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Rodgers Will "Protect" Injured Sturridge

Liverpool face a Wigan side they will be expected to beat easily on Saturday, but news that Daniel Sturridge will miss the game with a slight knock could complicate matters slightly.

Clive Brunskill

After a pair of strong performances, Liverpool get a chance to show their good form has some staying power this time with a match against Wigan on the weekend. And with Roberto Martinez' side mired in yet another relegation battle, a win has to be seen as the minimum requirement.

Luckily for Liverpool on this weekend at least, after years of dominating the league's best only to stumble against sides further down the table, this season has seen a reversal that augers well for their Wigan chances. What isn't quite so encouraging is news that Daniel Sturridge will miss the match.

"Daniel has had a little knock," said Rodgers at his pre-Wigan press conference, "but we'll assess that in the next day and see how he is for the weekend. This is a kid who's got huge talent. I've got to make sure I protect him. He'll need a wee rest, mentally and physically."

As promising as Sturridge's play has been, his tendency to so far keep picking up little knocks that keep him out of a match here and there is a little worrying. With him missing much of the autumn through a more serious knock, hopefully it's just part of the player's road back to full fitness.

Also worrying has been how reliant Liverpool have already seemed to become on Sturridge being on the pitch less than two months after he arrived at the club. On that front, though, a strong performance against Zenit last Thursday without him will at leas provide encouragement.

Aside from Sturridge, Rodgers added that "everyone is good," and after being ineligible to play against Zenit in the Europa League that everyone will include Philippe Coutinho, who scored on his full debut against Swansea two weeks ago and will be looking to support Luis Suarez on Saturday.

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