This Saturday, Fulham will be at home at Craven Cottage to play Wigan. The game takes place at 3PM UK Time and 10 AM EST. The game will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus on taped delay at 8PM EST in the United States. However, there also is another option online. You can watch the game on Foxsoccer.tv live. This is a subscription based service that I would recommend.
Wigan will be tough opponent for Fulham, but a game the Cottagers should win at home. Fulham have lost their last two matches. Injuries have certainly caught up to the Cottagers, and could still be a factor in Saturday's game. Fulham still have several injuries in the midfield with Danny Murphy, Dickson Etuhu, and Damien Duff all possibly out of this game. However, reportedly Simon Davies could be fit for this match-up.
Wigan are currently 15th in the league with 10 points. Fulham are 16th with 9 points. Last season, Fulham and Wigan played to a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium. Fulham came from behind to win 2-1 at Craven Cottage.
Roberto Martinez is the fine manager of Wigan. They have a couple of players to really watch tomorrow. Hugo Rodallega is a young Colombian striker to keep an eye on. He has scored 3 goals this season. Charles N'Zogbia is another dangerous player that can create scoring opportunities. The French left winger has scored 3 goals in all competitions this season. Wigan also have played very well so far on the road as they are unbeaten this season. They will be hoping to upset Fulham at Craven Cottage.
As I do before every match I do my 5 "keys" that I hope will lead to 3 points for Fulham. Below are " My 5 Keys To Victory For Fulham Against Wigan."
1. Fulham need to capitalize on their own set pieces. With Fulham struggling to score, I think creating opportunities off of set pieces is vital against Wigan. Against West Brom, Fulham really did not take advantage of their opportunities. If Davies is available to play, he should be able to send in a quality ball into the box off of corner kicks. On free kicks I would think you would see Clint Dempsey fire away. My feeling with Dempsey is the more opportunities he gets could eventually lead to a goal.
2. Chris Baird really needs to control the midfield play for Fulham. With Murphy supposedly out again, Fulham will need Baird to step up, and really be a leader in the midfield. Baird is a decent passer, and Fulham will need him to get the ball up front to set up scoring opportunities. He struggled somewhat with his passing against West Brom. He will need to be better against Wigan.
3. Moussa Dembele needs to be a force up front for Fulham. Dembele, in a short period of time has shown the skills he possesses. He can create his own scoring opportunities, but he can also set up other players as well. Fulham really need a great performance out of him against Wigan.
4. Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes need to shut down the Wigan scorers. Rodallega and N'Zogbia are real scoring threats for Wigan. When it comes to the defenders, I always look at Hangeland and Hughes as the heart and sould of that unit. When they are on their game in central defense, Fulham are difficult to score against. They will be counted on to shut down the Wigan scoring threats.
5. Clint Dempsey needs to be very active against Wigan. He was a key to the match last week as well. I thought he played well, and he took shots whenever he had space. Fulham will need that type of play out of him again. I think Dempsey is close to really scoring some goals. I wouldn't be surprised to see him score one or more in this match-up.
As I stated earlier, I feel this is game Fulham should win at home. I am predicting a 2-0 victory for Fulham against Wigan.