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Sep 21, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
WiganWigan Athletic

Edwards (56')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Broadhead (26'), O'Nien (54')
O'Nien (45+1'), Evans (81'), Embleton (82')

Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Sunderland - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Wigan Athletic vs. Sunderland - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's EFL Cup clash between Wigan Athletic and Sunderland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The top two teams in the League One table will lock horns in the EFL Cup on Tuesday evening, as Wigan Athletic welcome Sunderland to the DW Stadium.

Wigan will enter the contest off the back of an impressive 4-1 victory at Accrington Stanley in the league on Saturday, while Sunderland played out a 2-2 draw with Fleetwood Town on the same afternoon.

Match preview

League Cup runners-up in 2006, Wigan's priority this season will be gaining promotion to the Championship, but they will certainly be keen to get one over on their division rivals Sunderland on Tuesday night.

The Latics, who famously won the 2013 FA Cup, finished 20th in League One last term but have been impressive in the early stages of the 2021-22 campaign, picking up 16 points from their opening seven matches, which has left them at the top of the table.

Leam Richardson's side will enter the contest off the back of a 4-1 win over Accrington in the league on Saturday, which followed a 2-1 success at home to Doncaster Rovers after the international break.

In terms of this competition, Wigan secured their spot in the third round courtesy of a penalty-shootout victory over Bolton Wanderers on August 14.

The Latics have already lost to Sunderland this season, though, suffering a 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light when the two teams locked horns in League One on August 7.

Sunderland will also be pleased with their start to the 2021-22 League One campaign, picking up 16 points from seven matches to sit second in the table, only behind Wigan on goal difference.

The Black Cats have won four of their last five matches in all competitions but were held to a 2-2 draw by Fleetwood in the league on Saturday, with the home side scoring a 97th-minute leveller.

Sunderland secured their spot in the third round of the League Cup courtesy of a 3-2 victory over Blackpool on August 24, while they overcame Port Vale in the first round towards the start of August.

The former Premier League outfit have never won the League Cup but have reached the final on two occasions, the last of which was in 2013-14, when they lost to Manchester City.

Lee Johnson's side, as mentioned, have already beaten Wigan this season, although they suffered a 2-1 defeat on their last visit to the DW Stadium in April 2021.

Wigan Athletic EFL Cup form:
  • W
  • W

Wigan Athletic form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Sunderland EFL Cup form:
  • W
  • W

Sunderland form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Wigan boss Richardson will shuffle his pack for this League Cup contest, with Charlie Wyke, who scored twice on Saturday, among those likely to drop to the bench or out of the squad.

Stephen Humphrys led the line in the last round against Bolton and could be in line for another start here, while James Jones, Gwion Edwards and Tom Pearce should come into the starting XI.

There is no question that Richardson will have one eye on his team's next league game against Cheltenham Town, but there should still be experience in the side in the shape of James McClean.

As for Sunderland, head coach Johnson will make changes to the side that started against Fleetwood in League One on Saturday, with Nathan Broadhead in line to lead the line for the visitors, and Lynden Gooch among those likely to drop out.

Frederik Alves and Alex Pritchard were both on the bench at the weekend, but the pair started the previous round against Blackpool, and it would not be a surprise to see the pair in the starting side.

Johnson will need to assess a couple of knocks in the squad before making a final decision, but there should be another chance in a wide area for 21-year-old Jack Diamond.

Wigan Athletic possible starting lineup:
James Jones; Darikwa, Naylor, Watts, Pearce; Smith, Power; Massey, Edwards, McClean; Humphrys

Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Burge; Huggins, Alves, Wright, Cirkin; Winchester, Neil; Diamond, Pritchard, O'Brien; Broadhead

We say: Wigan Athletic 2-1 Sunderland

This is an incredibly difficult game to call, as both managers will make a number of changes to their strongest starting teams. Wigan's XI might just be a little bit stronger, though, and we are tipping the home side to edge what should be a very close contest at the DW Stadium.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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