If Wigan beat Liverpool at Anfield today the online trolls will have all the fuel they need to make moronic statements about how it proves Roberto Martinez should have been given the job ahead of Brendan Rodgers. It would do no such thing.
Both clubs have struggled to get going this season but the emphasis will be on the home side getting a win. Something they’ve failed to do in their last five games against the Latics. If Roberto Martinez can get a draw in this game he’ll return home the far happier manager.
Liverpool are expected to dominate the play but can they turn possession in to precious, precious goals?
I’ll be here giving live updates and making the odd amusing/offensive remark throughout.
Final Score: Liverpool 3 – 0 Wigan
16.55: Full-time. Liverpool fully deserved that win but it wasn’t exactly a hot-blooded affair. A much needed home win and clean sheet and the Anfield owners can feel a little better about choosing Rodgers over Martinez.
16.52: This game has been over for some time and Liverpool are content to pass the ball around at the back. Wigan are content to let them.
16.48: There’ll be no hat-trick for Suarez as he’s replaced by Jonjo Shelvey for the remaining few minutes. How much worse would it be without the talented South American?
Score Updates: Man City are now 5-0 up against Aston Villa. Southampton lead QPR 3-1. Swansea are 2-0 up at St James Park. Reading are 2-1 up at home to Everton. There’ll be some under pressure managers.
16.42: Enrique plays Suarez in but his shot from out left skims across the goal and out for a goal-kick. Rodgers is feeling comfortable enough to give Carragher a run-out, taking off Daniel Agger.
16.39: Liverpool are looking for a fourth with Sterling threatening down the left. He puts a couple of decent balls in to the box trying to find Suarez but the visitors manage to get the ball away.
16.35: Kone almost comes close to pulling one back but he was offside anyway. This game is peetering out a little with the result seemingly settled.
16.27: Suarez and Sterling link up in the Wigan box. The latter has a shot which Al Habsi can only push in to the path of Enrique who has an easy tap in. The Wigan heads appear to have a dropped a little as Jordan Henderson goes very close to making it 4-0. He should have done better. Story of his season.
16.26: Liverpool go 3-0. Jose Enrique scores.
16.23: Suarez is put through in the box. He goes a little wide but still forces a save from Al Habsi.
16.22: The man of the hour, Suarez, gets in to the Wigan box and then….hooks his shot so badly it goes out for a throw.
16.19: Suarez puts Liverpool 2-0 up. Jose Enrique carries the ball forward, cuts in from the wing and plays a ball right through the middle of the Wigan defence. Suarez slots it past Al Habsi as he comes out.
16.15: Both side’s are enjoying spells of slick but not very effective passing. Di Santo has a shot from distance which drifts gently in to Reina’s arms. Neither keeper is being over worked in this game.
Scores Update: There have been a few early second half goals with QPR pulling one back through Junior Hoilett. West Brom are back in the lead against Chelsea thanks to Peter Odemwengie. Reading have equalised at home to Everton through Le Fondre. A Sergio Aguero penalty puts City 2-0 up against Villa.
16.08: A poor Wigan pass allows Sterling to get free down the right. He looks up, finds Suarez and the Uruguayan lashes the ball in to the near top corner. Lovely finish.
16.06: And the second half is under way at Anfield.
Score Updates: Mark Hughes has to be in trouble with QPR losing 2-0 at home to Southampton. Jason Puncheon added a second for the Saints in first-half injury-time. David Silva put Man City a goal to the good against a game Aston Villa two minutes before half-time.
16.01: AVB is getting zinged all over the gaff on Twitter. Below are a few of the better barbs.
Lol~"@Footy_Jokes: I tried to change my facebook password to "tottenham's defense" but it keep saying password is too weak!"
— Michael Kusnadi (@mikekico) November 17, 2012
Residents living near the Emirates have been complaining about building work noise – apparently they just heard 90 minutes of hammering.
— New Footy Jokes (@FootyBull) November 17, 2012
15.50: Liverpool just about edged the first half but there hasn’t been much in it so far and 0-0 is a fair reflection. Al Habsi has been the busier of the two goalkeepers but the home side need to do better if they want to beat the Oman international.
15.46: Joe Allen is receiving some treatment after taking a boot to the face. An accidental flick from Moloney, no real harm done.
15.44: Some good interplay between Gerrard and Suarez. The latter puts a good ball in to the box but Al Habsi gathers.
Scores Update: Eden Hazard draws Chelsea level with West Brom. Rickie Lambert puts Southampton 1-0 up away to QPR.
15.39: We get our first yellow with Figueroa going in the book for a late challenge on Sterling. There wasn’t a lot of contact but he was very late.
15.37: Suso has been replaced by Jordan Henderson, boos ring out around the office. Didn’t spot an injury to the young Spaniard. Ben Watson had already been replaced by David Jones for Wigan.
15.36: It’s Suarez’ turn to smash a free-kick over the bar.
15.35: Anfield errupts as Suarez is awarded a free-kick outside the Wigan box following a foul by McCarthy.
15.33: Figueroa takes the free kick but blasts it high and none too handsome.
15.32: Agger is a little too eager to win the ball back and fouls Di Santo just outside the Liverpool box.
15.31: Glenn Johnson goes on a positive run down the right and puts a good ball in to the box. Suso meets it but it bounces off his head like it’s a 50 pence piece.
15.28: It’s some kind of lower leg injury for Ben Watson, it’s not entirely clear right now. We shall see if he returns. Wigan get the game restarted with a free-kick which Ramis hits off the Liverpool wall and away for a corner. Which comes to nothing.
15.26: After Liverpool clear a Wigan corner, Sterling and Watson jump for the ball. It looks like a pretty innocuous coming together but Ben Watson appears to be in considerable pain.
15.23: A couple of corners later and Daniel Agger connects with Gerrard’s corner but can’t keep his header down. Suso then pulls a great save out of Al Habsi with a shot from outside the box.
15.21: Gerrard whips in a dangerous free-kick from out right which is cleared for a corner.
15.18: Kone has Wigan’s first shot on target. A decent enough strike from 30 yards out but it’s an easy save.
Score Updates: Steven Naismith puts Everton 1-0 up away to Reading and Shane Long puts West Brom 1-0 up against Chelsea.
15.15: Wigan are getting in to this game a little. Ben Watson has a decent shot from distance but it flies comfortably over the bar.
15.14: After losing 5-2 today, Andre Villas-Boas will be under further pressure, particularly from the media . Defeat for Liverpool today and Brendan Rodgers could be enjoying similar headlines tomorrow.
15.12: Liverpool have men over in attack but Suarez chooses to shoot and his effort is blocked. We’ve yet to see Pepe Reina on screen in this game.
15.10: Suarez puts in a dangerous cross from the right and Ben Watson clears at the near post. He could well have turned that in. Agger gets a head on the resulting corner and Al Habsi gets down to make a save.
15.05: Jonjo shelvey has the first shot at goal from 20 yards. It’s not far away but Al Habsi wasn’t worried
15.03: It has been all Liverpool in the opening minutes but they have yet to threaten the Wigan goal.
15.00: After the two managers are shown sharing a friendly embrace, the game gets underway.
14.58: Some technical problems here at Power Tower have now been sorted, of my own making it has to be said, and we await the kick-off
14.36: Team News
Pepe Reina is back between the sticks for Liverpool, replacing Brad Jones. Martin Skrtel comes in for Jamie Carragher and after making such a positive impact coming off the bench against Chelsea, young Spanish midfielder Suso starts ahead of Nuri Sahin.
Roberto Martinez makes no changes from the side beaten 2-1 at home by the Baggies last weekend.
Reina, Wisdom, Agger, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Johnson, Gerrard, Allen, Sterling, Suarez, Suso.
Subs: Jones, Sahin, Cole, Henderson, Coates, Carragher, Shelvey
Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, Watson, McCarthy, Beausejour, Maloney, Di Santo, Kone
Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam, Miyaichi