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Fulham visit Wigan ~ Cham. Match Preview

last updated Friday 31st October 2014, 5:32 PM

U21's Manager Kit Symons
Fulham Caretaker Manager
Kit Symons
Kit Symons
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Two of the Championship's underachievers so far this season will go head to head on Saturday when Wigan Athletic host Fulham at the DW Stadium.

Both sides were expected to challenge for automatic promotion back to the Premier League, but instead they find themselves 19th and 20th respectively, teetering perilously close to the relegation zone.

Wigan are the slightly better off of the two sides as things stand, sitting one point above this weekend's visitors, and they will be full of confidence going into this match having toppled league leaders Derby County at the iPro Stadium last weekend.

That result ended a run of four consecutive draws and an eight-match winless streak, during which time they only managed to score in three games.

It is certainly not how Uwe Rosler would have envisioned the season going following such a promising second half of the last campaign, but he will be hoping that last weekend's shock victory will be a platform to build off.

They will now be looking for consecutive victories for just the second time since March, and achieving that feat could lift them as high as 14th in the table, depending on results elsewhere.

The Latics have only been beaten once at home so far this season, although they have been held to three consecutive goalless draws and have not found the back of the net in front of their own fans since September.

Rosler is expected to hand a start to James McClean following his match-winning brace against Derby, while Shaun Maloney is also in contention for a start.

Fulham also came up against Derby in their last outing and looked to be on course for a shock win of their own in the fourth round of the League Cup, but they collapsed from 2-0 up to eventually lose 5-2 at Craven Cottage on Tuesday.

Such an emphatic defeat threatens to bring an end to growing momentum around the club after they had won five of their previous seven matches in all competitions, losing just one in the process.

The midweek defeat was not enough to prevent Kit Symons from getting the manager's job on a full-time basis, and the long-time caretaker will take charge of his first match as permanent boss this weekend.

He will certainly be looking for a reaction from his players, although many who started Tuesday's defeat may not keep their place in the lineup this weekend.

Perhaps Symons's biggest decision is who to play up front. Moussa Dembele scored a brace in midweek and is pushing for a start above Ross McCormack or Hugo Rodallega, the latter of whom scored two of his own last weekend.

The Cottagers have problems at the other end too, particularly away from home. No side has conceded more than Fulham's 21 away goals in just seven games, while they have also amassed just four points in that time.


  • The last encounter ended as a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage in the Premier League in January last year.

  • Fulham are unbeaten in the last 13 meetings, winning six. Wigan's last win was 1-0 at Craven Cottage in the Premier League in October 2006.

  • The Cottagers are unbeaten in the last seven meetings at the DW Stadium, winning the last two. Wigan's last win at home was 1-0 in the Premier League in October 2005.

  • Wigan Athletic

  • Wigan won their more recent game 2-1 at Derby last Saturday. It was their first win in nine games.

  • The Latics have lost only one of their seven home games this season. Their only defeat at home was 2-1 against Ipswich on 22 September.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham lost 5-2 against Derby at home in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. It was their first defeat in four games in all competitions.

  • The Cottagers have won only one of their last five away games. Their only away win since August was 2-1 at Birmingham on 27 September.

Source Barney Corkhill at SPortsMole/BBCSports
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