Friday, March 23, 2012
It's not everyday that Liverpool collapse in the final 13 minutes of a game like they did against QPR. Overconfidence might have had something to do with that, as the Reds were so dominant in that game. Much like they had been throughout the season. One could actually count in one hand the number of terrible performances. But the Premier League standings don't lie and Liverpool, for all their vibrant football, deserve to sit in seventh spot.
All eyes will be on the mighty Reds this weekend, as they take on struggling Wigan Athletic at Anfield. If Reds fans are hoping that Liverpool will sweep aside the Latics, they might have to think again. Liverpool have struggled against Wigan in recent seasons and with Martinez' men fighting for their Premiership lives, the Reds might well struggle again. Factor in Asia's best goal keeper, Ali Al-Habsi and one can be sure goals will not come easy.
You will need to go back three seasons (2009/2010) to find the last home win for Liverpool over Wigan. A 2-1 win inspired by goals from Bolton's David N'gog and Chelsea's Fernando Torres.
Steven Gerrard, as Liverpool captain, must lead by example and inspire the players around him to put the QPR defeat behind them. The Reds needs all his leadership qualities to ensure that they do not suffer another bitter disappointment at Anfield.
With Charlie Adam injured, Gerrard can affect the game in his favoured position, knowing that Spearing will be the midfield enforcer. The Reds captain have not been able to exert his influence too much this season, apart from matches against Newcastle and Everton. Partly due to the presence of Adam but I believe it's more to do with Gerrard opting to play deeper in midfield. As a result, Liverpool lost a goal threat this season.
Gerrard's inspirational and influential abilities are needed against Wigan if the Reds expect three points. His Kop hero status and goalscoring prowess makes Steven Gerrard the man to watch in this weekend's Premiership clash.
But if Craig Bellamy is fit, a repeat of his two goal act in Liverpool's biggest win over Wigan would be much welcomed.
Liverpool have been a soft touch all season for the Premiership strugglers. Wigan are fighting for their Premiership survival and surely the Latics will be plotting the downfall of the Reds at Anfield. After all, Wigan's first ever point against the Big 4 came courtesy of Liverpool back in 2008.
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