ONE of Liverpool’s many low points last season came when Wigan visited Anfield and left with a deserved victory. Buoyed by last week’s draw at Stamford Bridge, the Reds will be itching to set the record straight when Roberto Martinez’s men visit on Saturday.
It was the game against Wigan in March that saw Raheem Sterling make his first senior appearance for Liverpool and it is a sign of how far the young winger has come that seven months later, Sterling is set to make his 11th league appearance of the season just days after winning his first cap for England. The 17-year-old could be joined in the starting line-up by Jonjo Shelvey, who is fit again after missing the Sweden fixture due to injury.
With Pepe Reina also available again after recovering from a hamstring problem, Brendan Rodgers had admitted he faces a selection dilemma in goal. Brad Jones has been in good form while deputising for Reina but in his pre-match press conference, Rodgers reiterated that the Spaniard is still his number one goalkeeper. Martin Skrtel should also be available after missing the game against Chelsea with a virus.
Liverpool’s draw away to Chelsea last week means they are now unbeaten in six Premier League games, but with four of those matches ending in draws the Reds will have to be wary of complacency at home to Wigan. Liverpool have not beaten Wigan in their last five league meetings, with their last victory against the Latics coming in December 2009. Wigan are currently just one place and one point behind the Reds and will come to Anfield optimistic about their prospects.
Wigan’s top scorer this season is Arouna Koné, who has scored 4 goals in 11 appearances. Behind Koné in the scoring charts are Mauro Boselli and Franco Di Santo, who have managed three goals apiece. Di Santo earned his first cap for Argentina in midweek and could be Wigan’s player to watch on Saturday.
Luis Suarez’s equaliser against Chelsea was his 11th goal in all competitions and his 8th league goal of the season, which sees him tied with Robin van Persie at the top of the scoring charts. Such is Liverpool’s reliance on Suarez, the club will have been delighted by the Uruguayan stating that he is “very happy” at Anfield despite reported interest from Manchester City. The Reds will be even more delighted if Suarez inspires a Liverpool victory on Saturday.
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