Latics look to make it back-to-back Sky Bet Championship wins as Fulham visit the DW Stadium on Saturday.
- Tickets still available for the Latics Family Day
- Fulham revitalised under newly appointed manager Kit Symons
- Latics hoping to make it six unbeaten
Wigan Athletic v Fulham
Saturday 1st November 2014
Sky Bet Championship
It’s a meeting of former teammates and two clubs in positive spirits as Fulham visit the DW Stadium on Saturday.
Uwe Rosler and Fulham manager Kit Symons played together at Manchester City and the pair will look forward to locking horns in what will be the latter’s first game in permanent charge of the Cottagers.
Latics are still living off the buzz of their 2-1 away win at Sky Bet Championship leaders Derby County at the weekend – a result that extended our unbeaten run to five games.
The visitors lost 5-2 to the Rams in midweek, though they did make eight changes from last Friday’s 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic with today’s fixture in mind.
It’s Latics Family Day at the DW Stadium and with a bumper crowd expected and plenty of activities going on around the ground; it’s a day not to be missed.
Tickets are still available online, from the DW Stadium Ticket Office and on the Credit Card hotline by calling 0871 66 33 552*.
Just over nine years ago, Latics recorded a memorable 1-0 victory over Fulham as Pascal Chimbonda headed an injury-time winner at the JJB Stadium.
The French defender nodded home to make it seven wins on the bounce for Latics in a game manager Paul Jewell had labelled as our toughest in the season to date.
A fast start from the Cottagers looked to be proving him right as Tomasz Radzinski and Steed Malbranque both went close in the early stages.
Papa Bouba Diop sent a looping header over John Filan and onto the top of the crossbar before the Australian keeper was lucky to stay on the pitch after referee Andre Marriner missed a handball outside the area when Collins John looked to go through on goal.
Latics were better in the second-half but looked to have squandered the chance of a win when Henri Camara missed a golden late chance as he skipped passed Carlos Bocanegra and Fulham stopper Warner only to fire into the side-netting.
However, Chimbonda headed Graham Kavanagh’s cross in for the game’s deciding moment as Latics continued their march up the Premier League.
FULHAM IN 2014/15 SO FAR
German boss Felix Magath failed to steer Fulham to Premier League safety when appointed as Rene Meulensteen’s successor in February 2014 and the former Bayern Munich manager found life in the second tier even tougher, losing six and drawing one of the seven league games he took charge of before chairman Shahid Khan dismissed him on 18th September.
Since then, Kit Symons, who was appointed permanent boss on Wednesday after tasting only two defeats in seven league games – to high-flying Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers, has led the Cottagers to wins over Charlton Athletic, Norwich City, Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City.
Former Latic Hugo Rodallega has regained his form under Symons and the new manager will be hoping the Colombian can spearhead the frontline to better things.
Symons has steadied a ship that saw over 20 players, including the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Johnny Heitinga, Steve Sidwell and Damien Duff, leave the club and 14 players arrive at Craven Cottage.
The reported £11million transfer of Ross McCormack was a major talking point over the summer with the former Leeds United man the most expensive transfer in the Sky Bet Championship.
One note of promise for the Fulham fans is the increasing influx of youth team players making the first-team squad.
The 2014 FA Youth Cup runners-up and 2013 U18 Premier League winners are one of the brightest crops of young talent in the country with the likes of Moussa Dembele, Cauley Woodrow, Emerson Hyndman and
Patrick Roberts all making an impact on the Cottagers’ first-team.
With 32 games remaining, and just 12 points dividing leaders Derby County and 20th place Fulham, the southwest Londoners will still hold hopes for an immediate return to the top-flight.
MAN TO WATCH – HUGO RODALLEGA
Fulham’s goal-threat comes from a familiar face to Latics in the form of former Colombia international Hugo Rodallega.
The 29-year-old is in his third season at Craven Cottage after signing from Latics in 2012 and he has scored 14 goals in 60 appearances, five of which have come this season.
Rodallega scored 24 goals in 117 appearances during a three-year spell at the DW Stadium before scoring against us for the Cottagers in September 2012.