The Latics will take on the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light in their sixth Premier League game of the season.
"Sunderland are going to be a pretty attacking team and fully committed especially in front of their home crowd, so it will be a hard game this weekend," Maloney told Wigan's official website.
"James McLean will definitely be one of the players we have to be wary of because he is a determined player and attacks with a lot of pace.
"Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher have come in for them and as a four with Stephane Sessegnon as well, they can be a very dangerous side going forward and it is up to us to try and stop them."
Wigan are currently 15th in the league table with four points from five matches.