A new English League One season will commence this weekend, with Sunderland hosting Wigan Athletic at the Stadium of Light.
The home side will be looking to build on their fourth-place finish last season and are one of the favorites for promotion to the EFL Championship. Wigan Athletic finished their last campaign in 20th spot and will be aiming for a much better sojourn this time around.
Sunderland come into the game in fine form, having not lost any of their five pre-season fixtures. Their most recent game was a 2-1 victory over League One champions Hull City.
Ross Stewart and Will Grigg scored in each half to give the Black Cats the victory.
Wigan Athletic won all four of their pre-season friendlies and ended their preparations for the new season with a 3-2 victory over Championship side Preston North End.
Sunderland vs Wigan Athletic Head-to-Head
The two sides have clashed on 21 previous occasions and Wigan Athletic have a marginally better record.
The Lactics have nine wins to their name, while Sunderland were victorious on seven occasions; the same number of draws that the sides have shared.
Their most recent meeting came in April when goals from Will Keane and Callum Lang gave Wigan a 2-1 victory on home turf last season.
Sunderland form guide (pre-season friendlies): W-D-W-D-D
Wigan Athletic form guide (pre-season friendlies): W-W-W-W
Sunderland vs Wigan Athletic Team News
Defender Arbenit Xhemajli is still sidelined with a long-term cruciate ligament rupture. There are no suspension worries for the home side.
Injury: Arbenit Xhemajli
There are no known injuries or suspension worries for the visitors.
Sunderland vs Wigan Athletic Predicted XI
Sunderland Predicted XI (4-3-3): Lee Burge (GK); Denver Hume, Bailey Wright, Tom Flanagan, Luke O'Nien; Carl Winchester, Elliot Embleton, Alex Pritchard; Aiden McGeady, Lynden Gooch, Benjamin Mbunga
Wigan Athletic Predicted XI (4-3-3): Ben Amos (GK); Tom Pearce, James Carragher, Adam Long, Tendayi Darikwa; Tom Naylor, Jordan Cousins, Thelo Asgaard; Solomon Otabor, Will Keane, Joe Dodoo
Sunderland vs Wigan Athletic Prediction
Sunderland are slight favorites for the game but Wigan Athletic have made some notable acquisitions and could pose a threat if given the opportunity.
Both sides' strong pre-season runs would have boosted confidence in both camps, but we are predicting the home side will narrowly secure the win in a cagey encounter.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-0 Wigan Athletic