Matchday: Liverpool v. Wigan

anfield_pan

Kickoff from Anfield at 15:00 GMT and 10:00 EST.

Ways to Watch:

Match live on Fox Soccer Channel in the US and Setanta Ireland in...Ireland (tip of the hat to Duck of Death). I'd guess the Australians have found a way to watch as well. Fox Sports?

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From Sport

Liverpool:

Reina
Kelly Carragher Skrtel Johnson
Maxi Meireles Lucas Aurelio
Kuyt Suarez

Bench: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Poulsen, Pacheco, Jovanovic, Ngog

A couple of big misses here---Steven Gerrard held out along with Daniel Agger, making it the first time that the latter hasn't featured under Kenny Dalglish. We do get to see Luis Suarez's full debut, and he'll be alongside Dirk Kuyt in what the official site is terming a 4-4-2. As has been the case, though, I'd expect plenty of fluidity and changeover up front, with Meireles pushing further forward and Lucas playing those f***ing sideways passes a little deeper.

Wigan:

Al Habsi
Gohouri Alcaraz Caldwell Figueroa
N'Zogbia McCarthy Diame Watson Moses
Rodallega

Bench: Pollitt, Di Santo, S.Caldwell, Gomez, Cleverely, McArthur, Stam

In the run-up:

As some of you have already pointed out, today will very likely be the 100th Premier League appearance for Lucas. Considering the early reception he received at the club and the progress he's made in the past few seasons, it's an absolutely fantastic achievement. Factor in that he's barely 24 and turning in a player of the year type season thus far, and it's very likely that he'll be able to reach at least a hundred or so more.

However, those of you who've picked your knuckles up off the floor to smash on the keyboard will no doubt continue to shout the achievement down as an injustice of the highest order---"I could do what he does," you'll cry, painfully unaware of how bad your overdeveloped breasts (unless you're a woman, wink wink) would look in an Adidas Techfit shirt or, you know, the vital part that Lucas plays in Liverpool's success. No, he doesn't dribble like Messi or stepover like Ronaldo or do the bicycle kicking or run really fast and other things that players obviously have to do in order to be considered good. And he damn well better justify his spot in the team to you rather than the man responsible for actually selecting the team, because that guy doesn't have a clue even though he's your hero or something. So go ahead and get clever in the comments and let the tides of reason and rationale wash over you for the next few hours as Lucas turns in another tireless, effective, and quietly terrific display in the midfield.

There's also some fine news about Steven Gerrard to report, and something that we don't actually hear much of from the captain. From the Daily Mail (I know, I know):

Gerrard got involved with Fairbridge after deciding to form The Steven Gerrard Foundation. A foundation, given how long he has served the club, that at some point could well benefit from a testimonial match.

Gerrard has formed his foundation with the support and guidance of the Consortium for Street Children and the London-based sports marketing agency, Sportcel, who have been appointed to handle the fund-raising events. Together, they intend to use Gerrard’s profile to support a variety of charities in Liverpool and across the country.

"By setting up the foundation we can do some fund-raising for years to come," he says. "There’s certainly a big pleasure in giving something back to my city. I’ve been to different organisations in Liverpool that are in desperate need of money and I feel I’m in a position where I can raise a lot. And I enjoy it. You see the smiles on the kids’ faces. The reaction you get from them. It’s fantastic."

The article goes on to cover some football as well, and Soccernet thankfully latched onto the part about being heartbroken while ignoring the charity part. Nice editing. Anyhow, good to see him making a positive impact.

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