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Blastin' Caps and Splittin' Wigan: Liverpool v. Wigan Preview

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We Find Your Team Pretty Funny, Too.
We Find Your Team Pretty Funny, Too.

These games after an international always make me uneasy, and that's without the injury concerns that Liverpool now have. Steven Gerrard, Martin Kelly, and Martin Skrtel all had to pull out of their countries' matches, and are all questionable for tomorrow's game at home to Wigan. There's a Europa away date to consider the following on Thursday as well. Still, smart money says Gerrard plays, and Liverpool go back to four at the back with Johnson-Carragher-Agger-Aurelio (we hope). Kelly's age probably keeps him under wraps. Agger scored for Denmark, and so would only recently be back but he's apparently so vital to what Kenny Dalglish wants to do, I bet he starts.

Though it would seem folly to change formation after two straight wins, Wigan don't carry the aerial, battering ram threat that both Stoke and Chelsea did. Secondly, Liverpool don't need to pin back Wigan's fullbacks as they did against Chelsea. I think we see the debut of the 4-3-3 that we all think is going to be the go-to formation once Andy Carroll is healthy. The captain plays, and will be in front of Lucas but behind Meireles. If Dalglish was feeling truly goofy and sneaky, he's go to a 4-4-2 with Lucas and Meireles patrolling the middle and Gerrard going back to his free role from the right of 2006 vintage. But I doubt we see that, and it leaves the same problem as the 4-3-3, who's going to man the other flank from Suarez, who looks certain to start tomorrow. I fear it may be Maxi as Joe Cole is still hurt or bad or both, I'm not sure which, and there just aren't many other options. Kuyt is probably the middle man with Suarez on either flank, he can man either. Either way, there's really no reason we don't see The Pool coming right at a team at Anfield that isn't very good on the road.

Though we discovered a way to lose to them at the JJB or whatever it's called now, this is not an imposing outfit showing up tomorrow afternoon (or morning if you're stateside). They're in the relegation zone, and have only won twice away from home all year. We'd laugh but we only managed three. Hugo Radellega seems to always score a really annoying goal against us that dribbles off his shin or something. Charles N'zogbia presumably will get off the phone with his agent long enough to take part in tomorrow's action, but you never know. Past that, there isn't a whole lot of threat here. Somewhat admirably, or stupidly depending on your point of view, Roberto Martinez does always send his team out to try and play. But that should play into Liverpool's hands tomorrow, as the defense has found some stability and, miracle of miracles, we try and play too!

It'll be two weeks until our next league game, and Sparta Prague shouldn't loom a huge threat, so I'm hoping and expecting the kind of easy win we really haven't seen many of this year, if any. I'll launch a gamethread right before kickoff.