Roy Hodgson is trying to play down expectations on his Liverpool team after three successive Premier League wins finds the Merseysiders within five points of a Champions League place.
Three weeks ago this fixture was shaping up to be a relegation zone six-pointer with the Wigan team faring better than Hodgson’s struggling side; but now Liverpool are looking for a win to climb into the top six.
With Wigan having registered a solitary win this term at the DW Stadium, it is understandable that bookmakers are offering odds-on for a Liverpool win – Stan James odds of 7/4 being the best around.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has said this is the “worst time to play Liverpool” given their amazing turn around and he will hope the poor scoring record away from Anfield continues, for one more day at least.
Maxi Rodriguez’ winner at Bolton ten days ago was Liverpool’s third away goal following Steve Gerrard’s brace in the 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford.
But now Fernando Torres has returned to form and Gerrard is firing on all cylinders, the lean away spell could be about to change against a defence known to collapse in dramatic fashion.
888 Sport are offering odds of 4/1 for Torres to continue to get among the goals by being the games first scorer while bet365 bet 6/5 for him to score at anytime.
Wigan’s Ivorian defender Lohore Gohouri will miss the match through suspension and Martinez also has Emmerson Boyce, James McCarthy and Mike Pollit receiving treatment for injuries.
Hodgson will be without Sotirios Kyrgiakos who has largely performed in Europe, he is suffering tonsillitis and joins Joe Cole (hamstring) and Daniel Agger (calf) on the absent list.
Possible starting lineups:
WIGAN: Al Habsi, G Caldwell, Stam, Figueroa, S Caldwell, Alcaraz, N'Zogbia, Diame, Thomas, Gomez, Rodallega.
LIVERPOOL: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Kuyt, Lucas, Gerrard, Meireles, Maxi, Torres.