Megson looks to mount challenge

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The Independent Football

With Fulham off in search of their 12th successive Nationwide First Division victory of the season, West Bromwich Albion are hopeful of building some momentum of their own today.

With Fulham off in search of their 12th successive Nationwide First Division victory of the season, West Bromwich Albion are hopeful of building some momentum of their own today.

Jean Tigana, the Fulham manager, is expected to again include the striker Louis Saha in the starting line-up for the trip to Wolves, but it is the West Brom manager, Gary Megson, who has set his sights on making up ground in the chasing pack.

A Lee Hughes penalty was enough to win Tuesday's derby against Wolves infront of 21,500 fans at The Hawthorns and West Brom will want to continue that form and cement their top-six position with victory at Tranmere.

"Our fans can see from the efforts of our players that they are proud to wear the shirt," said Megson. "I was happy with the result against Wolves but I don't think we passed the ball well enough. We can't afford to shoot ourselves in the foot."

The Wolves manager, Colin Lee, is under pressure after his team have collected just 11 points from their opening dozen matches - already 22 behind Fulham - and will not be relishing the visit of Tigana's impressive collection. Last season Wolves twice beat Fulham in the League, but this term, if early form is anything to go by, the roles could well be reversed.

Watford, the only other unbeaten side in the division, travel to Nottingham Forest without the goalkeeper Espen Baardsen and the suspended Tommy Mooney, while Forest, unbeaten in their last four games, may call on the American international Ben Olsen, who shone in a midweek reserve game.

Blackburn continue to have their problems for the visit of Grimsby, with striker Matt Jansen, Nathan Blake and Damien Duff all expected to be sidelined. However, Craig Hignett should make his Ewood Park debut.

Stockport, third from bottom, have yet to win a match at home this season and they entertain a side which has yet to lose away, Bolton. To add to Stockport's woes, they have 12 players unavailable today.

Managerless Huddersfield may have an even tougher assignment. The midfielder Dean Gorre is expected to be fit after coming through 45 minutes of the reserves' midweek match, but, second from bottom, they have it all to do against a Preston side in which the Icelandic international Bjarki Gunnlaugsson is set to start.

Jon Harley, on loan from Chelsea, is expected to go into the Wimbledon team at Crewe and should shore up a defence who leaked four in the draw with Gillingham last week.

In-form Portsmouth travel to Crystal Palace without Kevin Harper and Kevin Moore. Palace could parade their £2m midweek signing Andrejs Rubins.

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