Liverpool vs. Wigan Athletic Match Preview

If Liverpool were to have a bogey team, a good argument could be made for Wigan Athletic being that side.  Liverpool have failed to defeat Saturday’s opponents in their last five attempts and would need to look as far back as December 2009 for their last victory.  And in this same fixture last season, Roberto Martinez’s side were 2-1 victors at Anfield.

If those signs aren’t ominous, the chasm between the two sides is currently just a single point with the same games played.  However Liverpool’s recent form is not particularly poor and they might deem themselves unlucky not to have come away with a victory at Stamford Bridge in last weekends 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Wigan have started the season strongly, something Martinez has put down partially at least to a settled squad which was relatively unscathed during the summer transfer window.  The Spaniards side come into the game having won two of their last three games.

After missing five weeks out with a hamstring injury, Pepe Reina looks set to return in goal for the home side, in place of Brad Jones.  Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey looks set to return also after having to withdraw from England’s squad for their friendly match in Sweden in midweek.  Centre backs Martin Skretel and Daniel Agger also look set to feature having suffered recently with illness and a groin problems respectively.

Wigan have Arsenal loanee Ryo Miyaichi back in contention for a start after five weeks out with a groin injury.  James McArthur is unlikely to start following a recent dead leg and defenders Antolin Alcaraz and Albert Crusat are expected to miss out with groin and knee problems respectively.

This battle of the two 39-year-old managers may be an entertaining one, with the two young coaches similar approach in style and parallel philosophies.  But ultimately both will surely sacrifice style for a victory.  Martinez, so his side can continue an unexpected ascent.  Brendan Rodgers, so he can keep the pressure at a manageable level.




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