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Liverpool v Latics Preview

Liverpool
vs.
Wigan Athletic

Anfield

24/03/12

3pm

Without stating the obvious, the Latics really do need something from each of their remaining games, effectively four points from safety due to our goal difference and just nine matches remaining it's getting squeaky bum time

If we can perform to the standard that we reached in last weekend's draw against West Brom, then there is every chance that we will do the necessary and retain our Premier League status, but we have to continue at that level, today will be a big test of that

Never won at Anfield is a stat that would be nice to change, a win against Dalglish's side wouldn't only give the Latics three points but also send their confidence through the roof, but perhaps the worst thing that could've happened in the build up to this game was Liverpools 18 minute capitulation at QPR on Wednesday

Two goals to the good with less than 20 minutes remaining the reds took their foot off the gas and before you could say, 'the points are in the bag' a shell shocked Liverpool were trudging off the field having somehow conspired to lose the game

So they will be determined to put that result behind them and it will be important for the Latics not to concede early, I'd expect a cagey first half from Roberto's boys, but we will need to have a go and Liverpool aren't any great shakes, belief and we will get something, going into our shells and, well we won't think about that

What The Bosses Say:

Latics boss Roberto Martinez

'We know they are a team that can cause a lot of problems from many different situations; they can be direct with the threat of Andy Carroll, or patient in their build-up play with the quality in the midfield.

'Then you have certain individuals who are enjoying good personal moments of form, like Steven Gerrard and Stewart Downing who make up a strong unit.

'We know we'll have to be at our best, but Anfield is one of those special venues in European football and it's an opportunity for us to go there with no pressure and do everything we can to get a positive result.

'If we replicate what we've been doing lately we'll be competitive with Liverpool and it'll then come down to taking the chances that come our way.'


Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish:

'Nothing is going to peter out here'

'It's not just financial, a wee bit of pride comes into it as well.

'We'll play for our pride and play with the same premise we had at the start of the season - to try to win every game we compete in.

'Look at the performances the players have turned in against Stoke and at QPR - the performance, not the result.

'Their attitude and approach to the start of the game speaks volumes for them.'

Liverpool Team News:

From Vital Liverpool:

Existing defensive absentees Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson are again set to miss out with rib and hamstring injuries respectively.

Joining them on the sidelines could be Martin Kelly and Charlie Adam who both picked up injuries at Loftus Road.

If Kelly is ruled out then Liverpool face a selection dilemma at the back with Jamie Carragher likely to fill in at right-back and Sebastian Coates coming in alongside Martin Skrtel at centre-back.>br>
On a positive note Craig Bellamy may return after sitting out the last three matches with a knock. Fabio Aurelio, Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll will be looking for a start after making do with a place on the bench last week.

Liverpool from - Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique, Spearing, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Carroll, Suarez, Doni, Flanagan, Aurelio, Coates, Shelvey, Rodriguez, Kuyt.

Player to watch: Luis Suarez

Big Gaz and Ant will need to keep a watchful eye on the little man this afternoon

Wigan Athletic Team News:

Hugo Rodallega is the major doubt, but he has made good progress this week and could be in line for a return to the starting eleven

Latics possible - Al-Habsi, Boyce, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Beausejour, McCarthy, McArthur, Moses, Maloney, Rodallega/Di Santo

Player to watch: Shaun Maloney

Maloney has looked the part since coming into the side for the last two games, he looks inventive, sparky and links uo really well with his team mates, more of the same please Shaun

Shaun Maloney - Looking good

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

Any Previous?

Latics and Liverpool have met 15 times

Latics 1 win, Liverpool 9, draws 5

Ref Watch:

Lee Mason (Bolton)

Why not take a look at our 'Meet The Ref' article

Lee Mason Card Watch 2011/12

Games - 33, yellows - 133, reds - 5

Match Prediction:

Head says Liverpool to win 2-0

Heart says 1-1, as always going with the heart

Up Next:

Premier League

Latics v Stoke City
DW Stadium
Saturday
31/03/12
3pm

Chelsea v Latics
Stamford Bridge
Saturday
07/04/12
3pm



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Writer:Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday March 24 2012
Time: 9:12AM

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