How time flies, coming into the final three months of the season 11 League games to go, Wigan face Liverpool in a home tie which could be crucial to both sides. While Wigan look for Premier League survival, Liverpool are trying to climb as high as they can to get into Europe. I don’t see this one ending as a draw.
Before the corresponding fixture between the sides in November, Wigan were unbeaten in their last six encounters with the Merseyside teams. Yet under new management, things are changing as Brendon Rogers gets his feet under the desk. Slowly but surely you can see the change that is happening in Liverpool.
Their play is at a slower tempo and attacks well-constructed. Liverpool have always been a passing side, but Rogers has taken it to a new level. The supposed golden standard of modern day football, something Roberto has tried to produce at Wigan, yet more money and better players and you can do it a lot quicker.
That doesn’t mean Liverpool haven’t had problems. They are susceptible to conceding soft easy goals, while they tend to be less than troubling the opposition. Does that give Latics some hope? We can all wish and hope, especially with home advantage we may be able to get into the reds faces and get the win we want. To do that we have to watch a man who is well known to everyone in the Premier League, but he is a devil to stop.
Luis Suarez signed last January under Kenny Dauglish was an immediate hit with the fans. Scoring goals and skilled on the ball, they had found their new main man to lead the line. That has continued, and this season Suarez has bagged another 25 goals and is Liverpool’s leading goal scorer.
The problem before January was he was the only player consistently scoring for the Reds. Now with the signing of Daniel Sturridge the weight on the Uruguayan’s shoulders has been lifted. The former Chelsea man who cost £12.5 million has been yet another big hit, and so far it appears Roger’s best signing since joining Liverpool.
A combination of Suarez and Sturridge is enough to scare most defences in the country, let alone our defence. Lack of pace at the back could cost us, so the one man with it (Maynor Figueroa) will have to be on high alert to mop up everyone that gets in behind Gary Caldwell and Paul Scharner.
So what can we scare Liverpool with? How about an inform trio of Franco Di Santo (as inform as he can be), Arouna Kone (four goals in two games without breaking a sweat) and Shaun Maloney (he serves them up on the plate). That is an attacking trio to rival most of the mid-table teams in the league. Keeping the ball rolling and Kone scoring especially will be important.
The confidence is starting to rise to a season high in the team. Out the bottom three and into quarter finals of the FA Cup, the Latics players are really up for carrying on that good feeling and getting a win. And why shouldn’t we? The players we have are good enough and we should now be looking to climb the table, rather than looking over our shoulders at the chasing pack.
This game could be a marker to the teams around us that Wigan once again are coming to life at the right end of the season, and we are going to drag ourselves up and out of the bottom of the Premier League. So lets get behind the lads this weekend and go for it.