Liverpool travel to the DW on Saturday to face Wigan Athletic. Brendan Rodgers' men are eighth in the Premier League, eight points behind Arsenal in fifth and the last qualifying position for European football next term.
The Latics, meanwhile, are preparing for a customary end-of-season run to avoid relegation. Roberto Martinez and his side are 17th with only goal difference separating them from Aston Villa, Reading and QPR.
The reverse league fixture finished emphatically in the Merseyside club's favour, with Uruguay international Luis Suarez bagging a brace in the 3-0 win. This fixture last year ended in a goalless draw.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 5.30pm GMT. Live telecast is on ESPN and ESPN HD. Catch highlights on Match of the Day on BBC 1 and BBC 1 HD, at 10.25pm GMT.
Wigan managed to halt a woeful run - six games without a win - in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Reading at the Madejski stadium last weekend. Arouna Koné scored two goals in the final few minutes of the first half and Maynor Figueroa completed the rout.
With only 11 games to till the end of the season, Roberto Martinez has to push his team yet again to deliver a similar performance to last season, which saved them from relegation. The club won important games against Arsenal and Manchester United in that period.
And the visit of the Reds could be an excellent springboard for a similar run. Liverpool have beaten Wigan at the DW since 2007, when Yossi Benayoun scored for all three points. However, Martinez will be worried by his team's defensive record at home, having conceded in each of their 14 home games this season.
Meanwhile, Rodgers has a difficult job to better his predecessor, Kenny Dalglish. The former Liverpool player was also eighth in the table but he managed to win the League Cup and secure qualification to the Europa League. Rodgers, unfortunately, has no such saving grace to fall back on; the club were eliminated from the Capital One Cup (the League Cup) by Swansea City, the FA Cup by Oldham Athletic and the Europa League by Zenit St Petersburg.
In addition, the Anfield side have won only once in the last four league games and only five times in 11 games (across all competitions) this calendar year. The 2-2 draws against Arsenal and Manchester City were good performances in themselves but a failure to carry good form forward, for sustained periods, has cost the team dearly this campaign.
And if the club want to avoid finishing behind local rivals Everton for the second season in a row (the Toffees are sixth, three points ahead), Rodgers will need his men to find some character and deliver big performances when they are sorely needed.
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W L D D
- Last Match: Reading 0 - 3 Wigan Athletic
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W L L D
- Last Match: Liverpool 3-1 Zenit Saint Petersburg
Defenders Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and Emmerson Boyce (hamstring) may be ready to start and Arsenal loanee Ryo Miyachi (ankle) is close to full fitness. Ben Watson (broken leg) is unavailable for this game but Martinez has confirmed he is making a rapid recovery and could yet play a role in the final games of the year. Albert Crusat and Ivan Ramis (both knee) are definitely ruled out.
Probable Line-Up: Al Habsi; Boyce, Caldwell, Scharner, Figueroa; Maloney, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour; Di Santo; Koné
Daniel Sturridge picked up a knock in training and his condition will be assessed before the game but centre-back Martin Skrtel is back from injury and is expected to be on the bench for the Reds. Forward Fabio Borini(shoulder) and defender Martin Kelly(knee) are the two players to miss out owing to injury.
Probable Line-Up: Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique; Henderson, Lucas; Downing, Gerrard, Sturridge; Suárez
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