Well, that was disappointing. The hope of a Wembley day out were scuppered in rather damp and dismal fashion on Wednesday evening with a flaccid 0-1 defeat at Anfield against Southampton condemning us to a 0-2 aggregate defeat in the EFL Cup semi-final.
The nature of the performance was as disappointing as the result itself. In an attacking sense we were poor, creating a few chances by all means but not really looking that threatening at the same time. The fizz has gone from our attacking play, and the likes of Daniel Sturridge in particularly are dramatically off the boil. With Senegal progressing to the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations, it will be a while before we see Sadio Mane back in a red shirt; more’s the pity.
With the visit of Chelsea in league action on Tuesday, this FA Cup contest with Wolves on Saturday lunchtime serves as something of a distraction, and while this competition does offer an alternative route to Wembley the more-pressing matter of Premier League points has to take precedence. As such, we expect a second-string Liverpool side – much like the one that took to the field in the two games against Plymouth – to be named.
Wolves are one of the Championship’s big spenders but their results don’t really reflect that, and while clearly the West Midlands outfit are a step up in class from Plymouth again our youngsters and fringe players will be expected to get the job done.
The manner in which the Wanderers capitulated at Norwich on Saturday in a 1-3 defeat offers plenty of optimism for Jurgen Klopp and his troops.
Liverpool Team News
There can be little doubt that wholesale changes will be made to the Liverpool starting eleven for this game, and while that will give Klopp the chance to rest weary legs it will also hand the chance to fringe players to stake their claim for a starting berth given the recent Reds wobble.
Lorus Karius will keep his place in as designated cup keeper, while at centre back Lucas and Joe Gomez will resume their ‘young and old’ partnership. At full back, Alberto Moreno will come in on the left with the hugely impressive Trent Alexander-Arnold continuing on the right.
In midfield we would expect the trio of Kevin Stewart, Ovie Ejaria and Emre Can to join forces, while a youthful attack could be composed of Divock Origi, Ben Woodburn and Sheyi Ojo; who enjoyed a loan spell at Wolves last season.
To describe Wolves as being inconsistent this season would be something of an understatement. You may recall the shock and surprise when Walter Zenga was named manager in the summer, and, well, after a poor run of form needless to say he didn’t last long in charge.
Paul Lambert has since come in and results have improved marginally, and their form since December 1 of W4 D2 L3 just about sums up their inability to string a series of good performances together.
Unusually they have been slightly better on the road than at home, taking 15 points on their travels compared to 13 at Molineux, but in truth even the young pretenders in the red shirts should have too much ability for what is a pretty lacklustre Wolves side.
Liverpool vs Wolves Betting Tips
There was much bus parking in the 180 minutes that Liverpool scrapped with Plymouth, and while that is completely understandable from the League Two side’s perspective we don’t anticipate Wolves to be so defensive. Given that they have netted at least once in eight of their last ten outings, and that Klopp is likely to field a young and inexperienced side, they will surely go for the jugular.
That could have too impacts: firstly, they may well find their way through this unfamiliar Liverpool backline, and secondly the Reds will have space to explore on the counter attack.
We’re happy enough with a quote of 19/20 on Both Teams to Score, and while we wouldn’t put you off the Liverpool Win & BTTS market at a handsome 7/4, the smart money is sticking to the simple both teams to score selection.
We saw how difficult the young Liverpool frontline found it to break down Plymouth’s dogged rearguard, and like we say although we’re expecting Wolves to pay slightly more on the front foot they will be happy to take the replay if necessary and tackle the Reds once more. For this reason, we’re going to get Wolves on board at 11/8 with a meaty +1.25 Asian Handicap on their side.