WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS VS. LIVERPOOL
| Saturday, February 4th |
Premier League | Molineux Stadium
3PM GMT/10AM EST
Wolves are returning from a brief break, as they did not play in the cup action this past weekend.
They had a busy January, with six new signings coming in; some or all could feature against Liverpool this Saturday, with Matheus Cunha (who has already made himself known on the goals and assists board) is certainly one to watch. Though six in January is a lot, manager Julen Lopetegui has spoken about how the squad he inherited now feels a lot more balanced. The new signings will have had some time to bed in given their lack of fixture, so the manager has some options when it comes to personnel; Pedro Neto is close to returning, but remains sidelined at the moment. They are also likely without Adama Traore, Chiquinho, and Sasa Kalajdzic.
All this is to say that this could well be a very different Wolves side than the one the Reds faced twice in the Cup last month — two tense affairs, with controversy going Liverpool’s way the first time around.
Despite Liverpool’s recent poor form, however, the Reds will be glad to look to the form book as they head to Molineux: The Reds have won their last 11 away at Wolves, and the last Wolves victory came in 1981. If the Reds win on Saturday they set a new longest-win record (12).
After a set of narrow affairs, Liverpool will hope to make it two wins in three meetings — but will hopefully look to exert more dominance on a Wolves side that just might be coming into some stable form.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Keïta, Bajčetić, Thiago; Salah, Núñez, Gakpo
Big clap for the Ibrahima Konaté injury, which comes before Virgil Van Dijk is back with the side. It does feel a bit like 2020/21 doesn’t it? Here’s hoping the flashbacks stop now. As a result, though, the back line picks itself with a very shallow bench for centerback, specifically.
The midifeld is rather healthy as a position group, just frustrating when it comes to form. It would be unsurprising if the midfield that started at Brighton — and looked promising! — starts again here. There is a lot of available space for writers interested in discussing Fabinho’s mystifying and sustained dip in form, and the same questions were definitely asked last time we saw him.
In terms of the other injuries: Diogo Jota was in training, though he followed it up with a planned rehab session, so it’s not likely he’s fit for first team action. Given that Darwin Núñez is likely fully fit, we could see him starting up front with Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo, though Harvey Elliott hasn’t done anything in particular to lose his place.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “I don’t worry about the run of fixtures, not at all. We have to use the time we have in our hands to improve, to play the football we have to play, to work on things we think that are necessary or massively necessary for the way we want to play football. “
Julen Lopetegui: “When I arrived we had 23 finals [to stay up in the Premier League] and it’s still the same. We have a lot of finals and we have to think step by step, match to match.”
Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Marc Perry Fourth Official: Matt Donohue VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood
Kickoff is set for 3PM GMT/10AM EST tomorrow. Stick with The Liverpool Offside team to keep yourself up to date with team news and match buildup, live updates, and post-match reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.