Wigan and Sunderland will look to boost their respective Premier League survival hopes when they meet at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Both sides have been struggling for form of late but Sunderland can ease any relegation fears with victory this weekend as they currently sit six points clear of the bottom three.
In contrast, Wigan are 17th in the table and only out of the bottom three on goal difference, although they do start 11/10 favourites for Saturday's match. The Latics are a tough side to back though and the 5/2 for a Sunderland win with Bet 365 could be the way to go as the Black Cats have tended to find a way of winning these types of games when they need to.
Martin O'Neill's side certainly haven't inspired confidence this season as they flirt with the relegation zone but there has been enough about them to win when it matters. They may have only won one of their last five in all competitions but that was a crucial 3-0 win at home to West Ham last weekend, although they have since slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Bolton in the FA Cup.
That loss to Bolton was embarrassing and O'Neill will want to see an immediate response from his side. There is no doubt that the Black Cats are a stronger team with Lee Cattermole in the side and he looks back to full fitness, while top scorer Steven Fletcher is expected to recover from a recent illness.
Fletcher has scored eight league goals this season, including the only goal in a 1-0 win against Wigan in September, and he is a 3/1 punt to score Sunderland's first goal with B365 on Saturday. Sunderland are 7/5 to score first on Saturday and that could be worth a look as Wigan have conceded first in 15 of 22 games in the league this term and they are in the midst of a defensive injury crisis.
Ivan Ramis has been ruled out for the rest of the season and that leaves an already creaking defence looking decidedly shaky. They are also without Antolin Alcatraz and Adrian Lopez for the foreseeable future, while their forward line is weakened by the loss of Arouna Kone to the African Cup of Nations. Franco Di Santo will have to pick up the goalscoring slack left by Kone's absence and he is 4/1 to score Wigan's first goal.
Roberto Martinez opted to rest several first team players for the 1-0 FA Cup win at Bournemouth in mid-week and it was only their second win in 11 in all competitions. They remain fragile and they could come up short against a Sunderland side with a point to prove. The Black Cats have made a habit of nicking these games against fellow strugglers, including a recent 1-0 win at Southampton, and they are 11/1 to win 2-1 this weekend.
Wigan v Sunderland Form
Check the season's statistics for both Wigan and Sunderland, plus the odds ahead of Saturday's match.
Wigan v Sunderland Tips
Tip #1: Sunderland win @ 5/2 with Bet365.
Tip #2: Sunderland to score first @ 7/5 with Bet365.
Tip #3: Franco Di Santo to score Wigan's first goal @ 4/1 with Bet365.
Correct Score Odds
6/1 Wigan 1-0
17/2 Wigan 2-0
8/1 Wigan 2-1
9/1 Draw 0-0
5/1 Draw 1-1
14/1 Draw 2-2
9/1 Sunderland 1-0
16/1 Sunderland 2-0
11/1 Sunderland 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
9/2 Steven Fletcher
11/2 Franco Di Santo
6/1 Angelo Henriquez
6/1 Mauro Boselli
7/1 Callum McManaman
15/2 Louis Saha
8/1 Shaun Maloney
8/1 Jordi Gomez
8/1 Ryo Miachi
17/2 Ryan Noble
9/1 Connor Wickham
9/1 No Goalscorer
Odds supplied by Bet365.com, who offer live in-play betting for all Premier League matches.
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