Wigan v Newcastle – Stat Attack

So, 12 points left of this amazing season to play for with the prospect of Champion’s League football still a hugely realistic possibility, albeit reliant on the result of Chelsea v Bayern Munich.

However, Newcastle first must concentrate on what they do, as any talk of Chelsea’s performance could be irrelevant if fortunes begin to change. NUFC are the form team of the Premier League currently, but on Saturday they come up against a Wigan side buoyant by recent victories over Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal.

In the last 6 between the two, they have 2 wins each, 2 draws and 7 goals apiece. NUFC are unbeaten in the last 3 against The Latics, winning the last 2 games 1-0; a thunderous strike by the recently rejuvenated Yohan Cabaye winning the game at SJP earlier this season.

Some 13 places and 28 points separate the two and NUFC go in search of their 7th win on the bounce; they’ve only ever achieved that once in Premier League history (1996). Newcastle have been winning at both half time and full time in 5 of their last 6 games, keeping 4 clean sheets in their last 4.

Wigan in the Premier League:

Only Swansea (6.1) win fewer aerial duels per game on average than Wigan – 7.7.

The Latics make the most fouls per game in the entire league per game – 12.6.

Only 3 teams are currently caught offside fewer times per game on average than Wigan (1.8). For NUFC, its 2.5.

Only Stoke City (11) have scored fewer goals from open play in the Premier League this season than Wigan Athletic – 17.

Wigan produce the same amount of crosses per game on average as Newcastle United (20) but they manufacture the fewest through balls per game in the whole division – 1.

Wigan attack primarily from the right hand side – no team in the top flight presently has a higher percentage of initiated attacks from that side than them (42%).

Because of this, they have produced the highest percentage of shots from that side in the Premier League (26%), but the lowest from central areas (57%).

Therefore, their percentage of attacks from the left hand side is at detriment; only Blackburn (28%) have a lower value – 31%.

Finally, only QPR (54%) have produced a higher percentage of shots from outside the 18 yard box than Wigan this season – 51%.


Victor Moses – The one-time NUFC target has created most chances for Wigan this season (40), the majority of which have come from open play (35). He has created the most clear cut chances at the club (5) and by a ‘country mile’ is the club’s top dribbler – with 199 attempted dribbles, he is 117 ahead of second placed Mohamed Diamé.

Moses also wins possession more than any other Latics player in the attacking third and has had more shots at goal than any of his team-mates this season (89), although only has 4 goals to show for it, 1 less than top scorers Gomez and Di Santo.

Moses could be dangerous!

Maynor Figueroa – Although a regular full-back now, the Honduran is Wigan’s main ‘string-puller’, producing more total passes than any other Wigan player this season, but also most passes in the attacking half and final third. He’s had more touches than any other player at the club and wins possession in the defensive third the most.

How to win this one:

Wigan have had a very upbeat time of late, winning 4 of their last 6 matches. But, they aren’t languishing near the bottom for no reason. Nobody has scored more than 5 Premier League goals for them this season and they face a Newcastle side who are top of the form chart and have only let in 1 goal in the last 6 games.
A strong defensive performance against a team who will look to play through the middle as well as down the left, and run the ball frequently, should see NUFC through this one, as they are sure to score!

Wigan - Last 6 average positions

Looking at the average play positions for Wigan’s last 6 Premier League games, weakness can be found at Figueroa’s left back position and the area between him and the centre half. Because he plays so attackingly, Wigan afford space on that side of the pitch and NUFC’s quick counter play can exploit that area in particular.

Because of this, Hatem Ben Arfa may well be the key player. If he can utilise his possession on that right side to full effect, especially when Figueroa is caught out of position, and deliver good service to Ba & Cisse, Newcastle can keep their fantastic run going!

NUFC_Stats prediction: 0-1

44 thoughts on “Wigan v Newcastle – Stat Attack

  1. Very informative, thank you for this.
    Despite their recent run (though lets not forget they just lost against Fulham) I don’t think they have the quality to stop a team playing with confidence.
    Having said that, it’s crucial Pardieu can get the boys up for a scrap, as I see Wigan putting a few meaty 50/50 tackles in and defending deep.

    Mind, if we can’t beat Wigan then we don’t deserve Champions League football – simple as that.


  2. Get into them….& fuck them up, get into them….& fuck them up, get into them….& fuck them up

    Just wanted to get that off my chest 😆


  3. I know Wigan have done very well recently with their run of difficult run of games, but I honestly only see us winning this game.
    I don’t see their defence being able to contain the likes of Cisse, Ba, Benny and Cabaye who in my opinion are the strongest attacking force in the league at the moment. I really can’t see Wigan stopping us from scoring at least one goal.
    Wigan have their own attacking threat but with Jonas and Tiote sat infront of our back four I just can’t see them getting many chances.

    0-2 for me like …. HWTL


  4. Am I the only one that is worried about the game tomorrow?

    We’re going to lose at some point and this is the type of game that we religiously balls up in every year 😕


  5. yeah I’m with you on that Toonsy.
    In the matches they have won recently, v manure (h) and Arsenal (a) they have come out the traps all guns blazing. Scored against arsenal in 7 mins and moses had a good goal disallowed early in the first half against manure.
    I have noticed how we nearly always seem to start slow and build it up during the match. We had better be switched on from the off for this one.
    Also Caldwell and Figueroa have been fairly solid and resilient in defence lately and Ali Al Habsi has been on the top of his game.
    Factor in that they are fighting for their very prem lge survival, and believe me this is no walkover.
    If they get a lead, like they did v manure, then they will park the bus.
    Somehow, we MUST score first and knock the wind out of their sails.
    After that they will commit more to attack and will be easy pickings for our lads on the break.
    Cant predict a score on this one, as it really could go either way.
    Danger men are moses and Beausejour.
    Howay the Lads


  6. Toonsy – This game is perfect for us. They like to attack and committ players forward, they leave lots of space and our formation/players can hit them on the counter attack brilliantly. Ala WBA.

    I go 1-3


  7. I must say tho that I feel confident that Pardew will have studied wigan thoroughly and will have a game plan sorted out for the Lads to beat them.
    He does seem meticulous with his planning and preparations for a match. 😆
    TBH you would like to think that we have too much for them and it should be another win. But as seen previously this season, there’s no easy games anymore.


  8. Agree with BB on this one the first goal is really crucial. If we score first it will dent their confidence and force them to throw caution to the wind in a attacking sense leaving gaps for BA etc. If wigan score first they can sit deep and counter us with their tails up. Simple then it will be a bloody tough game if they score first however if we nick an early goal it could end up a copy of the WBA game. Here’s hoping 😉


  9. toonsy says:
    April 27, 2012 at 08:39
    Am I the only one that is worried about the game tomorrow?

    We’re going to lose at some point and this is the type of game that we religiously balls up in every year

    I would have the same fear for tomorrow. I hope we finish the season unbeaten but can we really win 7 on the bounce? When was the last time we done that? On paper it seems one of the easier games of the season but football aint played on paper 🙂


  10. Johno Toon – Wise words indeed. The teams who are fighting for their lives are the ones who will bight you in the arse. Ee need to be sooo up for this.


  11. Toonsy – I obviously want us to finish well and it was good to hear Pardew say on SSN today that their focus is 3rd now (Hayley looks wicked today 😈 )
    I honestly think other clubs look at us as really fear us at the moment, Martinez is a pretty clever bloke and does his homework on his opposition and tends to have a game plan so in that respect, I don’t see them being a walk over but I just don’t see enough quality in their team to handle us.


  12. toonsy
    April 27, 2012 at 08:18

    Arsenal and Man U recently lost against Wigan. Do they not deserve Champions League football?


    Well we’re not really in the same bracket as Arsenal or Man U at the moment. For a team like them to lose can be brushed off – we’re still a new team up at the top of the table, and I feel we need to really prove we belong up there. You don’t do that by losing against clubs in the relegation mire.


  13. I agree Toonsy all good runs come to an end, but I don’t see us losing this game.
    If we play as good as we can we wont get beat simples, as usual its in our hands


  14. Toonsy – Yeah, I suppose that’s true, but by the same token you get down the bottom over a whole season, and the odd ‘champagne’ victory over Arsenal and Man U doesn’t stop them being a very, very poor side.

    2-0, with Ba getting them both.

    Re: The graffiti, I’m torn over it. On one level I like the idea of never giving Ashley a break over the naming issue, constantly having new graffiti as an irritating thorn in his side. But it does give the London media another stick to hit the ‘stupid Geordies’ with, along with the cameras seeking out some fat bloke with his top off pulling a silly face for their highlight reels…


  15. In hindsight, I can now see why Ashley originally went for Shirts Derelict @ St James’ Park.
    To be fair to the bloke, he tried to keep the name in there, but got no takers.
    I mean would we really moan so much if it had been O2 Arena @ SJP ?
    For £10M big ones.
    Just give us a few mins while I dig out me old tin hat. 😉


  16. JT – I disagree that Wigwam are a “very very poor side”.
    I know they are at the bottom end of the table, but they have had a NUFC ammount of bad luck and bad decisions go against them too.
    They actually try and play decent football. And Martinez is an ok manager.


  17. If we play as well as we can, Wigan won’t have a chance.. I hope the boys are switched on.. the football has been a joy to behold the past month or so… I think Wigan will try and drag the game down to their level and frustrate us tho, it could get messy as a result. 2-1in our favour I reckon!


  18. Apologies for lifting this from another site, but I think it makes interesting reading.
    “Papiss Cisse has scored eleven goals in ten games since joining the club (nine starts) and has now netted in six consecutive top-flight games.

    He’ll go into Saturday’s game at Wigan with a chance of becoming only the fourth player in our history to score in seven successive league games. Len White achieved this in both 1958 and 1961, Paul Goddard followed in 1987 and Alan Shearer racked up seven in 1996 – the only player to have done so for the club in the Premier League.

    The club’s all-time consecutive scoring record remains nine goals in league and cup games, a feat only ever managed by Willie Wardrope way back in 1895. Les Ferdinand made it to eight in 1995 (five in the PL and three League Cup ties).

    Papiss eats stats for breakfast.


  19. Beardsleys Boots
    April 27, 2012 at 10:47

    JT – I disagree that Wigwam are a “very very poor side”.
    I know they are at the bottom end of the table, but they have had a NUFC ammount of bad luck and bad decisions go against them too.
    They actually try and play decent football. And Martinez is an ok manager.


    They certainly try to play decent football, but their league position suggests they don’t succeed.
    I don’t buy in to this ‘bad luck’ argument. No team has sustained bad luck for 34 games. They’ve got a manager with one eye on the exit door (Villa job, presumably?), a Chairman by his own admission looking to either sell or hand over the reins to his grandson ASAP, along with a chonic and sustained lack of investment in the playing squad to blame for their position. Two dodgy Chelski goals, disgraceful though that match was, just gave Wigan somewhere else to lay the blame other than at their own door.


  20. Worried about Wigan? Norwich, West Brom, Liverpool, Swansea, Bolton and Stoke were all predicted to bring us to our knees but were all brushed aside, the team has nothing to lose and everything to gain and can play with complete freedom without pressure.
    I predict a torrid afternoon for Gary Caldwell, the pressure is all on them and if we score early they will crumble.


  21. BB – if he scores on Sat I think he gets a statue 😆

    Re the graffitti: these people are morons, it’s a mindless act and defaces our historic football stadium. I dont agree with the name change but I not believe that crime is the way to get your point across about anything


  22. I genuinely do feel this is the game when Ba is going to get himself back in the headlines. I haven’t felt like he would score for a while now, but I’ve got a feeling about this game. Howay Demba!

    I’d like Cisse to score too though, he needs to score in another game to match Shearer’s best of 7 in a row. I think I read somewhere that Sir Les managed 8, but that was including 2 League Cup games, so presumably we won’t could that as a target…


  23. Sharpy a lot of people have had to break the law to change the law. So I don’t buy the argument that it’s no way to get your point across.
    It’s all good sitting back and saying you don’t agree with the name change, but that achieves you zilch.
    But if someone feels strong enough about the name change how does he get his point across ? He has done the only thing that highlights his fight against the name change.
    And remember the same person could find that the signage that some moron has put up all over the ground as defacing our historic ground.


  24. @Toonsy: Have some faith in the team. 😉 😆

    We will stop winning once we meet man city. 😥


  25. Top 5 form clubs

    Man City

    Tough games coming up, hopefully Wigans bubble has burst and we can beat Chelsea then anything can happen


  26. BD – Spray painting graffiti achieves zilch too. it’s removed within hours and that’s that. You can say well it’s highlighting the issue, but everyone knows that some people aren’t happy about it – it doesn’t need highlighting in this way. The fact of the matter is we need the extra money if we want to compete at the top. If they are that bothered, they need to put their spray-cans down and come up with a solution to that.


  27. I will only start believing that we can qualify for champs league if we beat wigan….. thats why I am not confident 😕


  28. Dave – How does spraying a wall with paint prove a point though? It’s just mindless crime.

    For all the people that piss and moan about I’ve yet to hear one, just one, credible solution to it. The most credible one is mine where we try and raise the £10m the club are seeking through a large number of fans chipping in, but how come nobody else has started doing that? I mean Mr Newcastle Wraith was happy to ask for donations for a fecking billboard over the way, and the NUSC were trying to raise money to buy the sodding club. Why can’t either of those try something like I’ve suggested?


  29. Jon it mate the news didn’t it ?? So it is reminding people that would otherwise have just forgot about it.
    As for extra revenue to compete ?? Why are we getting paid for it ?

    Toonsy I don’t understand why Wraith gets attacked for it ? the same way I don’t think anyone else should pay for a name change that no one wants and shouldn’t happen.
    As I said lots of people bitch and moan about we need to go with it for extra revenue , but we’re not getting £10 mil of sports direct for it, and as the top advertisment companies and pr people have said no company would want to touch it.
    And also I asked what other teams have renamed their old historical ground if thats the way to go .


  30. Dave – In your opinion it shouldn’t have happened, and I know you’re not alone on that. But the fact is that it has so what do we do about it?

    1 – Piss and moan about it

    2 – Buy a £2 tin of spray paint

    3 – Try and think of a solution where the club gets what they want and where the fans get what they want

    Then again, a lot of the pissing and moaning will go away once people start asking for £20, surprisingly. You watch 😉

    Edit – Plus I wasn’t really attacking Wraith. I just found his coffin stunt cringeworthy and thought his billboard idea was pointless.


  31. Good article in the Journal today by Mark Douglas with Smudger.

    So much hoping we get a win tomorrow and I no it is a cliche but midweek will be a great time to play Chelsea who will struggle to beat Joey and his boys on Sunday. Actually fancy Stoke to get something off Arsenal tomorrow. Just so much can happen and it is exciting to be in the middle of it


  32. Tbh, I had forgotten about the name change until I saw that article which pretty much sums up how I little I care about it. I still call it St. James’ as I’m sure everyone else on here does. I think that’s really all that matters. Though it has to be annoying to live in Newcastle and not see the sign anymore.


  33. Also, not sure spray painting expresses much since I’m pretty sure Ashley knows how the supporters feel about it already


  34. Dave – No one is going to forget about it. I don’t need some nobhead spraying shit everywhere and making the club look stupid, cos like most people I have a memory longer than 6 months.

    With the club continuing to improve on the pitch and making the news for the right reasons, I don’t think it will be long before companies start to look at it as a pretty good opportunity, particularly if we make the CL. Making the news when fans are graffitiing, etc is only going to put off companies even more.

    Do you agree that we need the extra revenue to be able to compete with the likes of Manure, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs? If so how do you propose to raise the money? I bet you want more signings, but at the same time I bet you don’t want us to sell Tiote or Krul or Cisse? You can’t have it both ways.


  35. I’ve actually just written an article, which should be up in a bit, about this whole name change. I’m intrigued by the whole idea about fans being willing to dig deep and save St James’ Park so I’ve set up a poll to see how much interest there is.

    I can guarantee two things:

    1 – I’ll get shit from people for trying to shit stir when in reality I’m just bouncing an idea around.

    2 – The amount of anger will dwindle once the notion of paying for something comes into the equation.

    Might be a poor idea, but at least we’ll see how much interest there is and how far people will go.


  36. Just come back on line……..BigDave I can not believe you are abdicating crime as a legit way of getting a point across… so what you are basically saying is that when someone strongly disagrees with something that means a lot to them, they can break the law to make it right… That is a poor arguement in the defence of the tagger…


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