Premier League preview: Liverpool v Wigan
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will expect a reaction from his players when they host Wigan Athletic in the English Premier League.
On Wednesday Liverpool led 2-0 away to struggling Queens Park Rangers, but conceded three times in the final 13 minutes to lose 3-2 at Loftus Road.
It was the latest surprise defeat in an inconsistent season for the Anfield club.
Dalglish's side have recorded some impressive results in recent weeks, dispatching local rivals Everton 3-0 at home, and also overcoming 2011 FA Cup finalists Stoke City to reach the last four of this year's competition.
But they have endured their fair share of disappointments, notably in a 3-1 defeat at Bolton Wanderers in January, as well as a home loss to Arsenal and an away defeat at Sunderland.
Such inconsistency has left Liverpool seventh on the table, seven points back from the Europa League qualification places, and seemingly firmly out of contention for Champions League qualification.
Liverpool will at least gain a spot in UEFA's second-tier competition due to their Carling Cup victory over Cardiff City, but there remains work to do if Dalglish is to orchestrate a return to the club's former glory days.
On Saturday they will be presented with what appears a highly winnable match at home to struggling Wigan.
Coached by Spaniard Roberto Martinez, Wigan sit second bottom on the table, one point off from the safety of 17th place.
They have recorded just one win from their last 15 matches in all competitions, beating Bolton Wanderers 2-1 on February 12.
Since then, Wigan have drawn three and lost one.
Desperate for points as they battle to preserve their top-flight status, few expect Wigan to upset the odds away to comparative heavyweights Liverpool.
Martinez has close to a full complement of players to call upon, but could be without key striker Hugo Rodallega for the trip to Anfield.
By comparison, Dalglish's relatively deep squad has been tested by several injuries.
Fortunately for Liverpool, fullback Glen Johnson (hamstring) and striker Craig Bellamy are nearing a return, although centre-back Daniel Agger (fractured rib) has been ruled out of the Wigan clash.