Fulham v Wigan
This is an injustice. Wigan have only accumlalated 8 points. They deserved to beat Middlesbrough, they deserved to beat Liverpool and twice they got sucker punched and then they lost agonisingly to Aston Villa but that said, Villa deserved the win. Alarm bells are ringing all around the Latics faithful. Is this the start of an unassailable slide?
Why not take a leaf out of Rabeem's book and look for the positives - we were without Valencia and Melchiot which cut our team right down and this might encourage Bruce to add more depth in problem areas. That said, to lose 4-0 was still a bit flattering despite the deserved Villa victory. Although extremely painful to watch such a story unfold, the pain will ease in time and that's what the Latics will be hoping to do at Craven Cottage.
Latics are not on form of late and Fulham are on a high after a creditable point at Fratton Park. Fulham have improved since last season and Andy Johnson was an inspired signing - he will come good for Fulham in time. He's eager to get off the mark for Fulham.
Focusing on the Latics, they welcome back a couple of players whose absence showed during the Sunday defeat. Valencia and Melchiot should hopefully be okay to return to the starting line-up as long as Melchiot has overcome his illness. Melchiot and Valencia will strengthen the right hand side and the Fulham defence need to watch these two as they can be deadly if in the right frame of mind.
There is one thing I know for the game. Its a game Wigan need to try and salvage something from - every time I've said this I've caused a jinx so maybe its third time lucky for once. Wigan have a decent record at Fulham so they could scrape a draw or maybe even a win. A win would make my evening if that happened, justice for all the points we should've mustered from the Boro and Liverpool games.
Admittedly, this isn't going to be at all plain sailing - its going to be a tough, physical game with cards aplenty but I think that as Fulham are at home and know how critical this game is, that they will win this game narrowly, by the odd goal, mind.
The slide will continue for Latics at Fratton Park before they have a real six pointer against Stoke. It pains me to be talking about this after such a promising start but things, I hope, will get better and I'm confident they will.
Fulham 2 Wigan 1
This is going to be a very physical, card happy and intense game. Fulham know they need to win and they'll be on a high after a good point at Fratton Park. As for the Latics, they'll be on a low and might leave themselves open to a Fulham barrage.
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHTS
If Wigan keep on like this, we might as well toast a return to the Championship. The league is not disrespectable by any stretch of the imagination but I think its also too early to say if its going to end up like this. Look at Bruce's reputation and the alarm bells are already ringing. Can he pull off another masterstroke, though? I think he needs to have a good, long think over the coming weeks.
UP THE 'TICS!