacks santon and debuchy are archetypical modern days fullback that provide width by running up and down the flanks. pardew needs to figure the balance thru tactics and defensive midfielders to cover the gap in defense while the fullbacks r bombing forward. it’s no easy feat and even barcelona has been exploited by opposition teams when alves and alba attacked this season.
    however, it’s a very popular modern tactic and if balance is right, can be very devastating and effective. personally i think perch is the best defensive midfielder to fill this role as he’s most tactically astute among all 5 defensive mids, but heck cabaye anita guti and tiote should b able to do the job.
    the mid 2000s milan side was very good at this, using pirlo, gattuso and seedorf to cover while cafu and jankulovski were attacking.
    this is probably the best tactics moving forward, 4-2-3-1 we should keep working away at this.

  • magpie6699

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #12

    Unlike others, I have a bad feeling about today’s game. Unless it’s the after-effects of the Chinese I had last night.

  • Lucky Les

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #13

    I assume the team will be the one that started against Stoke if Cabaye is fit.The problem will be if he is not.Marveaux is the most skilful replacement but his lack of work rate especially in away games make him a risky choice.I like him as an impact sub.Anita could be considered I don’t see him as a defensive midfielder but does he have the talent to be creative midfield.I have yet to see it as the game often seems to pass him by.Perch could play but is more defensive than the other 2 candidates but perhaps a defensive attitude might be favoured for a tricky away game.We have to wait and see.We could do with at least a point.

  • dmac

    Mar 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #14

    We were unconvincing at Anzhi and therefore im slighty pessimistic about today also. Wigan need this win, but lets not forget so do we.

  • Spotlight Kid

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #15

    Martinez will out-think Pardew (not hard). The question is whether the Wigan XI can outplay the Toon XI on the pitch. Looks like a nailed on draw to me unless we have another defensive faux pas and/or the ref has a all-too-often bad day.

  • Spotlight Kid

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #16

    *an, pardon my typographic error.

  • nick_9

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #17

    Apparently cabayes wife has revealed on Instagram that he will not be playing today, unsure if its genuine but he would be a big loss. Wigan are a tough team on their day but they have 23 points from 28 games, hardly a team that picks up plenty of points eh? Surely we can beat them. If cabaye is out I would like to see perch step in as him and tiote would provide the steel and workrate to compensate for marveaux starting. For me it’s:


    I think those guys would have enough to beat Wigan along with the same backline that played against stoke. It will be interesting to see who plays and how we play after Thursday night.

  • Lucky Les

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #18

    Has a decision been made on changing the Sunderland game from the Saturday lunchtime to the Sunday?We are of course playing Benfica on the Thursday before. I imagine the problem will be that we are due to be on TV on Saturday lunchtime.

  • Twatter

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #19

    Obertan a good quality winger? You’re having a laugh.

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #20

    From previous

    I don’t think it’s any coincidence we are doing far better now we have replaced Willo and Simmo.

    Willo was becoming a new Bramble with a costly mistake in him nearly every match. He is awful with anyone with pace running at him on the ground and for a big guy not the best in the air either. Simply put he is not a genuine footballer in any real sense.

    I’m warming to Pardew’s evolution. Although it has been painful at times, we do appear to be playing more ”intelligent ” football now.

  • dembademba

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #21

    standard back four

    tiote anita
    marv sissoko gouffran
    big pappa cisse

    that should do it. wigan mainly play on the ground (except for crosses) so want to see anita given a chance. wouldnt mind if perch started ahead of tiote though

  • hatemorloveit

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #22

    Santon is as shit as obertan..im tired of him getting a free ride

  • northernirishtoon

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #23

    Would criminal if perch didn’t get a game today. Hasn’t put a foot wrong and is more deserving of a start than tiote or Anita

    —————Elliott —————
    Debuchy. Taylor. Mbiwa. Santon

  • Alan Pas-de-clue

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #24


    i feel that is a bit harsh on the young lad but i understand what you are saying

    santon is at fault for a lot of our goals, his defensive positing is quite weak for a supposed fullback, and he flatters to deceive, making bursting forward runs (which are usually not productive). He undeservedly comes up smelling of roses even in the most poor displays.

    BUT, the lad is still young, he has time to grow, mature and learn from the likes of debuchy. 22 is arguably 7 years from his prime for a fullback.

    in contrast obertan, who is actually only two years older than santon, should be nearing his prime for a flying winger, at the peak of his physical fitness. the fact is obertan is simply poor, looks disinterested, with very little of a footballing brain. he has had chance after chance with two massive clubs in english football and blown them all.

    unlike santon, who in interviews always states how willing he is to work for the team, is always committed to improving himself, and is always supporting the manager, backing the team philosophy.

    Obertan is on a whole new planet of shitness compared to santon

  • ~ Phoenix Warrior Perch~

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #25

    Can someone explain to me why the walking Liability that is Tiote deserves to start ahead of players like Anita and Perch?

    That Card magnet should be on the bench.

  • Alan Pas-de-clue

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #26


  • Alan Pas-de-clue

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #27

    phoenix warrior

    completely agree, perch right now fills me with far more confidence as a cdm than either tiote or anita.
    my team for today assuming cabaye is fit would be

    Debuchy taylor yanga haidara
    perch sissoko
    marv cabaye gouffran

    if no cabaye, move marv central and either santon or guti to the wing

  • NUFCarter

    Mar 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #28

    Watching the greatest comeback again – nufc 4-4 arsenal. Outback four was absolutely awful. Especially Simpson and Williamson. Tiote was definetely our best player on the day and guiterezz seemed a different player his work rate has definelty regressed since that season. Although he has shown glimpses this season and hasn’t been that bad. Watching the first half at the moment seeing all those fans walking out can’t wait till Diaby gets sent off and the comeback begins then st James’ park is electric!

  • martoon

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #29

    magpie6699 @12 – Yes I have the same feeling as Wigan are a bit of a bogey team for us. I also think Thursday night will take it’s toll especially on players like Sissoko who looked knackered but he has played in every match since he joined us. I think we need to use fresh legs i.e Perch and I am quite happy to be proved wrong on this occasion 😉

  • nick_9

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #30

    Like others have said Santon is still only young having recently turned 22 and is still learning the game. Tavernier, ferguson, ranger and amalfitano are all between 21 and 23 and how are they doing for us or was doing in rangers case? The lad was excellent for the first 1/3 of the season but has been a bit shakey since. Surely he will improve having debuchy, Taylor, colo and mbiwa around him? Santon hasn’t actually made that many more appearances than obertan but who has made the biggest impression? Santon for me, I wrote obertan off ages ago.


  • NUFCarter

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #31

    did anyone see this. it wasnt that long ago

    Now we will probably never seem him in a newcastle shirt again. Shame

  • Lucky Les

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #32

    Tiote can play defensive midfield to the physical standard required by the premier league and is respected by his team mates for his work rate and will to win.This attitude is why clubs the size of Chelsea ,Man Utd and Arsenal have enquired about his availability.Defensive midfielders get yellow cards, Perch has seven ,it comes with the territory.

  • jeraziah

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #33

    I think we will have tough time at Wigan today.. They are always best in this period of the season, they are truely fighting for survival once again… Wouldnt be suprised if we lose this one.

  • Alan Pas-de-clue

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #34

    i think this bogey team thing is a self fulfilling prophecy.

    knowing we got spanked last year our supporters will be apprehensive and the players will feel that tension from the crowd and make no mistake it affects their play on the pitch

    its why things as simple as a sliding tackle can spark a team into life.

    look at us against anzhi, crowd believed we could do it, and the players fed off of that belief.

    we easily have enough for wigan today its just wheteher we perform


  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #35

    alan pas-de-clue

    I think with Santon he was our only attacking full back until january….so we forgive him getting caught out as it was good to see him support the attack.

    No we have debuchy, Santon’s mistakes are more visible. Debuchy is experienced at all levels of football and is 27 now, he knows when to get forward, when to sit, when to start to retreat back or when to stay forward….he has had many years of it so knows the game.

    Santon is good at defending when in position but just gets caught up the field too much. He need to learn when to go forward and when to stay.

    I know a lot on here say well the DM should cover…sometimes yes they should I agree, but santon also has to take more responsibility. I have no doubt working with debuhcy will hep him massively in learning and by next season he will have kicked on even more.

    Failing that Haidara looks very good in the few games he has played and he could slot in if Santon doesn’t improve as I think he will.

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #36

    @ dembademba

    Thats the team I would go for however I think Pardew will try and fit Gutierrez in somewhere in that line up

  • Alan Pas-de-clue

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #37

    transfer sage

    completely agree, possibly due to teams targeting the weakest fullback? before we had simpson, now we have debuhcy teams attack down our left more

  • Pardews Parsnip Bonce

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #38

    Hi guys. Predicted result today?

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #39

    haven’t done this in a while so here’s my team I’d like to see today:


    Never a fan of marv out wide but he did actually do a decent job there against anzhi so worth a try…nobody else deserves it more.

    If cabaye is unfit I’d have marv in the middle and stick Guti out wide right.

  • ~ Phoenix Warrior Perch~

    Mar 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #40

    Lucky Les // Mar 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Tiote can play defensive midfield to the physical standard required by the premier league and is respected by his team mates for his work rate and will to win.This attitude is why clubs the size of Chelsea ,Man Utd and Arsenal have enquired about his availability.Defensive midfielders get yellow cards, Perch has seven ,it comes with the territory.

    Are you saying Perch and Anita lack the will to win?. What a load of nonsense. Out of the four players we have that have played DM on more then one occasion, Tiote has been by far the sh1ttest of the lot.

    Perch and ANita have been more consistent and have done better then Tiote has in that role this season, likewise Bigi, who might I add has never played in the PL prior to this season has also notched in several performances, which have been better then Tiote’s.

    Every Single one of our players with the exception of squidward has shown a desire to win.

    Yellow cards do come with the territory. Thats true. But Tiote gets them more often then Perch. On top of that, when Perch is carded, he isn’t giving away a free kick in a dangerous position, unlike Tiote. Who has done so in pretty much every game he has played.

    Bottom line, little seperates the two in what they can offer to the team, however Perch is not a walking liability. Tiote is.

    If anyone in the team should be sold to fund new transfers, its Tiote.


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