Liverpool have had a solid week of training at the AXA Training Centre after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton. Jürgen Klopp and his men travel to Molineux tomorrow (3pm GMT kickoff) as the Premier League returns. Here’s the match preview. 

The January transfer window closed a few days ago with no further incomings. That is despite a tough campaign thus far for a group of players that were just two results away from winning the lot last season. The Reds have been on a woeful run of form post-World Cup, winning just 3 of their 9 fixtures.

Failure to strengthen in the window (beyond the capture of Cody Gakpo on New Year’s Eve) now heaps pressure on the manager to get more of a tune out of his underperforming stars. As it stands, the Reds sit ninth in the league table, ten points off fourth but with a game in hand.

It is not a completely insurmountable difference but if the 2019/20 Premier League champions are to make a dent in that deficit they need to start putting a run together as soon as possible. That can start at Molineux tomorrow against a Wolves side that has also had its struggles this campaign.

Lopetegui’s side are currently 17th, just outside the relegation places on goal difference. They’ve seen an upturn in performances and results since the Spanish tactician took charge, with Liverpool having had first hand experience in two meetings over the past month.

Wolves rocked up to Anfield and held their own in an FA Cup third round tie. They took the lead and were unlucky not to knock the holders out late on after a potential Toti winner was chalked off for offside, a call that couldn’t be verified by VAR.

In the replay at tomorrow afternoon’s venue, a rotated Liverpool side had to dig deep to get over the line after a Harvey Elliott stunner early in the first half. You’d expect it to be a similar battle tomorrow, with the hosts fighting to stay up.

It’s hard to predict what sort of Liverpool will turn up. If it’s anything like the rudderless version we’ve been seeing lately then it could be another long 90 minutes away from home. The side’s away form this season makes for horrific reading.

There have been as many stalemates as victories (2 – away to Tottenham and Aston Villa). The side has lost a whopping five league matches on the road, as many as they lost in the last two seasons combined! This has got to change, and fast.

Victory at Molineux in the FA Cup replay was a blueprint for the Reds to follow. Grit, determination, fight and a sprinkling of stardust for the goal. In fact the manager kept faith with quite a few of those who came in for that encounter.

Joe Gomez, Stefan Bajcetic, Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott were all crucial to that victory and have been rewarded with subsequent starts against Chelsea and Brighton. The manager hinted at making a few changes to the side to keep Lopetegui and his charges guessing, so we’ll have to wait and see just how he lines up.

Encouragingly, the Reds have won on each of their last four Premier League visits to Molineux, scoring six goals and conceding just once. A fifth successive league win here would be just what the doctor ordered ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

Team News

For Liverpool, Konaté (hamstring) has joined Firmino (calf), Van Dijk (hamstring), Jota (calf), Arthur (thigh) and Luis Diaz (knee) on the sidelines. On a positive note, Jota is a week away from team training whilst Luis Diaz is back running outside. Van Dijk and Firmino are close to a return as well.

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 new signing Joao Gomes could be handed his debut.



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