Next Up: Wigan (h)

Just as the season gets going properly, a good old international break arrivesd to upset any momentum a team may have built up since the last one.

Now the break is out of the way, Rafa Benitez faces up against a man who he has never taken three points off since arriving at Anfield in 2004 – Steve Bruce. Neither while Bruce was manager of Birmingham or Wigan has Benitez managed success over his opposite number.

Team News:
Liverpool are without star striker Fernando Torres (thigh) after he suffered an injury on international duty for Spain. Also missing is Ryan Babel (ankle), Martin Skrtel (knee) and Phillip Degen (ribs). Javier Mascherano and Lucas Leiva are highly unlikely to be involved due to the 7,000 mile flight from South America and arriving back on Merseyside on Friday.

Form Guide:
Wigan suffered a somewhat surprise 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough last time out, while Liverpool came from behind to win 3-2 at Man City.

Former Reds:
Up front, Emile Heskey has revived his career under Steve Bruce, including a recall to the England squad. While goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is finally enjoying first team football after an injury plagued time on Merseyside.

Danger Man:
Egyptian Amir Zaki is forming a strong partnership with Heskey since his summer move to the JJB and is the top scorer in the league with 5 goals.

Last Season: Liverpool 1-1 Wigan
A Titus Bramble equaliser added to the woes of Liverpool fans on a freezing night at Anfield for the first game of the new year. Benitez was criticised for playing 5 midfielders. Fernando Torres had put the Reds ahead in the match.

Referee: TBA

TV Guide: Highlights on MoTD. Stream links will be available in our forums.