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Wigan v Liverpool

Wigan v Liverpool
Wigan v Liverpool

JJB Stadium Saturday, 29 September Kick-off: 1500 BST Coverage on the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Five Live & highlights on Match of the Day. Featured game on Score and Final Score.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez must decide whether to retain Carling Cup hat-trick hero Fernando Torres.

Jermaine Pennant and Javier Mascherano return from injury, while Benitez has no new problems to contend with.

Wigan have concerns over Kevin Kilbane (ankle), Ryan Taylor (calf) and Antonio Valencia (hamstring).

But Paul Scharner and Andreas Granqvist, who sustained injuries in last week's 2-1 defeat at Reading, should be fit to play.

Wigan (from): Kirkland, Melchiot, Granqvist, Bramble, Kilbane, Brown, Scharner, Skoko, Koumas, Sibierski, Bent, Aghahowa, Boyce, Cotterill, Hall, Olembe, Taylor, Valencia, Pollitt.

Liverpool (from): Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Arbeloa, Aurelio, Riise, Pennant, Gerrard, Sissoko, Mascherano, Benayoun, Babel, Kuyt, Crouch, Voronin, Torres, Itandje.

  • Wigan manager Chris Hutchings on Liverpool's squad rotation: "It doesn't matter who he plays - (Dirk) Kuyt, (Peter) Crouch - he's a number of fantastic players, and whoever is on the teamsheet we have to deal with them.

    "It's a nice decision for him to have to make, but only he can decide. With important games coming up, if that's his choice to keep everybody fresh, then that's what he'll do. The players have to accept it, adapt to it and get on with it.

    "You don't quite know what you're going to get from them. On any given day they can knock four or five past you, while on another day they might struggle - for our sake, let's hope they struggle."

    Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez on Fernando Torres, who scored a hat-trick against Reading in midweek: "I don't know if Torres will start against Wigan. I need to decide because I know my players and watch every training session.

    "We signed Torres because we knew about his quality and we bought Kuyt and Voronin and Crouch. Everybody is talking about Torres because he scored three goals but as a manager you have to make the decisions.

    "You need to protect key players. It is important that if you want to see better football you need to protect the players with quality then we'll see more goals and maybe people will be happier."


    Liverpool go into this game as one of two clubs still holding an unbeaten Premier League record, but four points behind Arsenal at the top of the table.

    Wigan are the lowest placed of the eight clubs still unbeaten at home in the Premier League.

    The last two of the Merseysiders' Premier League games have been goalless; Wigan have only recorded two no score draws in their 84 fixtures in this league.

    Liverpool have conceded more penalty kicks in Premier League competition than any other club this season (three); Wigan have converted all three they've been awarded - no club has scored more so far this term.

    Liverpool hold a perfect Premier League record over Wigan of four wins from four matches with 10 goals scored and none conceded.



    1. Not won in five league and cup games. Drawn two and lost three since beating Sunderland 3-0 at home on 18 August.

    2. Seeking a first victory in five Premier League matches. They've gained two points from the last available 12.

    3. Need a win to total 100 Premier League points in their history.

    4. Lost 2-1 at Reading last Saturday, but not suffered successive defeats in eight Premier League games since losing three in a row on 5 May. That sequence started with a 2-0 defeat at Anfield.

    5. Hold the tightest defence in the bottom half; just seven goals shipped.

    6. One of two clubs who've scored just one goal in the first half of Premier League games; the other is Aston Villa.

    7. Their only points from their last eight north-west Premier League derbies was from a 0-1 away win over Manchester City on 3 March.

    8. Currently on eight points after seven games. In the two previous seasons in this league they had 13 and five points at this identical stage.

    9. Picked up seven points from the nine available at home this season, and three goals short of totalling 50 in the Premier League at the JJB.

    10. This is the first of two tough fixtures. A visit to the Theatre of Dreams to face Manchester United follows this.


    1. Undefeated in 10 games this season; won six and drawn four.

    2. Dropped just six points - bettered only by Arsenal, who have claimed all but two of the points available to them.

    3. One of four clubs who've got double figures in the "Goals For" column in the Premier League table. The others are Arsenal, Fulham and Tottenham.

    4. Registered two goalless draws in Premier League matches this season - more than any other club; and not scored in 194 minutes (three hours 14 minutes) since Andriy Voronin wrapped up their 6-0 home win over Derby on 1 September.

    5. Not conceded in four games, or 434 minutes (seven hours 14 minutes) of Premier League football since Frank Lampard netted for Chelsea at the Bridge on 19 August.

    6. The Premier League's joint meanest defence with Manchester United. Both clubs have leaked just two goals.

    7. An opponent is yet to score the opening goal in a Premier League game against them this season, or indeed net from open play against them.

    8. The only club yet to concede in the first half of the Premier League.

    9. Picked up seven points from the nine available on the road; that's more than any other club away from home in the Premier League.

    10. This match precedes Wednesday's Champions League Group A fixture, home to Marseilles.



    Antoine SIBIERSKI is Wigan's leading scorer with three Premier League goals.

    If he plays:-

    Chris KIRLAND will be facing a former club. The 26 year old keeper made 45 appearances (25 in the league) for Liverpool between August 2001 and his move to Wigan in July 2006.

    Kevin KILBANE will be making his 250th career Premier League appearance (Sunderland, Everton and Wigan).

    Jason KOUMAS will be making his 50th Premier League appearance (West Brom and Wigan).


    Midweek hat-trick hero, Fernando TORRES is Liverpool's top scorer with six goals, and top Premier League marksman, with three.

    Dirk KUYT scored three goals in the two games against Wigan last season.


    Liverpool were rampant in this fixture last season when Craig Bellamy scored half of their four unanswered goals.

    Wigan have lost all six games they've played against Liverpool in the Premier League and League Cup, and have only scored two League Cup goals against them, conceding 18 goals in total.

    Home and away League (inc PL): Wigan 0 wins, Liverpool 4, Draws 0 Prem: Wigan 0 wins, Liverpool 4, Draws 0

    at Wigan only League (inc PL): Wigan 0 wins, Liverpool 2, Draws 0 Prem: Wigan 0 wins, Liverpool 2, Draws 0


    Wigan Athletic 0-4 Liverpool 2 December 2006 - Ref: Mike Riley Liverpool scorers: Bellamy 9, 26, Kuyt 40, McCulloch 45 og


    Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

    Steve Bennett was originally scheduled to control this match, but he has been swapped with Mark Clattenburg, who is now in charge of the Birmingham v Manchester United match.


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