Wigan Athletic-Liverpool Preview
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Luis Suarez is the joint-scoring leader in the Premier League, so he can't be blamed for Liverpool wallowing in the bottom half of the table.
Not even a matchup with Wigan Athletic seems to offer a chance for the Reds to find some scoring depth.
Suarez will try to continue his impressive scoring streak as Liverpool attempt to beat plucky Wigan for the first time in three years at Anfield on Saturday.
Suarez's eight goals tie him with Manchester United's Robin van Persie for the league lead. Still, Liverpool (2-6-3) have only received five other tallies from four players combined with Steven Gerrard chipping in with two.
That's partly why the Reds are 13th in the table, with prospects of winning their first league championship since 1990 dimming fast.
Liverpool have tied three games in a row after Suarez bailed them out with a 73rd-minute goal to salvage a 1-1 draw with Chelsea in London last week. That was the second consecutive week the Uruguay forward saves their blushes, scoring in the second half of a 1-1 draw with Newcastle at Anfield.
Manager Brendan Rodgers feels rallying for the results is a positive sign.
"That was our sixth draw, and in a lot of those games we've come back from being behind," Rodgers said. "We've got great character and resilience and survival instincts in the group, and we're dominating games with the ball, but you need materials.
"If we can hopefully get one or two in January who can help us at the top end of the field we'll turn draws into wins. Luis just needs that support of instinctive goal-scorers."
In the meantime, Rodgers will likely need to rely on Suarez, who has scored in four straight matches in all competitions.
He's also the only current member of Liverpool to manage a goal against the Latics (3-2-6). That tally came in a 2-1 home defeat on March 24 after the teams played to a scoreless draw at Wigan on Dec. 21.
The Reds are an abysmal 0-3-2 since beating Wigan - a usual suspect in the relegation race - at Anfield on Dec. 16, 2009.
The Latics, 14th in the Premier League and one point behind Liverpool, are looking to rebound from last weekend's 2-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion.
"Perhaps we became a little too frustrated in trying to overcome the two-goal deficit, wanting the equaliser so desperately that it affected our performance," manager Roberto Martinez told the team's official website. "(That's) something we need to learn from because we'll have to face it again this season."
Arouna Kone leads Wigan with four goals after getting his latest against West Brom. However, he's mustered only one goal in five road matches, and that came in the very first one, a 2-0 victory at newly promoted Southampton on Aug. 25.
Shaun Maloney and Gary Caldwell accounted for the scoring in the most recent meeting with Liverpool. Maloney, however, enters this visit to Anfield with one goal on the season and none in the past nine overall contests.
Updated November 15, 2012