Date:Saturday February 12 2011
Liverpool secured a 1-0 victory at Chelsea last time out in one of the most anticipated games of the season in which 50m Torres made his Chelsea bow - however he barely had a chance to shine bar one half-chance and Liverpool were determined to be defiant in the face in one of the season's most talked about stories. Then again, it was to be expected in some ways.
For today's game, Steven Gerrard is touch and go and only a last minute decision shall be made on whether or not to start him. Still, with the absence of Fernando and the installment of Suarez and Carroll, things are looking bright for Liverpool. However, they'll have to wait to see the best of Carroll since he is injured.
On their last three visits to Liverpool, Wigan have scored in every single encounter. However, they've always ended up losing. Their only point at Anfield came in 2008, courtesy of a Titus Bramble thunderbolt. Wigan have left Anfield with pride in the last three visits and the games have been generally tight affairs. There was the classic 3-2 scoreline as well which left many Wiganers feeling sick and rightly so after a steely performance. Wigan's last score at Anfield was a respectable 2-1 scoreline - if only Scotland had scored, it might have been a different tale indeed.
Wigan have a fully fit squad to choose from. Lets hope there are no red cards today or any yellow cards which warrant suspension, like the farce at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
James McCarthy has been a rising star of late and he scored two goals in the game against Blackburn, which brings his season tally to three - that could be great news for the future as it adds more potency to our goal scoring abilities. With Charles N'Zogbia and Hugo Rodallega in the side, Liverpool will have to take note to stop either of these three from opening the scoring, but Wigan as a whole are never to be underestimated.
Despite encouraging signs from Wigan in the last three games and a decent away record as well of late, I can't see that counting for a great deal at Anfield but this game shall not decide our season - whatever happens, we shall go down fighting.
Liverpool are revitalised under Kenny Dalglish and his team need to win this game in order to make a late bid for the top four. I think they'll do it, albeit a tight match.
Liverpool 2 Wigan 1
ROB'S OTHER PREDICTIONS
Man Utd Vs Man City - I think this game will go the way of Manchester United in a very enthralling Old Trafford derby. I expect goals galore in a feisty lunchtime encounter. Manchester United 3-2 Manchester City
Arsenal Vs Wolves - Credit to Wolves. They're going down fighting and they may yet survive, who knows. However, at least they can say they stopped Manchester United's unbeaten run. Good on them. However, there's only one result here for me and that's a home win.
Arsenal 3-0 Wolves
Birmingham Vs Stoke City - Birmingham are in a good position with a massive win at West Ham United and Stoke City don't do back to back wins in the league. I think though Stoke are a good side under Tony Pulis and a point will do for him at St. Andrews.
Birmingham 2-2 Stoke City
Blackburn Vs Newcastle United - Blackburn have a very good home record and Newcastle lack a good attacking threat after the departure of Carroll. Still, Newcastle are a good attacking side with other players who are willing to give everything to the cause. Expect a difficult game. However, I think that it'll be a 1-1 scoreline here.
Blackburn 1-1 Newcastle United
Blackpool Vs Aston Villa - Aston Villa have not been great on their travels of late but got a good result at the DW Stadium which will give them optimism in this game. Still, Blackpool need to get points in the bag but they've lost a couple of home games. I think this could be a 0-1 scoreline.
Blackpool 0-1 Aston Villa
West Brom Vs West Ham United- This is a game in which neither side will want to give a single thing away whatsoever. West Ham are a very Jekyll and Hyde side this season. The game is massive and I just think that being at home and with a new manager, they might edge this, West Brom.
West Brom 1-0 West Ham United
Sunderland Vs Tottenham Hotspur- I think that the boys from London need to get points to make it to the Champions League again but I think this season they'll come up short - Tottenham's record at Sunderland is not great. I think that Tottenham could suffer a setback on this ground.
Sunderland 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Bolton Wanderers Vs Everton - I think that Bolton and Everton are very good sides indeed this year though Bolton's form has dipped a bit. Everton are very much a Jekyll and Hyde side themselves, but I think that they might nick this.
Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Everton
Fulham Vs Chelsea - Fulham are a good side but Chelsea have not lost a derby for five years nearly. Still, Fulham are decent but I expect Chelsea to leave with the points here.
Fulham 1-2 Chelsea
Birmingham Vs Newcastle United - Birmingham face a Newcastle side full of confidence and they're not going to go down - Birmingham may have some to play for in this game but no game in this league is easy. St. Andrews is a fortress but expect a 0-0 scoreline, I think.
Birmingham 0-0 Newcastle United
West Brom Vs Wolves - This is a monumentally important game. Both sides need to win to stand a chance of staying in this league and this will be Hodgson's first game in charge. Mick McCarthy needs to pick up points but I think this will go the way of a draw.
West Brom 2-2 Wolves
Blackpool Vs Tottenham Hotspur- I think Blackpool will stay up. Just. However, not against Tottenham Hotspur, unfortunately, will they get the points. Tottenham have too much to be concerned by Blackpool. I think they'll be comfortable winners.
Blackpool 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal Vs Stoke City - Arsenal take on a Stoke side who are not easy to play against and I see Arsenal taking the points in a low scoring affair. The Potters will offer resistance but Arsenal will be good enough to get the points in this game.
Arsenal 2-0 Stoke City
ROB'S FINAL THOUGHT
Hopefully, Wigan can get the points at Anfield and Huddersfield can beat Oldham. Another weekend of mayhem and madness that is the football league.
Date:Saturday February 12 2011
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