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Fulham at home to Wigan ~ Match Preview

last updated Friday 20th April 2012, 10:02 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
If Wigan Athletic's last-day escape from the drop last season was dramatic, this season's scramble to safety promises to be far more impressive.

Stuck in the relegation zone for so long, the Latics have leapt above the dreaded dotted line with a magnificent run that's seen them win four of their last five games.

It's an achievement made all the more remarkable by the quality of the opposition they have overcome: Monday night's scarcely believable success at Arsenal followed victories over Manchester United and Liverpool.

Their only slip-up, if you can call it that, was a narrow defeat at Chelsea when they lost to two highly controversial goals.

Clearly, Roberto Martinez deserves enormous credit. Tactically astute, he has never panicked however desperate the situation may have been and consequently his players have mastered his system and are able to perform without fear. Five points clear with just four games to go is a fantastic position to be in.

Fulham will provide a huge test. On their day they can be exceptional, especially at Craven Cottage where they've scored five or more three times already this season. Clint Dempsey is enjoying his best Premier League campaign and he boasts a terrific record against Wigan down the years so the alarm bells will be ringing whenever he's in range.

Keeping him quiet will be a challenge, but Robin van Persie barely had a sniff at the Emirates nor Wayne Rooney at the DW Stadium so Wigan know how to do it.

Roberto Martinez's men are within touching distance of achieving their goal. Their run has heaped the pressure on the other strugglers and they cannot afford to let their efforts slip now.


  • Fulham are unbeaten in their last 10 league matches in this fixture (W4, D6). The Latics have only managed to win two out of their 12 meetings with Fulham in the Premier League.

  • Fulham's win at Wigan in October's fixture was only the second by the away side in the last 26 league and cup meetings.

  • Wigan have only managed two wins in 18 visits to Craven Cottage.

  • This is the 40th meeting between the sides. Fulham have won 16, Wigan 10 and there have been 13 draws.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have a better record than either Chelsea or Tottenham over their last nine Premier League games.

  • They have only lost one of their last eight league games at home.

  • Their 11 wins this season is already as many as they managed in the whole of last season.

  • Dempsey has scored more league goals against Wigan (six) than against any other team he has faced and is just one shy of 50 Premier League goals.

  • Wigan

  • Wigan have fielded more unchanged teams (11) than any other side in the Premier League this season.

  • In their last five fixtures, Wigan have beaten Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, all for the first time ever.

  • The club have picked up 34 points from their 34 matches - exactly the same record as they had at the same stage of last season.

Source Martin Fisher at BBCSports
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