Newcastle will not be worried about former player Charles N’Zogbia producing heroics for Wigan again when the two teams clash on Sunday.
United’s former winger N’Zogbia scored twice in as many minutes earlier this season to stun Newcastle in their 2-2 draw at St James Park.
Defender and crowd favourite Fabricio Coloccini saved face for the hosts on that occasion with an injury-time equaliser, but N’Zogbia will not be playing on Sunday after receiving a three-match suspension for head-butting in Wigan’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
N’Zogbia’s rash decision to head-butt Jack Wilshere will only further fuel long-standing rumours he will depart the club in the January transfer window, despite manager Roberto Martinez’s claims he is not a wanted player elsewhere.
“The situation has not changed – there have been no offers but I’m sure the speculation will carry on,” the Latics boss said.
Both sides are hovering above the relegation zone, meaning the three points is a must for both managers Alan Pardew and Martinez.
Wigan are unbeaten in their past six surrounded by the comforts of their DW Stadium home, and Newcastle’s form has slumped to see them win just one of their past eight.
United might welcome back striker Shola Ameobi from a hamstring injury to the starting 11, who would provide experience and aerial support to the in-form Andy Carroll.
Carroll has 11 goals to his name this English Premier League season, and paired with Ameobi, will provide a brutal challenge for Wigan’s centre-backs to handle their agility and strength in the air.