Wigan vs. Liverpool
The Latics are in a relegation battle at the moment, meaning they could really use at least a point out of this home match against Liverpool. Let's analyze this Premier League battle.
In spite of being at home, Wigan has been set at on the soccer odds boards as 33/10 to grab three points against a seemingly rejuvenated Liverpool squad.
The Lactics are feeling very good about themselves right now. They're coming off consecutive wins, both of which were comfortable to say the least.
First Wigan took care of Huddersfield 4-1 to move on in the FA Cup. Then, this past weekend, the Lactics logged one of their best victories of the season, a 3-0 away win over Reading.
Goals were scored by Arouna Kone (two) and Maynor Figueroa. The Lactics completely bossed possession (70 percent) and created 17 total chances, seven of which were on goal. They also held Reading without a shot on target.
The win was huge. It pushed Wigan out of the relegation zone, though they're still level on points with Aston Villa and just one point ahead of Reading.
Unfortunately for the Lactics, they haven't protected their home turf very well. They've only won two of their 13 matches at DW Stadium, with a goal differential of minus-10.
Despite a stirring fight-back, the Reds came up just short in their Europa League knockout round versus Zenit.
With a 2-0 mountain to climb, a Jamie Carragher error led to a Hulk goal and a 3-0 deficit. But Liverpool kept plugging away in front of the Anfield faithful, leading to three goals and a 3-3 aggregate final, with Zenit moving on because of the away goal.
Brendan Rodgers had to be mighty pleased with the desire his team showed. Luis Suarez scored twice, both of which came on sublime free kicks, while Joe Allen also got a rare goal in the 3-1 win.
Suarez has been simply unstoppable, and it's clear Wigan, who have allowed 51 league goals this season, are going to have plenty of things to think about with the Uruguayan.
His partnership with Daniel Sturridge, a new signing from Chelsea, has looked very promising in the early stages. Sturridge wasn't available for selection in the European tie, but it's almost a sure bet he'll be back in the starting XI this weekend.
Premier League Pick
DW Stadium is a tricky little stadium to play at, and Roberto Martinez has done a great job of keeping Wigan up in the top fight despite limited resources. There's a reason why Liverpool was reportedly very interested in bringing Martinez to Anfield during their search for a new manager before the season started.
The Lactics have looked significantly better over their last two appearances and Kone and Franco Di Santo have looked a threat going forward.
However, the Reds have put together two great performances in a row and know they have to keep the foot on the pedal here this weekend.
The Lactics haven't been a force to be reckoned with whatsoever at home, so we think this price on Liverpool is actually quite appealing. With the Reds now out of every competition, they can fully focus on the league, and it all starts this weekend. Take Liverpool for your soccer picks in this one.
Soccer Picks: Wigan Athletic 0 Liverpool 2