Charles N’Zogbia is back for Wigan following his three-match suspension and he should be restored to the starting line-up by Roberto Martinez. Wigan have missed the creativity of the Frenchman in recent weeks and will be boosted by his return.
The Latics continue to be without on-loan midfielder Tom Cleverley, who pulled up with a hamstring injury after 12 minutes against Bolton.
But Franco Di Santo (ankle), James McCarthy (ankle) and Victor Moses (shoulder) are getting close to a first team return but will not feature despite resuming light training recently.
Possible starting XI: Al Habsi; Gohouri, G Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Stam, Thomas, Watson, Diame, N’Zogbia; Rodallega.
Steve Sidwell should be in the squad and could make his debut for the Cottagers after joining from Aston Villa. Mark Schwarzer is currently on international duty with Australia in the Asian Cup so David Stockdale will continue to deputise in goal.
Mark Hughes has no new injury worries to concern him, so apart from long term absentees Bobby Zamora (broken leg) and Philippe Senderos (shin) he has a healthy squad to choose from.
Possible starting XI: Stockdale; Paintsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Baird; Davies, Sidwell, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff; Dempsey.
History favours the Cottagers
The two sides have met 35 times in their history with Fulham edging ahead with 15 wins to Wigan’s 10. In the last five seasons Fulham have won four of the 11 meetings between the sides, with Wigan only collecting the three points on two occasions, but the Cottagers have yet to win at the DW Stadium. They have secured draws in their last four visits so a victory in this match will end their search for a win and also see them complete a league double over the Latics for the first time.
In October the two sides met at Craven Cottage in what was a bottom of the table clash, and Fulham came out on top with a 2-0 victory over Martinez’s side thanks to two goals from Clint Dempsey. The American has scored five goals in seven games against the Latics and will be hoping to continue this scoring streak.
A key three points for both sides
A victory in this game will be massive for both clubs as they try to pull away from the relegation zone. Wigan are currently sitting second bottom of the Premier League with 22 points and a win would lift them five places up the table if results go their way, and move them above their opponents.
Fulham’s victories over Stoke and West Brom have lifted them to 15th position in the table but they are still just one point clear of the relegation zone, however a victory could lift them into the top half of the table. Unfortunately for Fulham their away form is not great this season, having only recorded one away victory - at Stoke - and have managed just eight goals in the 10 away fixtures.
Wigan will be glad to return to the DW Stadium where they have a good record this season. After early season defeats to Blackpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, only Newcastle have come away victorious in the seven games following the City match. Wigan have only lost one game in their last six Premier League matches but have also only recorded one victory in that time.