Wigan vs. Newcastle: tactics preview

Alan Pardew was given fits last season by Roberto Martinez's 3-4-3 formation in Newcastle's 4-0 defeat to Wigan in late April.

Pardew opted to start the game in a 4-3-3 which meant they defended very narrow in midfield. When in possession, Wigan's wing backs Beausejour and Boyce advanced past Newcastle's wide forwards Ba and Ben Arfa. With Newcastle playing a center midfield three, Beausejour and Boyce were able to drive forward down the wings unmarked from their wing back positions. This left Newcastle's outside backs to defend 1 v 2 on the wings against Wigan's wing backs and outside forwards (Moses and Maloney). Wigan were able to exploit the spare man in wide areas to great effect.
April 28 2012: Wigan 4-0 Newcastle

Pardew has certainly learned from his mistake last season and today will set his team up a 4-4-2 that won't allow Wigan to have a numerical advantage on the wings. The 4-4-2 versus 3-4-3 match up is an interesting one. Both teams will have one extra center back to provide cover (2 Newcastle center backs versus 1 Wigan forward, 3 Wigan center backs versus 2 Newcastle forwards) and be even in the other areas of the pitch.

Today's formations will look something like this, Wigan 3-4-3 (blue) versus Newcastle 4-4-2 (red).