Although they hit the woodwork twice, it felt like Liverpool escaped from Selhurst Park with a point following the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday evening. Eagles striker Jean-Philippe Mateta missed an absolute sitter in the first half after being gifted the ball by Trent Alexander-Arnold, and had he been more predatory the Reds might have returned home from the capital empty-handed.
Mo Salah and Diogo Jota, in for the injured Darwin Nunez, both struck the frame of the goal at the other end, but this was not a contest that Liverpool dominated in the manner expected.
A clean sheet is always welcome, but that really doesn’t tell the tale of a hapless defensive display in which Joel Matip and Alexander-Arnold were once again error-prone – the latter gave the ball away 20 times in the opening half alone, according to the stats gurus.
That’s not to pick on individuals, as Liverpool were poor collectively, but all told this was another below-par performance that completely undermines the Reds’ hope of escaping from a nightmare season with a top-four finish and thus Champions League place to their name.
Jurgen Klopp’s words were prophetic afterwards. “It’s clear that we have to do something in the summer. For now, we just have to go through this,” he said, which suggests he and his players have effectively written off the 2022/23 campaign as a dud already.
That, perhaps, doesn’t bode well for the weeks ahead as the Reds take on some teams hungry for points for various reasons. The first of those battles comes on Wednesday with the reacquaintance with Wolves, whom Liverpool have already played three times in 2023 already.
Liverpool Team News
How Klopp picks up the pieces from Saturday remains to be seen.
It would be expected that Stefan Bajcetic comes back into the midfield after being partially rested on Saturday (he came on as a sub in the second half), while an impressive turn in the second period from Harvey Elliott might just be enough to swing him a place in the starting eleven.
Alexander-Arnold was hauled off in the 71st minute against Palace, and you wonder if Klopp might take him out of the firing line for a while – James Milner could act as a stable deputy.
Darwin Nunez could return after his shoulder complaint, with Klopp no doubt happy to reunite him in attack with Salah and Cody Gakpo – a trio that has shown signs of promise in recent weeks.
Having already met three times in 2023, it’s fair to say that Liverpool and Wolves know plenty about each other already!
They met at Anfield in January in an FA Cup tie that ended 2-2, before the replay at Molineux ten days later ended in a 1-0 win for the Reds.
Wolves would have their revenge on home soil – and to some tune – in the Premier League clash between the sides earlier in February. The Midlanders handing out a 3-0 caning to the Merseysiders.
Otherwise, Wolves’ form has been a mixed bag under Julen Lopetegui. After beating Liverpool, they won on the road at Southampton (2-1), lost 0-1 at home to Bournemouth and drew 1-1 with Fulham on Friday evening.
Liverpool vs Wolves Betting Tips
It takes a brave soul to try and predict the outcome of Liverpool’s matches right now!
Mind you, the same accusation could be levelled at Wolves, who followed their 3-0 thrashing of the Reds by losing at home to Bournemouth just 14 days later.
The Liverpool vs Wolves trilogy earlier in the year ended 3-5 to the Midlanders on aggregate, and while that is far from an exact science it does go to show that this game might be closer than the 4/9 odds on a Reds victory would attest.
Therefore, backing Wolves with a +1.00 Asian handicap at 11/10 seems more than fair – you’ll get your money back if Liverpool prevail by a single goal margin.
Wolves don’t concede many, as you would expect from a Lopetegui side, and indeed they’ve only shipped two or more goals in one of their last nine games – that came against an Erling Haaland inspired Manchester City.
So there’s certainly a temptation to go against the grain and back the ‘unders’ on the 2.5 goal front, which you can do at 11/10 as well.