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Kenny Dalglish To Change Tactics As Liverpool Take on Wigan

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06:  Kenny Dalglish manager of Liverpool celebrates with Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard after the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on February 6, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Jon FeatonbyCorrespondent IFebruary 11, 2011

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish was rightly praised for the formation that saw Liverpool beat Chelsea 1-0 last weekend.

The 3-2-3-1-1 formation (or something thereabouts) took the sting out of Chelsea's impressive attacking options, including Liverpool old-boy Fernando Torres.

But when Liverpool take on Wigan at Anfield this weekend, Dalglish is likely to change his tactics.

The changes are in part due to the fact that Liverpool will enter the game as favourites and are at home. They are also influenced by injuries.

Following the midweek international friendlies, Dalglish has a few worries. Captain Steven Gerrard was withdrawn from England's squad after picking up a knock against Chelsea, but he is likely to start.

The same is true for Martin Kelly. The young right-back has impressed since breaking into the first team, especially when asked to play as a wing-back.

He is likely to revert to the full-back position against Wigan, as Dalglish will play with a back four. Martin Skrtel will probably miss the game with a thigh problem, so Jamie Carragher will partner Daniel Agger, fresh from his goalscoring exploits against England.

Expect a more attacking formation, spearheaded by Dirk Kuyt. The Dutchman was excellent against Chelsea and should be played in a similar role. He enjoys playing against Wigan, scoring five goals in nine games.

Around him, however, I think Luis Suarez will get his first start in a Liverpool shirt. Rather than playing through the middle, he should start on the left with Maxi Rodriquez starting on the opposite flank.

Raul Meireles, in a rich vain of goalscoring form, will play directly behind Kuyt and the midfield is rounded out by Gerrard and Leiva Lucas.

The win over Chelsea was Liverpool's fourth in a row as the revival under Dalglish continues. Since the Scot took over from Roy Hodgson, no Premier League team has picked up more points.

History could also repeat itself at Anfield this weekend. If Liverpool keep a clean sheet, it will mark the first time since 2007 that they went five league games without conceding. The fifth team in that sequence was Wigan.

The confidence has returned under Dalglish. I fully expect the run to continue as Liverpool run out comfortable 2-0 winners.

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