|Scoreboard|||||Match Schedule|||||Standings|||||Teams|||||Player Leaders|
Newcastle United-Wigan Athletic Preview
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Both sides will be desperate to claim all three points when Wigan Athletic welcome Newcastle United to the DW Stadium on Saturday.
Wigan are one place above the drop zone and fighting for Premier League survival, while Newcastle are at the opposite end of the table and looking to secure a Champions League berth.
Newcastle moved up to fourth last Saturday after a 3-0 home win over Stoke City. French playmaker Yohan Cabaye scored twice and set up a third for Papiss Cisse as the Magpies recorded their sixth straight league victory. Senegal striker Cisse continued his remarkable goal-scoring streak that has seen him find the back of the net 11 times in 10 matches.
The Magpies will be looking to end the season in third place to guarantee Champions League football for the first time since 2003, because if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in this season's final on May 19 they will gain automatic entry into the 2012/2013 competition at the expense of the club finishing fourth in the Premier League.
"Our objective was the Europa League, but now we have a dream, so why not fight for this?" said Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini. "We have arrived here in this position as a team. Papiss, Demba (Ba), Yohan - whoever scores, it's good for the team. That's the most important thing: the team.
"We don't have one Maradona, one Messi. The importance is placed on the group, and that's why we are where we are now.
"We can't think too far ahead, instead just try to play the game and keep going like this, and then when we finish the season we can see how we did.
"Now we have a very tough game against Wigan, because they're playing very well, but we're always confident."
Wigan's 2-1 defeat at Fulham last Saturday was only their second defeat in eight league matches during which time they recorded impressive wins against Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.
"I am extremely proud of the team and the results we have been getting," said Latics boss Roberto Martinez. "But we have done nothing, we need to concentrate on the next three games.
"That is not just for myself but for everyone - the staff, players and everyone connected to the football club.
"All we are talking about is Newcastle and making sure we are as good as we can be in the next three games, and nothing else."
Martinez is hopeful striker Hugo Rodallega will play some part against Newcastle. The Colombia international has been out for seven weeks with a knee injury but is now back in training.
"We will assess him over the next two days but he is slowly getting ready to make the squad, which is great news," said Martinez. "Hugo has got something quite special - he has been able to grab the big moments and score goals.
"To have that in the squad is of real value and all we want is everyone in the squad to be fit and available to help the team in the last three games.
"There are going to be big moments, big emotions and we need every player ready to perform. Hugo is no exception."
Another Wigan forward Franco di Santo is doubtful with a calf problem while defender Ronnie Stam is likely to miss out after suffering a hamstring injury in training.
Cabaye's first goal for Newcastle secured a 1-0 win for Newcastle when Wigan travelled to Tyneside for this season's reverse league fixture on October 22.
Wigan and Newcastle have played each other on 14 previous occasions, with the Latics winning five times – all at home - and the Magpies claiming six victories in total.
Updated April 27, 2012