LIVERPOOL VS WOLVES: PREVIEW
Liverpool are back in action tomorrow night when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Anfield. Jürgen Klopp’s men will climb up to sixth with a victory in what is their game in hand. Here’s a preview of the game.
The Reds were lethargic last time out in the goalless draw against Crystal Palace. Several players looked completely out of it, with Patrick Vieira’s men not clinical enough to capitalise on Liverpool’s defensive errors.
Those defensive woes have dogged the side all campaign. Granted, it’s now three league clean sheets in a row but that’s more down to excellent goalkeeping/luck than any real defensive steel. It’s easy to forget James Tarkowski hit the post at 0-0 in the derby.
Ten man Newcastle also hit the woodwork twice. Mateta’s profligacy on Saturday night can therefore be filed under luck. The defensive frailties dogging this side can no longer be ignored. Real Madrid ruthlessly exposed that weakness for all to see last week.
Underperforming players have to be dropped. This worked for Fabinho and Henderson who both benefited from the brief spell out of the side. 7 points from the last 3 games is a decent return if Jürgen Klopp can mastermind a winning run.
Trent Alexander-Arnold committed 2 errors leading to a shot on Saturday; the most by a player in a Premier League game this season.
This should be the main goal. Nobody can be carried at this moment in time. If the team was flying then it wouldn’t be a problem if one or two were not quite at the levels expected. As it is, the team is struggling badly. Carrying a number of underperforming players only exacerbates the problem.
There is also the small matter of having a score to settle with Julen Lopetegui’s outfit. Wolves dismantled the Reds earlier this month, with that 3-0 defeat up there with the worst days of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool reign.
The sound of ‘oles’ from the home fans towards the end still haunts many of a red persuasion till today. Wolves were joint bottom of the table coming into that game, having managed only 12 goals all season. That they were able to score 3 past Alisson speaks to the defensive deficiencies spoken about earlier.
Since that landmark victory, Wolves have climbed up the table, currently finding themselves in 15th place, 3 points clear of the relegation places. They produced a spirited comeback to win at fellow strugglers Southampton despite being down to ten men.
They followed that with a poor defeat at home to fellow strugglers Bournemouth, before drawing away at a Mitrovic-less Fulham last Friday. Despite the obvious improvement under Lopetegui’s watch, Wolves remain a flawed side.
They can be hard to break down but tend not to create enough chances. This is why that defeat at Molineux remains so puzzling. Wolves created 6 big chances against Liverpool that day, having only managed to create two in the six games either side of that victory.
If the Reds are not on self destruct mode, these are the kind of opposition they should be turning over, especially at home, in their bid to launch a serious assault on the top four. The Reds have won each of their last five home league games against Wolves.
This should inspire confidence despite the recent FA Cup tie where Lopetegui’s men forced a replay after a 2-2 draw at Anfield. The two sides have squared off three times already this campaign, with the Reds only winning one encounter (a 1-0 victory in the replay at Molineux).
For Liverpool, Calvin Ramsay (meniscus), Luis Diaz (knee), Joe Gomez (muscle) and Thiago (hip) are all out. Arthur Melo featured for the U21s recently and is closing in on a return. Darwin Nunez and Konaté should both be available after taking part in training today.
For Wolves, Boubacar Traore (muscle), Chiquinho (knee), Hee-Chan Hwang (hamstring), Matheus Cunha (ankle) and Sasa Kalajdzic (cruciate ligament) are all unavailable through injury.
One thought on “LIVERPOOL VS WOLVES: PREVIEW”