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Wolverhampton vs. Liverpool

English Premier League
Kick Off: Sunday, 12 May at 10:00 am EST
Stadium: ANFIELD



Free English Premier League Picks WOLVES VS LIVERPOOL

While much of the pre-match conversation has centered on Liverpool’s battle with Manchester City for the Premier League crown, Klopp has warned the Reds fanbase that the Wolves will pose an unrelenting terror to his team’s expectation of assembling three points Sunday at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson are primed to be fit for Sunday’s clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers, but Liverpool will be without Roberto Firmino for their concluding Premier League game of the season. Forward Salah was absent from the extraordinary Champions League victory over Barcelona due to a concussion in last weekend’s win at Newcastle United, while Robertson was forced off at half-time of the semi-final second leg with a calf problem. Jordan Henderson completed the 90 minutes against Barcelona on Tuesday but did so only after suffering a knee injury in the final stages of the first half. Klopp, though, is encouraged on their availability for the meeting with Wolves at Anfield – a game the Reds go into one point behind Manchester City at the top of the table.

Title contenders Liverpool host this finale having won eight Premier League matches in successiveness. The ‘Reds’ have scored inside the final 15 minutes seven times, with goals directly gaining Liverpool a net total of eight points. Since last dropping points in a home league match, Liverpool have recovered to win six consecutive league matches at Anfield, with the four played against non-top-six opponents seeing the ‘Reds’ win both halves. Additionally, the last three games in those matches have also seen Liverpool score at least twice beyond the hour mark. 

Now assured of seventh place, and possible qualification to the Europa League qualifiers, Wolves’ away league record against the top-six this season stands at W1, D3, L1. Each draw ended 1-1, with the equalizers arriving in the second half. Each of Wolves’ last four league away games have produced over 1.5 total goals, and relevantly, Wolves’ last two away league matches won/lost either way against top-six opposition have both produced over 2.5 match goals.

The Wolves’ 3-5-2 system seems like the perfect system to frustrate Salah and Mane. Wolves’ plan of action is well-suited to limiting a team like Liverpool, thus their excellent Big Six record this season. For starters, playing three center-backs with wing-backs in close support shuts down the gaps in the half-spaces through which Mane and Salah usually run. Instead, these two will find themselves coming shorter for the ball, meaning they will confront a strong Wolves midfield capable of limiting their influence.

Liverpool’s two main methods of scoring goals this season have been threading the ball between the full-back and center-back to Salah or Mane AND sucking the play inwards to create space for Robertson or Alexander-Arnold to invoke pressure from out wide. Wolves’ 3-5-2 formation should cut off both options.

Nuno Espirito Santo, the manager of the Wolves, has brought a sense of confidence into his locker room this year, and for this game, it will be no different. “We are able to compete against anyone.  There is no exception. There was no game that we didn’t prepare the same way with the same details and the same approach, so we’re not going to change in the last game of the season. What happens on the pitch is what you can control, anything outside of that you can’t. Of course, it’s a big, big game and we want to play it – we are ready.”



Stat attack

Over a third (eight) of the last 21 league goals scored by Liverpool at Anfield have arrived beyond the hour mark.

Three of Wolves’ last four away games have seen the first two match goals shared equally.

The same can be said about each of Liverpool’s last 13 league games to see both teams score.