Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher may currently be unable to win back his place in the first team, but manager Kenny Dalglish believes the experienced defender's influence is still being felt on the pitch.
The Bootle-born former academy graduate, who turns 34 next month, was injured in the Carling Cup tie at Stoke in late October and, despite returning to fitness, has had to settle for a place on the bench.
That is a result of the form of centre-backs Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel who, in the seven matches Carragher has missed, have helped keep four clean sheets with the team conceding just three times.
More of the same will be expected on Wednesday at Wigan as the league's meanest defence comes up against the joint-worst scorers in the top flight.
"I don't think they have ever looked a bad pair (Agger and Skrtel) but the both of them are playing very well," said the Scot. "They know how to play. Jamie being beside them when they came in at first has been a fantastic help to them, as he has been for a lot of people here.
"You can't under-play what Jamie has done for the two of them but they are more than capable of standing on their own two feet. Competition is always helpful but it is not as though the two boys are novices, they are seasoned international players and Daniel is going to Euro 2012 (with Denmark)."