On Wednesday night, the resurgent Wolverhampton Wanderers make a trip to Anfield.
A 0-0 stalemate against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park over the weekend meant that Liverpool shrugged off the scare of another defeat but things look grim for them as a top-four finish looks bleak now. Klopp’s men were humiliated 5-2 in their 1st leg tie against Real Madrid in UEFA Champions League at their own background and the chances of a comeback are very slim given the form of the Los Blancos. The Kops are now 9 points behind 4th placed Tottenham, although they can count on reducing the gap if they can gain maximum points from the two games they have in hand. But Liverpool have had a fair share of joy against Wolves, they have won 18 of their last 20 home league games against them, with the exceptions being 1-0 defeats in January 1984 and December 2010.
Wolves under Julen Lopetegui have kick-started their campaign and are looking for a much better outfit. An impressive performance at the weekend just lacked a bit of composure and experience as they could not close out on a famous victory away at Craven Cottage against Fulham. Pablo Sarabia gave the visitors an early lead but a stunner by Solomon meant that the points were shared between them. Hovering just above the relegation zone, they are now 3 points ahead of 18th-placed Everton having played an equal number of games. Wolves’ 3-0 victory against Liverpool in the reverse fixture at the beginning of February ended an 11-game-losing run against the Reds in the Premier League.
Thursday, 02-03-2023 March, 01:30 am (IST)
Wednesday, 01-03-2023, 08:00 pm (GMT)
Liverpool form (all competition): D-L-W-W-L
Wolves form (all competition): D-L-W-W-L
Player to watch
Liverpool: Diogo Jota
Although he has been out for a large chunk of the season, he has made an impact right after he came back from injury. The potential unavailability of Darwin Nunez guarantees his place in the starting XI. He has the ability to play off both feet, so he is confident running either left or right when dribbling at an opponent. When carrying the ball, he shifts laterally quickly and constantly, always moving to create angles to play.
Wolves: Pablo Sarabia
He has been an important addition to Lopetegui’s squad since his permanent move from PSG after a brief loan spell at Sporting CP. Mainly an attacking midfielder, he likes to cross, likes to do layoffs, and plays the ball off the ground often. Also with the ability to play either of the wings, he is an indirect set-piece threat which makes him all the more dangerous.
- Wolves are looking to complete a league double over The Reds for the first time since 1950-51.
- Liverpool have failed to score in four of their last six league games, having failed to find the net in just 3 of their previous 65.
- Liverpool have kept three consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time this season, last keeping more consecutively between February and April 2022 (5).
Injury and team news
Liverpool might not risk the shoulder injury of Darwin Nunez who did not make the trip to London last weekend. Ibrahima Konate was out due to a thigh injury but he has been back on the training pitch this week. Joe Gomez was subbed off against Real Madrid with a potential hamstring injury which makes Joel Matip and the reliable Van Dijk as obvious starters in the backline for Klopp. Thiago Alcantara’s hip injury has also been a major concern while Luis Diaz is expected to return by the end of March.
Matheus Da Cunha was subbed off against Fulham after he suffered an ankle/foot injury and his situation is currently being assessed which makes Podence an obvious replacement for him. Hee-Chan Hwang is recovering from a thigh injury and he might just make it to the team list for this fixture. Francisco Oliveira and Sasa Kalajdzic are both out due to knee injuries and there is no expected return date as of now. Chiquinho is further along in the rehabilitation process and is likely to return to the grass earlier than Sasa.
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Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3):
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Bajcetic; Salah, Gakpo, Jota
Wolves predicted lineup (4-4-2):
Jose Sa; Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, H. Bueno; Sarabia, Lemina, R. Neves, M. Nunes; D. Podence, R. Jimenez
Liverpool might edge it out in this fixture as they will be seeking revenge for their recent humiliation at Molineux four weeks back. Although Klopp’s have been way short of what is expected from them this season, the calibre and the gunfire in their ranks might just prove too much for Lopetegui’s men to handle. Also, the hostile atmosphere of Anfield might prove to be a crucial factor in this fixture.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Wolves.
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UK- BT Sport.
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