Roberto Martinez will be hoping for some home comforts this afternoon following the dismal away performance at Portsmouth last week when his troops simply did not turn up.
What was lacking last week, amongst other things, was a balance in defence, with N`Zogbia dropping to left back to fill in for the missing Figueroa made the Latics look very susceptible at the back, today should see a return to first team action for Erik Edman who will be getting his first start in almost two years
A win today will see the Latics climb into the top half of the table and keep us ahead of where we were at last season showing that Martinez is on course
Fulham have returned from their exploits in Rome on Thursday when, after taking the lead they were pegged back and had two men sent off in a 2-1 Europa League defeat against Roma. Boss Roy Hodgson will be hoping that his side don`t show signs of jet-lag and carry on their good form of late which saw them smash Liverpool 3-1 last weekend.
Wigan Athletic are expecting a bumper crowd for todays game as a result of some great initiative`s by the club to get more people to games at the DW Stadium, lets hope that the team puts on a display that gets them all wanting to come back for more.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
‘I’ve been pleased with the work so far this week and we’re looking forward to Sunday at the DW.
‘They’re (Fulham) a side that have been playing together for a long time, they’ve got huge experience, they’re very well organised and they’re on the back of a phenomenal season.
‘They’ve just played Roma in Europe which tells you how far they’ve come.
‘We will have to be at our very best on the day to be competitive.’
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson:
‘Wigan are a good team and I think Steve Bruce did a good job in organising them there. He left a good legacy and Roberto Martinez has continued the good work.
‘We’ve got a tough task ahead of us trying to get a result up in Wigan, especially in a week like this one, with Liverpool and Roma preceding the match but that’s the task ahead and the task we’re preparing for.
‘We’ll have to try and make sure that if they’re going to beat us they’re going to have to be pretty good on the day.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Maynor Figueroa is out with a knee ligament injury but everyone else is available.
Kirkland, Melchiot, Edman, Boyce, Bramble, N’Zogbia, Diame, Thomas, Scharner, Gomez, Rodallega, Scotland, Pollitt, Cho, Koumas, Sinclair, Kapo, King, Kingson, McCarthy, de Ridder, Kupisz, Cywka, Holt
Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega
The Colombian is in a rich vein of form at the moment
Fulham Team News:
Danny Murphy, Andy Johnson and Damian Duff are all doubts
Schwarzer, Konchesky, Hangeland, Baird, Paintsil, Hughes, Duff, Nevland, Greening, Etuhu, Dempsey, Kamara, Gera, Zamora, Zuberbuhler, Riise, Smalling, Kelly
Player to watch: Bobby Zamora
The former Latics transger target always plays well against us
Match Facts & Stats
The Latics and Fulham have met 34 times in all competitins over the years Latics have 10 wins, Fulham 13 and 11 draws.
Last Five Meetings:
07/02/09 – Premier League – Latics 0 Fulham 0
29/10/08 – Premier League – Fulham 2 Latics 0
22/12/07 – Premier League – Fulham 1 Latics 1
15/09/07 – Premier League – Latics 1 Fulham 1
17/03/07 – Premier League – Latics 0 Fulham 0
Phil Dowd (Stoke)
Heart says Latics 2-0 win
Head saysLatics 2-1 win