Liverpool will be desperately trying to end a run of five matches without winning, when they welcome an inconsistent Wigan Athletic to Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds come into the weekend’s game having picked up three draws and two defeats from the last five matches in all competitions, and with three draws in a row in the Premier League, including a 1-1 result last Sunday away to Chelsea. This form has left Brendan Rodgers’ side 13th in the league, one point and one place above opponents Wigan.
The Latics ended a six game run without a win at the end of October, at home to West Ham, and followed that up with a 1-0 win away at Spurs, before defeat at home to West Brom. That loss typifies the results for Roberto Martinez, and it remains to be seen which Wigan side appear in Merseyside this time around.
Liverpool welcome back goalkeeper Pepe Reina to the first team, replacing Brad Jones, while Rodgers will wait on the fitness of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel. Jonjo Shelvey is back available though. Martin Kelly misses out, and the game comes too soon for return bound Lucas Leiva.
For Wigan, their ‘keeper Ali Al-Habsi is fit after a shoulder scare, and on loan Arsenal man Ryo Miyaichi comes back into the first team. James McArthur looks set to join Albert Crusat and Antolin Alcaraz on the injury list. Franco Di Santo will partner Kone up front.
“If we worry too much about winning, then you have that fear of making a mistake.
“I want the players to play with that freedom and expression within our structure. That will allow us to get the results eventually.
“We have shown resilience, character, all those words, in the last six games. But we have to start winning if we are going to progress up the league. That is what we want to do.”
“To get three wins in a row would be a huge achievement in this league. We did so in the last three matches of last season against Blackburn, Wolves and Newcastle and it represents a real change of mentality for us.
“It has always been the case that we always reached the last third of the season where we really needed those points to save us. To do so in November would be a real change – rather than having to win it’s wanting to win.”