As predicted, Liverpool were in no mood to show their Merseyside neighbours Everton any sympathy on Wednesday evening, and their destructive 4-1 victory increases the pressure on former manager Rafa Benitez. This was not the textbook Merseyside derby, with Everton simply unable to get anything together – they were outclassed accordingly.
Reporting on Liverpool games is becoming something of a Groundhog Day at the minute – Jurgen Klopp has clearly focussed on ensuring his team get off to the fastest possible start. And, once more, the Reds found themselves two goals to the good inside 20 minutes at Goodison Park.
The first was classic Liverpool. Andy Robertson, who has been much improved since the international break, found himself in space and his ball ended up at the feet of Jordan Henderson, whose controlled finish opened the scoring after just nine minutes.
The midfield maestro turned provider ten minutes later, sliding a through ball into the path of Mo Salah, and you just knew that the Egyptian would make no mistake when left one on one with Jordan Pickford.
There was little fight and barely any quality coming back the other way from Everton, and yet they did get back into the contest after 38 minutes when Demarai Gray found himself clear to slot home.
But a sustained push from the Toffees never looked likely, and they came unstuck in the 64th minute when Seamus Coleman dallied to allow Salah to steal in and restore Liverpool’s two-goal cushion.
We mentioned Liverpool’s hunger for goals when previewing the game, and they looked more likely to extend their lead then Everton did to get back into the encounter – so it proved when Diogo Jota, courtesy of another assist from Robertson, fired home to complete another fine evening’s work from the Reds and condemn Benitez to more woe.
One down, eight more games to in December….a trip to Molineux on Saturday is next up as Liverpool prepare to take on Wolves.
Liverpool Team News
There didn’t appear to be any new injuries for Klopp to worry about from the Everton game, and so his squad continues to be strengthened as players near a return to full fitness.
Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Joe Gomez are all nearing a return to team training, and it shouldn’t be too long before they are back in the first team picture – all three will likely feature at some point in December.
As for Harvey Elliott, he’s now doing some light running and turning drills. The severity of his injury means he will be treated with kid gloves, but a return in the new year is likely.
The game against AC Milan on Tuesday may be in Klopp’s sights. He’s not one for playing severely weakened teams in the Champions League – you could see that against Porto last time out in the competition – so we expect one of Henderson or Thiago to sit out against Wolves, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the likely deputy.
Otherwise, we’re expecting another strong Liverpool eleven to take to the field at Molineux.
After a sluggish start, Wolves have taken kindly to life under new boss Bruno Lage.
They’ve only lost once in the Premier League since September 19, a spell of time that has seen five wins and three draws.
The West Midlanders don’t score many – only Tottenham and Norwich have scored fewer than Wolves’ 12, but on the flipside they are stout defensively; only Man City and Chelsea have conceded fewer.
That gives the impression of Wolves as a defensive side, but they actually play an adventurous brand of football – their expected goal tally of 20.1 so far suggests they have been wasteful when presented with good chances to score.
So Liverpool should by no means be taking them lightly….
Wolves vs Liverpool Betting Tips
The good news, from Liverpool’s perspective, is that Wolves will be without a number of key players for Saturday’s clash.
Ruben Neves is suspended, while the likes of Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto, Jonny and Willy Boly are also set to be sidelined.
Liverpool’s odds of around 1/2 are fair enough then, and you would expect a strong Reds side to come out on top against their patched up opponents.
But there’s just enough about Wolves to put us off an outright punt, and instead we’ll be taking a look at a side market. And it’s a pretty basic bet – as we know, Wolves do create chances, and if they finish one of those off then Both Teams to Score, available at 19/20, looks to be an inevitability.