Alan Pardew’s men have so far struggled to recapture the form that took them to a fifth-place finish last season. Since beating West Brom in October, the Magpies have endured a terrible run of form with just one point from their past five matches. Disappointing losses at home to West Ham and Swansea were followed by arguably their worst result of the season – a 2-0 loss at Southampton.
They looked like finally ending their losing run against Stoke on Wednesday night, but conceded twice in the last 10 minutes to slump to their fourth straight defeat. They are languishing in 14th place and in desperate need of a victory to kick-start their season.
Papiss Cisse may have scored in his last start against Stoke but the Senegalese striker has struggled so far this campaign after bursting onto the scene so spectacularly in January earlier this year. Newcastle’s other star striker Demba Ba has been more productive with eight goals to his name already and will be looking to further add to his tally in this clash.
Roberto Martinez’s Wigan have lost three of their past four clashes, but were far from disgraced in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to defending champions Manchester City. Spanish attacker Jordi Gomez netted a sublime hat-trick in Wigan’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Reading and will pose a threat to Newcastle’s leaky defence. Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo are also quality forwards with seven goals between them his season.
Wigan have never tasted a Premier League victory at St James’ Park, but if they break their duck it will be the first time Newcastle have lost three home matches in a row since April 2009.
Prediction: Newcastle 2 – 1 Wigan