Liverpool hammer Wigan at the DW, as Luis Suarez sweeps aside the lacklustre Latics with a hat-trick. Stewart Downing and Philippe Coutinho also pick up the points as the Reds win on the road for the first time since Gameweek 20:
On the Up
Reinstalled to the lone forward role as Daniel Sturridge missed out with a knock, the Uruguayan ran riot at the DW this evening. Suarez’s hat-trick took him to 21 goals for the season – two ahead of Robin Van Persie in the race for the Golden Boot. With maximum bonus looking assured, Suarez will now be just 14 points behind the Dutchman at the top of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) standings and with form, fixtures and guaranteed game time on his side, could well end the season as number one.
The January signing from Inter scored on his first start for the Reds in the previous league match with Swansea and maintained his strong attacking form with a pair of assists. With Brendan Rodgers keen to protect Raheem Sterling, Coutinho could well be set to feature more prominently in the first XI from here on in and looks a decent mid-price option at 6.5 in FPL.
An early opener added to his assist against Swansea in Liverpool’s last league encounter, meaning Downing has now produced returns in back-to-back Gameweeks for the first time this season. At 5.7, he could be another option, with starts certainly looking assured – he has been named in the first XI in each of the last 13.
Subject of our recent members article, which drew comparisons with Jose Enrique’s numbers, it was Johnson’s turn to deliver today with a smart assist for Suarez’s third goal which could also see him figure amongst the bonus points. That was the right-backs fifth assist of the season and, with his Gameweek 29 fixture secure, Johnson seems set to earn a batch of new suitors after this timely haul.
Brendan Rodgers’ decision to omit the former Chelsea man is clearly something of a worry for his owners. Sturridge has missed two out of the last three now and with his manager clearly keen to protect him from further damage as he nurses a troublesome thigh problem, his game time is looking less assured as Sturridge shows a propensity to pick up knocks. With the front three all impressing, Rodgers clearly has no need to rush Sturridge back although he will be expected to be in the frame for the Gameweek 29 visit of Spurs.
Wigan Home Form
It seems last week’s 3-0 win at Reading may be something of a false dawn. Many had believed Roberto Martinez’s side were on the verge of their annual surge up the table but instead they capitulated – Wigan have now conceded 31 goals in front of their own fans, four more than any other side.