Next Up: Wigan Athletic

Friday 31 October 2014 13:03

After a blip in the League Cup on Tuesday, Fulham will look to return to winning ways at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

The opposition

One of the favourites for promotion this season, Wigan have endured something of a sticky start to the new campaign.

They did secure a superb 2-1 win at league leaders Derby County last weekend, although that was the Latics’ first victory in nine. They are, however, unbeaten in their last five games after four previous draws and currently sit one place and one point above the Whites in the table.

Despite Wigan’s indifferent form, Wigan have been tough nuts to crack – especially at the DW Stadium. And Fulham will be looking to become only the second away team to score at the DW in the last seven matches. The Latics’ last three home games have all finished 0-0.

It’s a meeting of two former teammates in the dugout on Saturday. Uwe Rosler and Kit Symons played together at Manchester City and will lock horns for the first time as managers.

Team news

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

The Latics are likely to be without defender Ivan Ramis (pictured below) due to a hamstring problem, but Emmerson Boyce could be available after an ankle injury. Emyr Huws returned to action at Derby.

Midfielders Ben Watson (broken leg) and Chris McCann (knee) made their comebacks in a behind-closed-doors friendly recently but are thought to still be some way off a first-team return.

Inside the camp

Scott Carson believes defence has been the best form of attack for Wigan in recent weeks.

“We’ve probably been drawing a few too many games and we need to try and translate some of them draws into wins,” Carson told the Wigan Evening Post.

“On the whole I feel we’ve defended well as a team recently, and I include Saturday in that even though we conceded one. That’s got to be the goal from now, to keep it tight at the back and build from there.

“It was a big relief to get back to winning ways [at Derby]. It’s been a difficult few weeks and it definitely had been coming. But this is a tough league, we’ve said that all along.”

Don Cowie added: “The challenge for us is to make sure we prove to people that the Derby game wasn’t a one-off. People will say Saturday was our first win in a while, but on the flip side we’re now five games without a defeat.

“I know four of them are draws but we’re still unbeaten and hopefully we can make it six against Fulham on Saturday.”

Player to watch

Callum McManaman: Shot to prominence in the 2013 FA Cup Final when the already-relegated Latics defeated Manchester City. Had an injury-disrupted season last year but has hit four goals to date this term, including a brace in the 4-0 win over Birmingham City in August. Hasn’t found the back of the net since then, however. The Merseyside-born star began his career with the Latics, taking in a brief stint with Blackpool in the 2011/12 campaign.

Marathonbet match odds

Wigan: 5/4

Draw: 12/5

Fulham: 51/20