Following the humiliation at Brighton, Jürgen Klopp and his men travel to Molineux seeking to put Wolves away at the second time of asking, after Julen Lopetegui’s men earned a replay last week. Here’s the match preview. 

It’s a truly tough time to be a red at the moment. It’s been a culture shock to go from challenging on all fronts till the final day of last season, to sitting mid-table in the Premier League and already out of the EFL Cup in the middle of January.

The worst part about getting played off the park by Brighton on Saturday was the fact that we could all see it coming from a mile away. Not many of a red persuasion expected three points pre-game and that’s telling. That is the major concern at the minute.

We’ve suffered dips under this manager before, but this feels different. This isn’t akin to the 2020/21 season where all the senior centre backs at the club suffered season ending injuries. This isn’t anything like the inconsistent first half of last season that left us 12 points behind Manchester City in January.

This slump runs deeper than just a loss of form or a run of bad luck and poor results. A midfield problem that has been allowed to get chronic seems to have sucked the life out of every department, with the defense all over the shop, and the attack not covering itself in glory either.

The manager has been left to look less than stellar as he’s so far been unable to find a solution. The performances keep getting worse by the week. It is unfathomable just how far we’ve dropped off after the training camp in Dubai.

Klopp has prided himself over the years in finding solutions on the training pitch. At the minute it’s hard to see it happening. Whether that’s a case of players no longer being able to carry out his instructions or more ominously no longer responding to his methods is up for debate.

Whatever it may be, it needs sorting out and quick. He seems to have made it clear that there will be no further incomings to boost an out of service midfield. It is therefore up to him and the coaching staff to utilise the options available to salvage the campaign.

He’s done it before, with the unlikely centre back duo of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams seeing the side to a respectable third place finish in the aforementioned 2020/21 season. The Reds are sinking fast, and a turnaround in fortunes is desperately needed.

Wolves on Tuesday night is a chance to show a response. With kickoff barely 75 hours after the final whistle at the Amex stadium, there could be a few changes to the side. That would be no bad thing as several of the mainstays have been off the boil for a while now.

Wolves meanwhile will be in bouyant mood as their improvement under their Spanish boss continues. Following the impressive display at Anfield (where they felt somewhat robbed of a victory), they managed to climb out of the relegation places with a crucial home win over fellow strugglers West Ham.

They will definitely have a go, with full confidence that they can progress. Wolves have knocked the Reds out of the FA Cup in each of their last two meetings in the competition (2017 & 2019). Liverpool will have to show serious improvement on recent displays to avoid an unwanted hat trick.

The reward for winning this tie is a fourth round trip to Brighton. I’m not sure the Reds want to see the Amex Stadium again for a while, but what better way to show signs of recovery than to knock out Wolves and go back to the scene of Saturday’s embarrassment and put things right?

The Reds away record this campaign doesn’t instill confidence however. They’ve only managed four away wins in all competitions. With the FA Cup remaining the most realistic trophy available to the side, they must turn around their away day blues to remain in the competition.

Team News

For Liverpool, Firmino (calf), Van Dijk (hamstring), Jota (calf), Arthur (thigh) and Luis Diaz (knee) remain out. James Milner is available after overcoming a hamstring complaint but Darwin Nunez will be assessed ahead of the game after missing the trip to Brighton.

For Wolves, Pedro Neto (ankle), Sasa Kalajdzic (knee) and Chiquinho (knee) are long term absentees. Midfielder Boubacar Traore remains on the sidelines with a muscle injury but Diego Costa is expected to be fit. New signing Mario Lemina could be handed his full debut.



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