Pre-Season 2016/17: Wigan Athletic vs. Liverpool – Preview

Liverpool travel to the DW Stadium on Sunday afternoon as Jurgen Klopp’s squad play their third pre-season fixture against Championship outfit Wigan Athletic.

Wigan Athletic vs. Liverpool
Sunday 17th July 2016, 4pm (BST)
DW Stadium
Pre-Season Friendly
Live on LFCTV

Follow the match in our live blog here

The Reds continue their preparations for the new campaign against Gary Caldwell’s Latics on Sunday afternoon, as they seek to build on a positive start to their extensive pre-season programme.

After productive exercise and victories against Tranmere Rovers and Fleetwood Town, the Reds will be looking for a similarly thorough workout.

Once again, they make another step up in class—this time against a former Premier League club.


The DW Stadium & Previous Meetings

WIGAN, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2013: Liverpool's Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz in action against Wigan Athletic during the Premiership match at the DW Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool make a familiar trip to the DW Stadium for the first-ever pre-season friendly between the two clubs.

A relatively new ground opening in 1999, the 25,100 capacity makes it the biggest club stadium Liverpool play at on English soil this summer.

Close to a sell-out crowd is expected for the visit of Klopp’s side, with Liverpool fans having snapped up the sizeable 4,800 away-end allocation for the game.

Sunday will be the Reds’ ninth visit to the former JJB Stadium—a ground where Liverpool have lost at only once and last visited at the back end of the 2012/13 season.

Brendan Rodgers’ side ran out convincing 4-0 winners against Roberto Martinez’s men over three years ago, with a Stewart Downing strike and Luis Suarez’s hat-trick sealing an emphatic victory.


Liverpool Squad

FLEETWOOD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 13, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp [L] and his doppelgänger head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer [R] during a friendly match at Highbury Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp is set to field another strong squad for Liverpool’s third match in nine days.

That could include Philippe Coutinho, who is in line to make his first appearance of pre-season after missing the Fleetwood win on Wednesday, despite returning to training on Monday.

However, defensive duo Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez won’t feature due to ill-timed injuries, meaning Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren look likely to continue their developing partnership at centre-back.

Established figures Jon Flanagan, Alberto Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Lazar Markovic and Roberto Firmino are all set to feature again, as are Matip’s fellow new arrivals Loris Karius, Sadio Mane and Marko Grujic, who impressed on his debut in the 5-0 win at Highbury in midweek.

Many of Anfield’s upcoming talents caught the eye in Wednesday’s success, and Klopp is likely to include a number of them again on Sunday—with the likes of goalscorer Ben Woodburn, Ryan Kent, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria all hopeful of involvement.

Midfielder Cameron Brannagan is also likely to feature against the club who recently saw a £1 million offer for his services knocked back by the Reds, while Adam Bodgdan could also be handed a chance to shine against the club he is reportedly in talks to join.

Sunday’s game could be the final friendly fixture without Liverpool’s England internationals, who are scheduled to return to Melwood on Tuesday, meaning they may take part at Huddersfield Town.

Klopp is likely to heavily rotate his squad once more against Caldwell’s side, with separate XIs in each half expected as the players continue to find fitness.

Likely Liverpool Squad vs. Wigan: Karius, Bogdan, Flanagan, Randall, Moreno, Smith, Matip, Lovren, Wisdom, Ilori, Lucas, Brannagan, Stewart, Grujic, Alexander-Arnold, Ejaria, Coutinho, Markovic, Kent, Mane, Ings, Firmino


The Opposition

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 24, 2012: Wigan Athletic's Gary Caldwell elebrates scoring the winning goal against Liverpool during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Latics have endured a tough time after winning the FA Cup and being relegated from the Premier League in the same season in 2012/13.

Two relegations in three years took them down to League One, where last season they won the title under Caldwell, who has revived the club since taking over in April 2015.

Wigan are now gearing up for a Championship return and plans are well underway to ensure their return doesn’t end as prematurely this time, with Caldwell having made four summer signings as he looks to build on the triumph.

Centre-back Dan Burn has arrived from Fulham on a free transfer and former Liverpool left-back Stephen Warnock, who played 67 times for the Reds, has arrived from Derby.

West Ham right-back Kyle Knoyle has signed on loan to further bolster the defence, while midfielder Alex Gilbey joins from Colchester United—and he is one to watch out for should he feature on Sunday afternoon.

Further talent comes in key man, prolific goalscorer and Euro 2016 cult hero, Will Grigg, who fired the Latics to promotion with 28 goals in 43 appearances last season.

BOLTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 24, 2011: Bolton Wanderers' goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen celebrates his side's first goal against Arsenal during the Premiership match at the Reebok Stadium. (Photo by Vegard Grott/Propaganda)

Experienced goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and imposing centre-back Craig Morgan will stand between a third straight victory for the Reds, who will also have to monitor Wigan’s midfield engine, Max Power.

Club favourite and Liverpool fan, Ryan Taylor, is currently back at Wigan on trial, and he will be hopeful of playing against his beloved Reds on Sunday.

The clash comes as part of two games in two days for Wigan, who host Manchester United just 24 hours before Klopp’s Reds arrive.

The Latics have opened their pre-season schedule with successive goalless draws against Portuguese side SC Braga and Chester, but will be looking to impress in front of the home crowd against the big boys.


Ticket Info & TV Information

Wigan have revealed that no tickets will be available for purchase on the day, but have released further information:

Tickets are available online, by phone and in person at the DW Stadium Ticket Office for the South Stand, with tickets for the West Stand now SOLD OUT, while away supporters will be allocated the East Stand.

Sales in person and by phone are available until 2.00pm on Saturday 16 July, with online sales available until midnight on Saturday 16 July with collections or Print@Home.

The ticket office will be open from 9.00am until 2.00pm on Saturday 16 July to allow supporters to purchase tickets for this fixture in person.

Tickets are for unreserved seating and prices are as follows:

Adults: £10.00
Under 11s: £5.00
Under 5s: FREE

Wigan Athletic vs. Liverpool will be shown live on LFCTV, and as ever, This is Anfield will be providing live coverage of the clash, with kickoff at the DW Stadium set for 4pm (BST).

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