Liverpool at Wigan
3pm (10am EST) Saturday, September 29
The Lowdown: After two draws in the league, Liverpool travel to Wigan in search of goals and three points. And in light of Fernando Torres’ Carling Cup performance, much of the pre-match spotlight has been thrown back on Rafa’s rotation.
“Will El Nino start or will the Hat Trick Hero find himself on the bench, a victim of rotation?”
With Gerrard apparently having had that ‘not so fresh’ feeling and Agger and Alonso crocked with cracked feet, the schedule has been kind enough to give Liverpool a softer opponent with which to refind their winning ways.
Wigan currently sit twelth in the table, fresh off a 2-1 loss at the hands of Reading. Before that, a draw with Fulham and a loss at Newcastle had tempered the relative positive (well, not horrible) start the Latics had made to the season.
Two former Reds now make their home at Wigan — Emile Heskey and Chris Kirkland. But the former won’t be playing Saturday as he’s sidelined with… you guessed it — a fractured metatarsal! The big man actually had a pin inserted two weeks ago, and now there are rumors floating around that he could be on the move come January. But, manager Chris Hutchings has dismissed the speculation he knows his club can’t afford to lose any talent, even non-scoring strikers. (I kid, I kid)
For those of you who enjoy (or play, but don’t enjoy… like me lately) the Fantasy Premier League, you might recognize that Wigan midfielders Jason Koumas and Antoine Sibierski have thrown up some decent points this season (Sibierski earlier, Koumas more recently). Lucky for the Reds, their influence in the real world isn’t nearly as impressive or tangible.
Sibierski does have three league goals, but they were all scored in August and he hasn’t found the net since. And, one can’t forget that mighty Titus Bramble starts for this Wigan defense, which has conceeded seven goals, but only one in three matches at the JJB Stadium (to Fulham).