Wigan v Liverpool
Mar 2, 2013 at 5.20pm (UK)
After exiting out of the Europa league, Liverpool’s only priority for the remaining of the games this season will be to get as many points as they can to try and reach the European qualification places. With a 10 point gap over the last Champions league place and given their inconsistency throughout the season it’s highly unlikely that the Reds will finish in the top 4. Going into the match Liverpool will be hoping to repeat their performance against Swansea last week and might have to do it without their in-form striker Daniel Sturridge, who will have to pass a late fitness test to start to the game.
Meanwhile Wigan host the match after an impressive performance against Reading last week which helped them rise above the drop zone. It was their first victory in seven matches and Roberto Martinez and his men will be hoping to sneak at-least a point out of the game tonight as every single point is very crucial at this stage of the season and given that Aston Villa host Manchester City on Monday they could pull further ahead of the relegation battle.
Daniel Sturridge remains to be the only doubt for the game. The striker suffered a minor knock and will have test later in today to determine his fitness levels. But really this is more about Liverpool’s medical staff. Before the current physio’s were in place Liverpool had a very poor habit of forcing injured stars to play through the pain. The Reds and their staff are doing the right thing by being over-cautious with minor knocks and strains because playing through them could turn in to tears and ruptures. Though Liverpool fans may grown when a player may miss a game every now in then, they should consider that the player could have missed weeks had he played through his injury and injured himself further.
Other casualties are Fabio Borini (shoulder) and defender Martin Kelly (knee) who are still recovering from their long term injuries.
Defender Antolin Alcaraz comes back after a lengthy spell in the treatment table which will give Martinez something to think about. Also defender Emmerson Boyce is back in contention after picking up an injury last week. Franco di Santo and Arouna Kone are likely to start up front for the home side.
Possible starting lineups
Wigan: Al-Habsi; Scharner, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McCarthy, Maloney, McArthur, Beausejour; Kone, Di Santo
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Enrique; Coutinho, Lucas, Gerrard, Downing; Suarez, Sturridge(doubtful)
- Wigan have lost only one of their last six Barclays Premier League games against Liverpool after losing seven of the opening nine against them.
- Six of the seven Premier League games between Wigan and Liverpool at the DW Stadium have gone under 2.5 goals.
- Wigan have conceded in all of their 13 home games in the Premier League this season.
- Liverpool have drawn their last two away games in the Premier League. No side has drawn more games on the road this season than Liverpool (6).
- Only one of Wigan’s goals this season has been scored by an Englishman (Ben Watson).
- Ali Al-Habsi has made more errors than any other goalkeeper (6), with Reina second (4).
- Wigan have conceded in all 13 of their Premier League home games this season.
Prediction: 1-2 win for the travelling side.