Fulham will endeavour to keep their slim hopes of automatic promotion alive when they travel to Wigan Athletic on the final day of the Championship season.
Fulham will go toe-to-toe with West Bromwich Albion and Brentford on the final day to see who will enjoy automatic promotion alongside Leeds United, and who will be forced to settle for a spot in the playoffs.
However, Fulham’s destiny is out of their own hands as they lie two points below second-placed West Brom and one below third-placed Brentford heading into the final day, meaning that Scott Parker’s men would have to win and hope that Brentford and West Brom both suffer defeat in order to finish second.
The second and third-placed sides will face off against Queens Park Rangers and Barnsley respectively – games that both clubs will be expected to win – so barring a shock set of results, Fulham will have to make do with a playoff spot as they aim to make an immediate return to the top flight.
The Cottagers stormed to a 5-3 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in their most recent outing, and as is the case with Wigan, Fulham are enjoying a strong spell of form as they boast five wins from their last six.
Wigan looked to have secured their safety in the second tier of English football, but the threat of relegation is looming following internal issues at the club.
Wigan Athletic boast a remarkable set of results following the Championship’s resumption, but having gone into administration earlier in July, the Latics’ efforts may prove futile by the end of the campaign.
Wigan have lodged an appeal against a proposed 12-point deduction, which could see them plunge into the relegation places, but the outcome of the appeal is not expected to be announced before the final day of the season.
As a result, it is imperative that the Latics continue their strong run of form and pick up all three points against Fulham in order to give themselves the best chance of survival possible – especially after Wigan dropped two vital points in a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic last time out
As things stand, Wigan currently occupy 13th spot and are 10 clear of the bottom three, so if the impending 12-point deduction is to be upheld, Wigan must win and hope that other results go their way in order to remain in the Championship.
Paul Cook’s men will have fond memories of their last home fixture where they put eight past Hull City without reply, and the Latics have won and kept clean sheets in all four of their games on familiar territory since the restart.