Fulham v Wigan, Saturday 15:00
– Fulham secured an excellent 1-2 away win against West Brom last time out, Dimitar Berbatov and Alex Kacaniklic registering for the Cottagers. It was a very important win for Martin Jol’s improving side, as they became only the third side to win at the Hawthorns this season, the Baggies having established their home turf as something of a fortress.
– Dimitar Berbatov has been grabbing many of the headlines for Fulham since his arrival from Man Utd, but his strike partner Hugo Rodallega has actually been proving himself the more accurate in front of goal. The Colombian has an on-target rate of 68% from 38 attempts, to Berbatov’s 57% from 47 attempts.
– Steve Sidwell has certainly been active in the centre of the park for Fulham so far this season, having made a total of 106 attempted challenges and 77 interceptions this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Alex Kacaniklic achieved the quite rare distinction against West Brom of passing the 7 miles in one game marker, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Aaron Hughes has been Fulham’s most successful player from a defensive perspective this season, having successfully contributed 190 times, that’s one every 10.1 minutes.
– Full-back Sascha Reither has certainly been willing to mix up his standard defensive duties with an eagerness to get higher up the pitch. He’s currently the joint 3rd highest rated defender in the Premier League for crosses delivered with 39.
– Wigan were unable to resist a dominant Man Utd last week, as the Red Devils punished some lackluster defending in a 0-4 win. The Lactics will be keen to put this loss behind them quickly against Fulham this weekend, as they look to rise out of the league’s bottom three.
– Ivorian Arouna Kone arrived at the DW Stadium as a relative unknown but has quickly made his presence felt in the Premier League. He’s Wigan’s top goalscorer this season with 6, at a very solid rate of one goal for every 8 attempts he’s had on goal.
– Jean Beausejour will be looking to test Fulham’s aerial ability in defence this weekend, given his willingness to whip balls in for his strikers. He’s currently ranked 4th on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for crosses delivered with 71.
– Wigan can be a great team to watch on their day and James McCarthy is always central to the fluidity of their game. The young midfielder is the highest ranked player in the Wigan squad for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 511.
– Maynor Figueroa has been something of an unsung hero for Roberto Martinez’s side this season, quietly establishing himself as one of Wigan’s defensive rocks with 128 interceptions, 21 clearances and 15 blocks.