Wigan’s home advantage gives them the edge in what should be a close encounter against Liverpool, according to Sky Bet. Wigan find themselves 4th in the league having won four of their last five home league games. Following their 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on Tuesday night, Liverpool are currently 7th in the league with 42 point from 26 matches. Liverpool have lost three of their last five away league games.
Wigan can choose from a fully fit and available squad (the only Premier League club able to do so), while Liverpool will be without Joe Cole, Jack Dunn, Peter Gulasci, Conor Coady and Jakub Sokolik. Former Wigan captain Arjan De Zeeuw singled out central defender Martin Skrtel as the most influential Liverpool player for the match. In mid-November at Anfield, an injury time goal from Emmerson Boyce snatched a point for the Latics who were down to ten men at the time having used all three substitutes before Ben Watson was injured in the last five minutes. Jordan Henderson’s only goal of the season broke the deadlock after 70 minutes.
Referee for the match will be Mike Dean who in his 22 top flight matches this season has issued 73 yellows and flashed red three times.
Sky Bet: WIGAN 6-4, Draw 2-1, Liverpool 13-8
- Aston Villa 4 – 1 Southampton
- Man City 3 – 0 Sunderland
- Norwich City 0 – 1 West Brom
- QPR 2 – 2 Swansea City
- Stoke City 1 – 2 Chelsea
- West Ham 1 – 4 Arsenal
BBC Radio 5 Live: “Liverpool have been poor of late and I can see this game fizzling out into a bore draw.”
LAST: Liverpool 1-1 Wigan (11.11.12)
KEY PLAYERS: HOME: Ali Al-Habsi, AWAY: Luis Suarez
FORM: Wigan Athletic WLXLWW, Liverpool LWWLWL
FIRST HALF – livetweets from @realtimeFM:
Wigan make one change from the starting XI that beat Sunderland at home last week, with Shaun MALONEY starting ahead of Jean BEAUSEJOUR on the left.
0′ Gerrard and Suarez get us underway here at the DW. Wigan are 4th, three places and five points ahead of today’s visitors Liverpool.
2′ Shaun Maloney draws a smart save from Reina, firing off a low drive aft being unmarked on the edge of the area. First corner of the game.
7′ John Guidetti wheels away after slamming the ball past Reina, but he’s adjudged to be offside. It’s a very, very tight call.
12′ Mariga again finds Maloney on the edge of the area who has lost his marker. Shot is palmed away and put out for Wigan’s second corner.
17′ Liverpool win a corner but cleared away and Wigan pour forward on the counter. McCarthy over hits a through ball though and Reina gathers.
22′ McDonald Mariga has picked up a knock and requires treatment, but he looks OK to continue. He’s got Gerrard in his pocket so far.
24′ Mariga misses an interception and Assaidi whips a ball into the box. Ramis’s attempted diving header clearance bounces inches wide.
26′ Wigan manager GS signals to Ian Evatt to start warming up. Mariga off the pace since the knock.
28′ Gerrard rises above Caldwell at the corner and powers his header just wide of the near post.
29′ Liverpool counter and somehow Gerrard fails to score from inside six yard box. He takes a touch instead of side footing home and is closed down by two defemders. Deary me.
33′ Maloney rattles the post after Caldwell rolls the free kick to him 25 yards out.
40′ Daniel Agger has picked up a knock, Wigan looking to capitalise by hitting crosses into the box earlier.
45′ Shaun Maloney writhing in pain after a clattering from Lucas. He’s replaced by Beausejour immediately. Half-time whistle soon follows.
SECOND HALF – livetweets from @realtimeFM:
46′ John Guidetti is clean through after Skrtel misreads a header but instead of rifling the ball towards goal, he takes a heavy first touch.
49′ Caldwell nicks the ball off Gerrard seconds before Watson ploughs through the back of him. Rat curls the free kick just wide.
52′ Gary Caldwell angles a cross-field ball out to Jean Beausejour who beats Martin to cross low and hard. Watson’s volley cleared off line.
58′ Beausejour outpaces Daniel Agger and his cross is met by a thundering half-volley at the far post from Reginaldo which Reina pushes over.
68′ Wigan sub: Di Santo for Caldwell. Liverpool sub: Allen for Sahin.
69′ Skrtel takes Reginaldo’s legs away on the edge of the D, giving away a free kick and getting the first booking from ref Mike Dean.
74′ Reginaldo swings a deep cross in which Guidetti meets cleanly on the penalty spot but his header is straight at Reina.
77′ Skrtel goes through the back of Di Santo and concedes the freekick, but no sign of a second yellow.
79′ Reginaldo nods a Guidetti cross down for Di Santo but Reina gets a fingertip to it. Liverpool can’t cope with these crosses.
85′ Double sub for Liverpool: Agger and Martin, replaced by Carragher and Downing.
90′ Two minutes to be added on, it’s been one-way traffic for the last 25 minutes.
Full Time: Wigan Athletic 0-0 Liverpool.
Injury Report: McDonald MARIGA, gashed leg, fortnight.
Injury Report: Shaun MALONEY, sprained ankle, 6-7 weeks.
THE PEOPLE: Another clean sheet for the side today, and it is now 299 minutes since Ali Al-Habsi last conceded. How much of that is down to your goalkeeper’s performances?
(Calm) All of the defence do their bit. They work so hard on the training ground and you can see that effort is paying off.
RADIO FIVE LIVE: A spirited draw against a Liverpool team you were expected to lose heavily to. Are you pleased with that result?
(Calm) I really feel that game was there for the taking.
SUNDAY MIRROR: There was a disallowed goal for your team today that argubly should have stood. Was it wrongly ruled out?
(Assertive) Clearly, the referee has made a mistake and it should have stood.
SPORTINGLIFE: Shaun Maloney injured himself in the match today and it looked potentially serious. Can you estimate how long he might be out for?
(Cautious) it can’t be confirmed yet but it’s looking better than first feared.
SPORTINGLIFE: Many consider Maloney to be one of the central figures at Wigan. How will his injury affect the team’s chances going into your next match?
(Cautious) Hopefully, the team can rally round and remain strong despite Shaun’s absence.
Wigan manager GS has been warned by the FA for his comments following the 0-0 draw with Liverpool. GS reacted badly to his side having a goal disallowed, although replays did seem to indicate that the referee made the correct decision.
NEXT FIXTURE: Wigan Athletic v. Wigan Reserves 09.03.13 (Friendly)