Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Tuesday October 28 2008
After Fulham earned a battling point with a late equaliser at Fratton Park, they welcome Steve Bruce and Wigan Athletic to Craven Cottage this Wednesday evening. It's a fixture Fulham need to win with no victories registered in the last six games and a place in the relegation zone looming. Wigan, are not much better off and suffered a 4-0 reverse, at home to Aston Villa, this weekend. Both sides recent form has set this up to be a real cracker, the first of many six-pointers as the pundits might say.
'Six games without a win! Please don't make it a far from magnificent seven.' - Vital Fulham!
Barring any injuries picked up at Portsmouth, on Sunday, Roy Hodgson should have a full squad to choose from. The only challenge facing the gaffer is whether to mix things up a bit or go with what can be considered, his current favourite eleven.
Should Clint Dempsey be given a rare start? Will Erik Nevland come into the equation or did the normal starting eleven do enough, on Sunday, to earn a further ninety minutes?
Our feeling is that Roy will go with the same starting eleven of -
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Gera, Murphy, Bullard, Davies, Zamora, Johnson.
His form has not been its best during the last couple of games and he could do with a decent game. Wigan could be that game!
Steve Bruce is set to welcome back Valencia after the Honduran player was sent off in the recent match at Anfield.
Emile Heskey, such a giant for England, is expected to start after returning from a hamstring injury against Aston Villa on Sunday with no adverse affect.
Bruce will select his eleven from:-
Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, De Ridder, Cattermole, Palacios, Kapo, Heskey, Zaki, Boyce, Brown, Camara, Valencia, Kilbane, Koumas, Kupisz, Taylor, Pollitt, Kingson
Steve Bruce has uncovered a gem with this lad but discovering him may have been the easiest bit, hanging on to him will be a whole lot harder.
Last season the fixture finished 1-1 and in fixtures between the two sides it has always been tight.
Looking at the record in home Premier League matches the honours are all square with Fulham and Wigan having won one each with one fixture drawn.
Looking at all home league fixtures, Fulham hold the upper hand with eight wins compared to the two of Wigan with five drawn fixtures.
Howard Webb has been granted this fixture.
Wigan are a strange team, their striking options would indicate they could score plenty but, probably like Fulham, they`ve not been getting the run of the ball. Fulham, after six games without a win, are desperate to get those three points and on a cold October night, that`s what I believe they`ll do, courtesy of a narrow 1-0 win.
Fulham`s next fixture, at the weekend, is a tricky trip to Goodison Park to take on Everton.
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Date:Tuesday October 28 2008
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