Fulham-Wigan Athletic Preview
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Wigan Athletic will be looking to bounce back when they host Fulham at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Latics lost 4-0 at Old Trafford last weekend, and goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi is keen to get back on the pitch to make amends for that defeat and pick up more points.
"Everybody is looking forward to Saturday now because we've have recovered from last weekend which was difficult after coming back from the international games," said Al-Habsi. "We need to make the weekend big for everybody and secure that first home win of the season and push ourselves up the league table.
"We have to concentrate on each individual game and make sure that we get three points, especially at home. We don't need to concentrate on what happened last year because our situation has changed a lot. We have been in great form and the spirit at the Club is really high. Our first four games have been good ones and not to forget we have played two of the top teams in the Premier League."
New-look Fulham were inspired by summer signing Dimitar Berbatov as they won 3-0 against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, and manager Martin Jol was pleased that his friendship with the Bulgarian played a part in persuading him to sign for the Cottagers.
"I feel like I was the one who took him from Germany, from Leverkusen," said Jol about Berbatov's initial move to England. "To take someone for that sort of money from Germany showed there was a lot of confidence in the player. He had other options at that time and he still made that decision to come to us, to me, to Tottenham.
"So I think that is the sort of relationship I've got with him because there was probably even a bigger club then coming in for him and he still wanted to come to Spurs. But we shouldn't stretch our imagination and I think Berbatov could have gone to Italy. He was on the fringe of going to an Italian club. And then I spoke to him and maybe that convinced him. If he plays well like he did the other day, there will always be a good relationship."
Wigan have doubts over Antolin Alcaraz (groin), while Fulham are without Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Kieran Richardson (thigh), while Bryan Ruiz (hamstring) is a doubt.
Fulham did the double over Wigan last season, winning 2-0 at the DW and 2-1 at Craven Cottage. However, three of the four Fulham goalscorers were Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele and Pavel Pogrebnyak - all of whom have since left the club. Wigan have failed to win any of their last 11 matches against the Cottagers, but have drawn five of the last six between the two at the DW Stadium.
Jol's team have lost both of their away games this season, conceding six goals - a record that is in stark contrast to their home record of two games, six points, eight goals scored and none conceded.
Updated September 20, 2012