Wigan v Liverpool, Saturday 17:30
– Roberto Martinez’s Wigan secured a vital win last week in a 3-0 victory over Reading. All the goals came in quick succession as Wigan hammered a dazed Royal outfit, including a brace from Arouna Kone and another from Maynor Figueroa.
– James McCarthy continues to be key to Wigan in the centre of the park. He leads the Wigan squad for completed passes in the opponent’s half, securing 668 at a rate on one every 3.8 minues.
– Arouna Kone’s 8 goals have been crucial for the Lactics this season, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index would seem to suggest that more goals aren’t far away. He’s been taking only 64.8 minutes to have a an on-target attempt on goal, with 60.4% of his efforts testing the goalkeeper.
– Look for Gary Caldwell to continue to throw his body on the line to help the Wigan cause as the run in to the end of the season approaches. He’s made 12 blocks, more than any other Wigan player.
– Jean Beausejour has been quietly carving out a solid reputation for himself for Wigan this season. He’s contributed an excellent 8 assists and currently sits third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for crosses delivered with 97.
– Liverpool’s last foray in the league was an fine 5-0 home win over Swansea. This result will have eased some of the concerns around Anfield after a five-match run without a win, and the players will be resolved to kick on against Wigan this weekend.
– Steven Gerrard continues to exert as much influence on games as ever even as he progresses through his 30s. The talismanic Liverpool skipper has now racked up an impressive 829 passes in the opponent’s half this campaign, a feat that has no doubt contributed to his 13 assists.
– Holding onto Luis Suarez is an obvious priority for Liverpool come the summer given the Uruguayan striker’s ability to change the momentum of matches so emphatically. This season he’s looked to do that on multiple occasions with 138 attempts on goal, one of those finding its way on target once every 30.9 minutes.
– Rumours have also been circulating around Daniel Agger, the Danish defender drawing admiring glances from some of Europe’s top clubs with his consistency this season. He’s racked up an excellent 186 defensive contributions this season, including a squad-high 123 interceptions.
– Youngster Andre Wisdom has made great strides in his debut season under Brendan Rogers. He’s been clearly demonstrating he has the ability to shine at this level, compiling a 70.4% tackle success rate from 27 challenges.