Liverpool faces Wolves on Saturday afternoon as they look to get their season going after a disappointing start. The visitors have had a mixed campaign so far and may fancy their chances against a Reds side who aren’t clicking in midfield or at the back. Jurgen Klopp’s team have won their last seven matches against Wolves.
After such a strong finish to last season for Liverpool with just two losses in 34 matches, it’s been a very poor start to this term by their high standards. A 2-2 draw at Fulham preceded a 1-1 home draw with Crystal Palace after Darwin Nunez was red carded. The Reds were then beaten by a struggling Man Utd, 2-1 at Old Trafford.
Successive league victories followed, 9-0 at home to Bournemouth (with Mohamed Salah surprisingly not on target) and 2-1 at Anfield against Newcastle thanks to a last-gasp winner. The last league match for Jurgen Klopp’s team saw a 0-0 draw at Everton as they hit the woodwork three times. In midweek, Liverpool were humbled 4-1 at Napoli in a shambolic defensive performance.
Liverpool Team News
Thiago Alcantara is fit again after injury in midfield and his return to the XI can’t come soon enough. James Milner has been struggling in that area whilst Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are winding down their contracts (and are injured) whilst Jordan Henderson is also absent. Fabio Carvalho’s knock reduced engine room options further. Arthur Melo is also pushing for a start after his loan from Juventus.
Ibrahima Konate is still injured at the back and with Joe Gomez struggling, Joel Matip should return to start. Darwin Nunez is set to replace Roberto Firmino in attack whilst Diogo Jota is another option to freshen up the front-line.
Nothing less than a win is needed in this match, to restore confidence and get the season back on track. Liverpool are expected to play their usual style despite the major defensive weaknesses in dealing with counter attacks.
Confidence may be quite low with the attack not always clicking. If the scores are level, Klopp could go to a 4-2-3-1 with Firmino behind Nunez to chase the result, as he did at Goodison Park.
Wolves won their last fixture to end a 12-match winless run in the Premier League going back to last season. Bruno Lage’s picked up just one point from their opening three matches, as they were beaten at Leeds and Tottenham by a one-goal margin.
After the defeat at Spurs, in which they dominated the first half, Wolves conceded in the last minute to draw 1-1 at home with Newcastle. A 0-0 draw at Bournemouth followed after their opponents had just taken a 9-0 loss at Liverpool. Last time out, Wolves snuck a 1-0 home win against Southampton with Daniel Podence getting the goal.
Wolves Team News
Newly signed striker Sasa Kalajdzic suffered a serious knee injury on his Wolves debut and won’t play again for months. Veteran Spain forward Diego Costa has arrived but he is lacking match fitness after a long period without a club. Raul Jimenez is a doubt up top after a groin problem.
Midfielder Boubacar Traore signed on a season-long loan from Met and could make the bench. Goncalo Guedes could play in the place of Kalajdzic either down the middle or with Podence as a false nine.
Wolves are winless in seven away matches and would bite your hand off for a point from this one. They tend to try to keep things tight on their travels and their last two on the road have seen a 1-0 loss and 0-0 draw.
Bruno Lage’s side will look to make things difficult for Liverpool but being compact but they have a lot of ball players to will try to keep possession at times too. Wolves are expected to play for a draw from the first minute.
Liverpool have won 15 of their last 17 home PL matches
Liverpool have scored 2+ goals in 16 of their last 20 home PL matches
Liverpool have seen 4 of their last 6 PL wins come by a one-goal margin
Wolves are winless in 7 away matches in the PL (L5, D2)
Wolves have lost 6 of their last 10 away matches by a one-goal margin
Wolves have lost 7 matches against Liverpool in a row (all comps)
This is a challenging game for Liverpool in their current form. Thankfully for the Reds backline, Wolves are far from prolific. Klopp’s team should just about get the win but I don’t see it being easy or the margin being big.
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