They took their sweet time about it, but Liverpool conjured up a late, late goal to condemn Wolves to defeat and extend their winning run in the Premier League to four games. The Reds have conceded just one goal in more than 360 minutes of league action, which suggests that Jurgen Klopp has worked to rectify his side’s achilles heel to some tune.
Surprisingly, it was creating chances that proved to be Liverpool’s undoing in the Midlands on Saturday, and it looked as though this would be the first time they drew a blank in front of goal this term in the Premier League.
But then up stepped Divock Origi, who is no stranger to late-in-the-day heroics, to settle the contest with a 94th minute – he latched on to a pass from Mo Salah and looked cooler than anyone else in Molineux as he slotted home to maintain his team’s fine run.
Origi is a mercurial character who never quite seems to live up to his undoubted talent, but he has a knack of being in the right place at the right time late in games, and as a ‘super sub’ his importance to the Reds should not be downplayed.
Otherwise, it was a completely forgettable afternoon, with Liverpool failing to hit their usual stride and Wolves demanding manfully for the vast majority of the contest. Diogo Jota spurned the Reds’ best chances against his former club, and while little was coming back the other way – the Midlanders conjured just three shots all game long – it still looked set to be an afternoon of much frustration for Klopp and his team.
But then up stepped Origi in customary fashion, and his moment of magic secured him the ultimate accolade – being described as a ‘legend’ by his manager in the post-match interview.
Liverpool now embark on a run of five games in 15 days, and that will surely lead to rotation for Tuesday’s trip to Milan in the concluding Champions League group game.
Liverpool Team News
Klopp is what we might describe as a ‘proper football man’, and he knows that the integrity of a competition like the Champions League is key.
With opponents AC Milan and the other two teams in Group B still battling for qualification for the knockout round, he won’t take the proverbial by naming a starting eleven of youth teamers – despite the hectic fixture list he is facing.
But even so, changes will surely be made. There could be starts for Neco Williams, Kostas Tsimikas, Ibrahima Konate, Tyler Morton, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and that man Origi, but this will still be a strong Reds side that heads to Italy.
Jordan Henderson was substituted after 68 minutes against Wolves, and while that was a tactical decision – the more attacking Origi being his replacement, that could free him up to play on Tuesday.
In the spirit of competition, it’s expected that Klopp will field the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah as well.
AC Milan Form
Nothing but a win will be good enough to see AC Milan through to the last 16 of the Champions League, and even then they are waiting on the result of the FC Porto vs Atletico Madrid game.
If nothing else, they can enjoy the fact that they are in excellent form domestically, and with just two defeats in sixteen games they find themselves top of the Serie A table at around the halfway point of the campaign.
They’ll have to make do without defender Simon Kjaer and perhaps frontmen Olivier Giroud and Ante Rebic, who are all injured, but this is a talented young Milan side who will play without fear on Tuesday.
AC Milan vs Liverpool Betting Tips
Milan will have to grasp the nettle in this game – you generally don’t get three points in modern football by being passive and sitting off your opposition.
It’s notable that Liverpool thrive on the counter attack too, and so the recipe is there for a game with plenty of goals in it as the Rossoneri throw the kitchen sink at qualification.
Liverpool’s likely team changes make them a tad more vulnerable, but at odds of 9/4 they are a tantalising prospect for punters – the spine of their starting eleven will still be of the highest quality.
So our play here is a ‘bet builder’ type of affair – Liverpool Double Chance and Over 2.5 Goals at combined odds of 12/5.