Fulham - Wigan Preview: Latics back in relegation scrap following one win in eight
Roberto Martinez's men are on a poor run but will travel to London eyeing a good result with Martin Jol's side having won just one one of their last seven at Craven Cottage
By Arthur Virgo
Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Briggs
Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic
Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa
Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour
Gomez, Di Santo, Maloney
Martin Jol is still without first-choice goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (neck), so David Stockdale will continue in goal, although John Arne Riise (shin), Mladen Petric (leg) and Stephen Kelly (knee) will face a fitness test ahead of the tie.
Damien Duff (calf) is expected to be involved in some capacity at Craven Cottage, but Mahamadou Diarra (knee) was withdrawn from Mali's squad for the Africa Cup of Nations this week due to his ongoing struggle to regain fitness.
Wigan are without centre-backs Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and Adrian Lopez (hamstring) but could field the same back line as in their last few matches.
Midfielder Ben Watson (shin) and wingers Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and Albert Crusat (knee) are unavailable, but newly-signed Roger Espinoza is available.
Arouna Kone was named in Ivory Coast’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations so Shaun Maloney and Jordi Gomez could feature either side of Franco Di Santo in attack, while striker Angelo Henriquez could feature at some point after joining the club on loan from Manchester United.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Fulham had won just one of their last 12 Premier League games before ending their poor run of form with a 2-1 away win over West Brom on New Year's Day.
- The Cottagers have hit the target with a higher percentage of their shots than any other team in the top flight this season (50 per cent), while their substitutes have netted eight goals this season, more than any other team.
- Wigan have picked up just four points from their last eight league matches, conceding two goals or more in nine of their last 11 games amid a series of injury problems.
- The Latics have conceded more penalties than any other Premier League side this season (six).
- The Lancashire side have scored the lowest proportion of goals in the 15 minutes leading up to half-time (5%) and the highest proportion in the 15 minutes after the break (36%) of any team in the league.
- Wigan have failed to beat Fulham in the last 12 games matches between the two, with the Lancashire side losing five of the last six. The Latics have also scored just nine goals in their 15 Premier League meetings with the Cottagers and never more than once in any of those matches.
- There has been an 85th minute or later goal scored in each of the last four Premier League meetings between Wigan and Fulham.
- The west London club’s top-scorer Dimitar Berbatov has scored eight goals in his 11 Premier League appearances against Wigan. He is 10/3 to score the first goal in the game with bet365.
- Hugo Rodallega (pictured right) signed for Fulham last summer from Wigan, having scored 24 goals in 112 Premier League appearances for the Latics since his move in January 2009.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fulham 2-1 Wigan Athletic
- 21.67 %
Fulham 2-0 Wigan Athletic
- 14.44 %
Fulham 3-1 Wigan Athletic
- 9.44 %
|Premier League (EPL)||12 Jan 2013||Fulham 1 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||22 Sep 2012||Wigan Athletic 1 - Fulham 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||21 Apr 2012||Fulham 2 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||29 Oct 2011||Wigan Athletic 0 - Fulham 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||15 Jan 2011||Wigan Athletic 1 - Fulham 1|
|1 Mar 2014||Fulham 1 - Chelsea FC 3||EPL|
|22 Feb 2014||West Bromwich Albion 1 - Fulham 1||EPL|
|12 Feb 2014||Fulham 2 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|9 Feb 2014||Manchester United 2 - Fulham 2||EPL|
|4 Feb 2014||Fulham 0 - Sheffield United 1||FA|
|3||John Arne Riise||Defender|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
The Iran international’s accurate low cross provided the assist for Dimitar Berbatov’s opening goal against West Brom, and his power and pace going forward as well as his work rate could be crucial against the Latics’ attack-minded left wing-back Jean Beausejour.
|Franco Di Santo|
Di Santo's form late last year was rewarded with an appearance for the Argentina national team, and he will have to take on responsibility again on Saturday with regular strike partner and six-goal top-scorer Arouna Kona away on international duty.
The Cottagers could only draw in the FA Cup against Blackpool but have an excellent record against the Latics and last week ended a poor run of form with an away win at West Brom, while their opponents have lost six of their last eight league games. Roberto Martinez’ team will be boosted by their new signings, but could be outgunned away to Martin Jol’s side.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed