Preview: Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Sports activities Mole previews Saturday’s FA Cup conflict between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers, together with predictions, staff information and potential lineups.

Liverpool start the defence of their FA Cup crown with the go to of Wolverhampton Wanderers to Anfield for Saturday’s third-round match.

The Reds enter the conflict on the again of a humbling 3-1 loss to Brentford within the Premier League, whereas Julen Lopetegui’s aspect have been pegged again in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Match preview

Liverpool players look dejected after Yoane Wissa scores for Brentford on January 2, 2022© Reuters

Goals of an EFL Cup double have already come to an finish for Liverpool courtesy of perennial winners Manchester Metropolis, and the Anfield trustworthy is probably not all that optimistic about their staff’s probabilities of retaining their FA Cup crown if current outcomes are something to go by.

Jurgen Klopp instantly pointed to perceived injustice in Monday’s 3-1 defeat to Brentford, the place Ibrahima Konate’s personal aim and Yoane Wissa’s header put the Bees 2-0 up earlier than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled one again early within the second half, just for Bryan Mbeumo to revive the hosts’ two-goal cushion late on.

Whereas accepting that the way of his aspect’s dreadful exhibiting didn’t warrant something aside from a defeat, Klopp was left infuriated after Mbeumo’s nudge on Konate earlier than Brentford’s third aim went unpunished, as Liverpool proceed to play Champions League catch-up in sixth place in the desk.

Premier League fortunes take a backseat in the meanwhile as Liverpool start their quest for successive FA Cup crowns, having overcome Chelsea in final yr’s last after solely beforehand getting so far as the fifth spherical since 2015.

Nonetheless, the eight-times winners – who are actually with out a clear sheet in 5 matches – have gone out in 4 of their final seven third-round ties whereas getting into the FA Cup as holders, and their most up-to-date exit at this stage coincidentally got here by the hands of Wolves within the 2018-19 marketing campaign.

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Julen Lopetegui pictured on December 31, 2022© Reuters

A primary style of a West Midlands derby for Wolves supervisor Julen Lopetegui ended with the spoils shared in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, as Daniel Podence’s early effort was cancelled out by Danny Ings 12 minutes from time to depart Wolves in relegation hazard.

Lopetegui’s begin to life at Molineux can actually be described as unspectacular, with victories over Gillingham and Everton – the latter coming through a last-gasp Rayan Ait-Nouri effort – previous defeat to Manchester United and Wednesday’s stalemate with Villa.

Solely Southampton have carried out worse within the Premier League this season than Wolves, who do have 4 earlier FA Cup successes to their identify, though not because the 1959-60 season have the West Midlands outfit managed to go all the way in which within the match.

Moreover, solely as soon as have the guests to Anfield managed to beat the reigning holders of the FA Cup – beating Manchester United within the 1949 semi-finals earlier than getting their fingers on the trophy – though a three-game unbeaten run away from house ought to face them in good stead considerably.

In addition to eliminating Liverpool within the 2018-19 third spherical, Wolves additionally dumped the Merseyside giants out in spherical 4 below Klopp within the 2016-17 match, however the guests have suffered seven successive top-flight losses to the Reds since their final cup success.

Liverpool kind (all competitions):

Wolverhampton Wanderers kind (all competitions):

Staff Information

Cody Gakpo in action for the Netherlands in November 2022© Reuters

When it rains, it pours for Liverpool, who misplaced Virgil van Dijk to what was initially thought to have been a precautionary substitution at Brentford, however the Dutchman is now confirmed to be nursing a hamstring harm and might be out for over a month.

The Dutchman is joined within the medical bay by Arthur, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, though James Milner and Roberto Firmino will endeavour to return again from their hamstring and calf points in time for Saturday’s recreation – the identical goes for the concussed Jordan Henderson.

There also needs to be a Reds debut for Cody Gakpo after Liverpool accomplished the formalities of his switch from PSV Eindhoven, and the 23-year-old may very well be introduced in from the primary whistle amid Liverpool’s lack of choices on the left-hand aspect.

Wolves have been additionally pressured into an undesirable half-time change of their final Premier League outing, with Podence coming off at half time towards Villa with a knock, though Lopetegui is hopeful that the difficulty is a minor one.

Nonetheless, midfielder Boubacar Traore has picked up an unspecified drawback which may rule him out for a few months, becoming a member of long-term absentees Chiquinho, Pedro Neto and Sasa Kalajdzic within the infirmary.

Whereas nonetheless anticipated to place out an XI able to going toe-to-toe with Liverpool, Lopetegui may choose at hand Matija Sarkic a begin in aim, and there could also be a full debut for Atletico Madrid loanee Matheus Cunha.

Liverpool potential beginning lineup:
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Keita, Bajcetic, Henderson; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo

Wolverhampton Wanderers potential beginning lineup:
Sarkic; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Ait-Nouri; Hodge, Neves, Nunes; Traore, Jimenez, Cunha

SM words green background

We are saying: Liverpool 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Each units of followers will little doubt be excited to catch a glimpse of Gakpo and Cunha in motion, however the latter can’t remedy Wolves’ ongoing goalscoring woes all by himself.

Lopetegui’s aspect can nonetheless really feel optimistic about troubling Klopp’s shaky backline, however with the Anfield roar behind them, we nonetheless anticipate the holders to ebook their place in spherical 4.

For knowledge evaluation of the more than likely outcomes, scorelines and extra for this match please click on right here.

High tip

Below 3.5:knowledge

Our skilled tipster companions at are predicting below 3.5 targets on this match. Click on right here to search out out what else they’re predicting for this recreation and for extra of their tried-and-tested soccer suggestions.

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