Wigan v Newcastle: Pardew continues search for top four finish

Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United, Saturday 15:00
With four wins and just two losses in their last six matches, Wigan would have appeared to have twisted fate and deserve their spot outside of the relegation zone but will face a huge challenge on that position as Betfred offer free bets and post Newcastle as odds on favourites to bag the goods on their trip to the DW Stadium.

Roberto Di Matteo’s men have managed to overcome the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in recent weeks and it would seem that Newcastle propose the same task as any other ‘big’ English side, themselves looking to secure a spot in the Champions League.

Regardless of their current form, however, the Latics still have the worst home attack in the Premier League and should the rest of the division have now cottoned on to their revival act, could find it difficult to penetrate a stern Newcastle defence on Saturday.

Alan Pardew’s side have conceded just 1.69 goals per game in their away matches this season, keeping clean sheets in an impressive 31% of those games.

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It’s their attack where the Magpies’ strength truly lies however and while Demba Ba’s performances appear to be simmering away, January signing Papiss Demba Cissé continues his assault amongst England’s elite.

The Senegalese international has scored a staggering nine goals in his last six appearances for the North East club and is breaking records and earning accolades as he goes.

Yohan Cabaye is another of the Newcastle squad whose contribution this campaign has been telling and fans of the club will be pleased to hear that the playmaker is likely to return to the starting line-up on Saturday after picking up an injury in the win over Stoke City last weekend.

Danny Guthrie is another player who has been absent with injury of late and is also looking to return to the starting XI this weekend.

The hosts have several quandaries of their own however, and are hoping that Hugo Rodallega and Franco Di Santo regain full fitness before Saturday lest they find themselves short-handed in attack, something they really don’t need given an already miserable scoring record.

Tom is a recent graduate with a degree in Broadcasting from Brighton University, having written for a variety of sports publications, as well as a keen football fan and season ticket holder.