Premier League preview: Wigan v Newcastle
By Football News
Newcastle United midfielders Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye may miss the northern club's English Premier League clash with Wigan Athletic.
The French duo are struggling with hamstring and groin injuries respectively ahead of Sunday's game but Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will undoubtedly give them both as much time as possible to prove their fitness.
Cabaye tweaked his groin during Newcastle's 1-0 win over Anzhi Makhachkala in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday and was substituted before half-time but the 27-year-old central midfielder claimed after the game that he had left the field more as a precaution after injury issues this season.
"I hope it's not too bad," Cabaye told nufc.co.uk.
"It's my groin, which has given me some problems this season and I'm still cautious about it so I just wanted to keep my groin good.
"We'll see tomorrow but I don't think it's a bad injury."
Ben Arfa has not played since the away leg of Newcastle's Round of 16 tie versus Anzhi but Pardew has claimed the left-footed wizard remains likely to play in Wigan.
Newcastle's away form this season has been terrible with Pardew's team having started their campaign with a 17-game winless streak in all competitions on the road.
The past five games have seen slight improvement with two wins and a draw but only one of those results was in the Premier League with a 2-1 triumph away to Aston Villa.
Newcastle sit 13th on the Premier League table with 33 points, one of five clubs on that total, while Wigan (24 points) are 18th.
Wigan were very impressive in their last outing (a 3-0 FA Cup triumph over Everton) but their last Premier League match finished 4-0 in favour of Liverpool.
Roberto Martinez's relegation-threatened side would clearly love to take advantage of Newcastle's poor away form as they attempt to move out of the drop zone.
A win against Newcastle could see Wigan move level on points with Aston Villa if the Birmingham-based club lose to Queens Park Rangers.