The Latics enter the contest on the back of an impressive 4-1 win at Accrington Stanley, which continued their strong start to the 2021-22 league season.
With five wins from seven games and just one defeat, Leam Richardson's side are leading the pack in the third division with 16 points.
Sunderland, however, are breathing right down their necks, having registered an identical record and accumulated the same number of points. They sit a position adrift courtesy of an inferior goal difference.
The Black Cats ceded pole position following a 2-2 draw against Fleetwood Town in their last outing, throwing away a 2-0 lead in a spectacular late collapse.
They'll be hoping to bounce back in the next game but, considering it's a cup tie, changes are expected in both teams, taking some of the sheen away from a top-billing encounter.
Wigan Athletic vs Sunderland Head-To-Head
There have been 24 previous clashes between the sides, and the spoils have been closely shared.
Wigan have won nine times against Sunderland, whilst losing on eight occasions, including their last encounter in August.
Wigan Athletic Form Guide (all competitions): D-W-D-W-W
Sunderland Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-W-D
Wigan Athletic vs Sunderland Team News
The Latics boss Leam Richardson has only one fitness concern going into the match, with Gwion Edwards missing out with a thigh problem.
Injured: Gwion Edwards
Jordan Willis (patella rupture) and Arbenit Xhemajli (cruciate ligament surgery) are both absent for the Black Cats, who otherwise have all their key players available for the clash.
Injured: Jordan Willis, Arbenit Xhemajli
Wigan Athletic vs Sunderland Predicted XI
Wigan Athletic (4-2-3-1): Jamei Jones; Tendayi Darikwa, Tom Naylor, Kelland Watts, Tom Pearce; Scott Smith, Max Power; Gavin Massey, Jordan Jones, James McClean; Stephen Humphrys.
Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Lee Burge; Niall Huggins, Frederik Alves, Bailey Wright, Dennis Cirkin; Carl Winchester, Dan Neil; Aiden McGeady, Alex Pritchard, Aiden O'Brien; Nathan Broadhead.
Wigan Athletic vs Sunderland Prediction
Given both sides are likely to ring in the changes, it's a tough game to call. But the home team still seem to have a better second-string team than the Black Cats.
With home advantage also in their favor, the Latics are primed to win this one.
Prediction: Wigan Athletic 2-1 Sunderland