Following an emphatic mid-week win over West Ham in the Capital One Cup, Roberto Martinez’ men travel to the Stadium of Light to face Martin O’Neil’s Sunderland.
Latics came from behind to seal a 4-1 win at Upton Park and will take confidence from their triumph to a tricky North East clash.
After making seven changes in the week Martinez is pleased with the competition in his squad and hopes to use their mid-week success as a platform for their season.
He said: “I’m very happy with the competition for places and with the look the squad has at the current time and I’m very much looking forward to the next three or four games.”
One of their worst starts to a Premier League campaign sees them sitting on four points after five games and the Spaniard is keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s relegation dogfight.
He said: “We don’t want to be a team that just fights against relegation, we want to be a team to do something else, and that means the next few games are vitally important.”
Franco Di Santo, out with a calf problem, is still not ready for a first team return but an impressive two goal haul for Mauro Boselli in the week puts him in a strong position to start.
Martinez added: “I’ve said from the beginning of the season that he looks sharp and a player of that stature is going to be very important for us this season.”
Wigan also find themselves without Antolin Alcaraz, who is a ten days away from a return due to a groin injury.
Sunderland, without a win after starting the season with four draws, will be without skipper Lee Cattermole, while new signing Adam Johnson is doubtful after missing Tuesday’s clash with MK Dons.
Steven Fletcher will be looking to continue his excellent start to the season, he has scored all of Sunderland’s league goals and will hope to capitalise on Wigan’s defensive frailties.
Only QPR, 11, and Southampton, 15, have conceded more than Wigan’s ten this season with the Lactics looking to avoid their third consecutive league defeat.
There has not been a goalless draw between the teams for 15 matches and with both sides desperate for a win, it has the potential to be an entertaining game at the Stadium of Light.