So after the International break the EPL resumes for The Reds and we find ourselves with a home tie against Wigan. The fixtures seem to have been kind to us with this match but the injuries to Torres and Babel have added a little extra to this game. Many non-Liverpool pals have said to me “see how you do without Torres”. Well this is the time for Liverpool to show that they are serious title contenders which will require us to keep winning even when we lose our most valuable players. This is where the discussion we had earlier about us needing another top striker comes to the fore. How I would love us just to be replacing Torres with another proven goalscorer to keep up our momentum but I still expect us to be superior tomorrow and go on and win the game.
Wigan have never beaten a “top 4” in 17 attempts and Liverpool did hold a 100% record of 5 games and 5 wins until the Latics last visited Anfield in January and drew 1-1, thanks to a dramatic late equaliser from the world soccer star that is Titus Bramble. I have not seen a lot of Wigan so far this season but they do have a pretty good record to date away from home. They have kept clean sheets in three of the last four games on their league travels, including the last two which means they have not conceded in 260 minutes (four hours 20 minutes) of Premier League football, on the road, since Dean Ashton scored West Ham’s second in their 2-1 opening day win at Upton Park.
So what about us – well you might not know this but we currently have the best home Premier League record in 2008 of 10 wins and three draws from 13 matches. Our total of 33 points is four more than the next best, Chelsea. As for the squad – Carragher is the only remaning outfied player to have been on the field for every minute of every one of LFC’s EPL matches this season. If selected Yossi Benayoun will be making his 100th Premier League appearance (West Ham and Liverpool). After his reaching his recent goalscoring milestone Stevie G will be making his 450th appearance in a Liverpool shirt and yes Hyppia is still waiting to make his 300th career games for the Reds.
As for Wigan they have several players to watch out for. We will of course be facing two ex-LFC players. Englands re-born striker Emile Heskey will be eager to score one at Anfield which will mean 100 career goals whilst Chris Kirkland will be trying to keep a third clean sheet in a row away from home. The Liverpool fans will get a chance to watch Antonio Valencia who is being touted as a future Red. We must also remember that along with Heskey Wigan will be sending out Amr Zaki who is leading in the race for the Barclays Golden Boot as top goal scorer in the Premier League jointly with Jermain Defoe and Torres with five goals. On a final note Steve Bruce still has a big head so if you have a seat behind the dug-outs don’t expect to see much of the match.
Liverpool have put 12 goals past Wigan in six Premier League meetings, and conceded just one so i will go with a 2-1 win for the Reds.
Shanks Quote of The Week
Of course I didn’t take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present, it was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves.