Wolves vs Liverpool Betting Tips (04/02/23) – Reds Hoping for KO Blow to Conclude New Year’s Trilogy with Wolves
Those with a glass half-full mentality will say that Liverpool getting knocked out of the FA Cup is fine – they can concentrate on fighting it out for fourth place in the Premier League now instead. But those of a half-empty persuasion will have noted that the Reds have played six times in 2023 so far….winning just once.
The latest dropped stitch on their season’s tapestry was the 1-2 loss at Brighton on Sunday. Liverpool thought they had a replay at Anfield sewn up with the contest fizzling out into a draw, but Kaoru Mitoma found a pocket of space in the Reds’ penalty area in the 92nd minute and made no mistake.
This was an entertaining contest on the south coast that Liverpool might have been aggrieved not to win – or at least be winning until the death after the Seagulls enjoyed plenty of good fortune in their equaliser.
Liverpool looked dangerous on the break in the first half, and after Mo Salah missed a glorious chance from one quick counter, he set up Harvey Elliott to slot home the opener after 30 minutes.
The lead would last just nine minutes, with lady luck smiling on Brighton. A corner was half-cleared to Tariq Lamptey, whose speculative long range effort cannoned into Lewis Dunk before the ball ricocheted into the back of Alisson’s net.
It never rains but it pours….
In truth, neither side looked like winning until Mitoma’s moment of magic. Liverpool were happy to concede possession and set up to play on the counter – perhaps a nod from Klopp to improving his side’s woeful defensive record. It would prove futile.
Liverpool have played 33% of their games against Wolves in 2023, and will complete their New Year’s trilogy at Molineux on Saturday.
Liverpool Team News
Ibrahima Konate suffered a hamstring strain on Sunday, and with Virgil van Dijk injured and Nat Phillips ill, Klopp’s hand is forced to pair Joel Matip with Joe Gomez in the centre of defence.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was substituted after 59 minutes against Brighton, and his reaction to being hauled off suggests he wasn’t injured. His place in the team is perhaps in jeopardy, with James Milner the most likely replacement.
The Reds have enjoyed a better balance in midfield of late, with Naby Keita and Thiago pivoting around composed youngster Stefan Bajcetic. That’s the trio that Klopp could field once more on Saturday.
Wolves, for the most part, don’t carry much of an attacking threat, so Klopp can field a three-pronged attack – that may mean giving Elliott the afternoon off, with Darwin Nunez joining Salah and Cody Gakpo in a mouth-watering frontline.
In their three Premier League outings to date in 2023, Wolves have lived up to expectations.
Their games with Aston Villa and West Ham were tight, conservative affairs with little in the way of quality. They took four points from them.
The Midlanders were then trounced 3-0 at Manchester City, with the result a fair reflection of the hosts’ dominance.
Wolves were unlucky not to beat Liverpool in the initial FA Cup tie between the sides, although the Reds were arguably good value for their 1-0 victory in the replay.
Wolves vs Liverpool Betting Tips
Whenever we sit down to preview Liverpool games at the minute, goals are our first thought given the Reds’ strength in the attacking third but fragility in their midfield and defensive line.
That would typically be exacerbated by the prospect of a Gomez-Matip defensive partnership, but Wolves are so toothless in attack that it’s hard to bet on goals-based markets with any confidence here.
If Liverpool do click, and it’s a big ‘if’, they could win this game with the same comfort that City disposed of Wolves a couple of weeks ago. Odds of 17/20 on a Reds win – imagine getting that price on such an outcome a year or so ago! – therefore has to be considered value when we consider Klopp could unleash Salah, Gakpo and Nunez on his relegation-threatened opponents.
The cards markets could be an intriguing play here. Against both City and Aston Villa, Wolves had two players booked in the first half – a sure sign that Julen Lopetegui has instructed his players to get stuck in from the get go.
He’ll be looking to unsettle Liverpool from the off here, and so backing Wolves to receive the first card at 4/5 seems fair. You can also score odds of 6/5 on Wolves to pick up the most cards.
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