Newcastle will be away at DW for the second rematch of the year, and hoping to force the issue a bit better than they did in early October when a home draw was all they could muster. One would think that the Latics should be ripe for picking with their best player out on suspension, but they are also unbeaten in their last four, and you can't give all the credit to N'somnia.
Andy Carroll will be out as well, and that leaves me wondering how either side will expect to score at all on Sunday. Still I have to say I like the Magpies chances to gain three points here and make a better start at the second half of the season. Pardew certainly needs a win, and the team needs a win, we can only hope that need weighs heavily enough to get them back into good form.
Reasons we win:
With N'somnia out Wigan may be hunting for the single point on Sunday, and that is something that Newcastle must take advantage of. We should be looking to apply and hold pressure to them all day long.
Shola Ameobi needs to come through for this team, and since he's the likely replacement for Andy Carroll, he'll get his chance. A strong showing from Ameobi can all but make up for the lack of Andy.
This is becoming a theme, but Jonas Gutierrez has to get his head on right. I've been on and on about the whys, we're a significantly poorer side when he's not playing well.
Reason's we lose:
Giving mid-table teams proper respect has been a thematic problem for NUFC this year. A quick way to lose on Sunday will be to treat the match like a cakewalk just because N'zogbia won't be around.
With Andy on the bench, finding a way to score may prove difficult, and that's a good way to find ourselves not getting the three points we want out of this game. If we can't put any on the board we may just see all the points stay with Wigan.
Prediction: NUFC 2-1 WAFC