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Lost and Won: Liverpool vs Wolves

Liverpool take on Wolves this weekend in a game that, in the grand scheme of things, might not matter at all.

Jurgen Klopp’s men need to win at Anfield, of course, but they are second in the Premier League and they need Manchester City to slip up.

City face Brighton on Sunday aware that a victory will see them crowned champions once again. It’s expected.

But this game could also mean everything. If City do slip, if the pressure does get to them, the Reds have to ensure they can pounce to win their first league title in a generation.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will be tough opposition, though. They are currently seventh and have already dumped the Reds out of the FA Cup.

Football FanCast takes a look at where the game could be won and lost…

The key battle – Ruben Neves vs Jordan Henderson

Midfield is a key area in any game but particularly when Wolves are involved.

Santo has built a side that occupies the midfield space remarkably well, with players consistently asked to both defend and attack.

Ruben Neves is key to this; his range of passing makes him a superlative deep-lying playmaker while he is also adept at bombing forward and firing shots at goal.

Jordan Henderson will surely be employed by Jurgen Klopp to stop him.

Henderson does not possess the range of skills that Neves does but he is an assiduous talent, constantly hassling and harrying those he is asked to mark.

If he can cut off Neves, he can cut off Wolves’ supply line. That could be vital.

The key dynamic – Liverpool’s tiredness

Liverpool beat Barcelona in midweek in a truly stunning Champions League turnaround.

They turned a 3-0 first leg deficit around as they rallied to win 4-0 at Anfield on a magical European night at the grand old stadium.

But how much of a role could that play in Sunday’s fixture?

Wolves are better rested and, while the momentum generated by the Reds is immeasurable, Santo’s men may be well placed to take advantage.

They have some very quick players, particularly going forward, and could pick Liverpool off.

Klopp’s men need to be clinical and efficient if they are to avoid seeing their own fatigue play into the result.

The deciding factor – Pressure, pressure, pressure

Premier League - Manchester United v Manchester City

What happens if City go behind?

Both teams will be playing at the same time, of course, but fans will have the other match in the palm of their hands.

A victory for Pep Guardiola’s men is expected but will the Reds cope if, all of a sudden, the title is in their hands?

Pressure is one of the hardest things on this planet to measure but it could have a detrimental effect on the Reds.

Or, at the same time, it could galvanise them to complete another miraculous comeback and see them crowned champions.

The impact subs – Rhian Brewster vs Adama Traore

Rhian Brewster has been promoted to the first-team squad in the absence of both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino and was on the bench against Barcelona.

He has a prodigious goal-scoring talent and was the top scorer at the Under-17 World Cup last summer, when England were crowned champions.

If the score isn’t going in Liverpool’s favour, Klopp could turn to his teenage wildcard and thrust the 19-year-old into the action.

On the Wolves side, Adama Traore is perhaps the quickest player in the Premier League and, even if his end product leaves something to be desired, his effect in the latter stages of games cannot be underestimated.

He has pace to burn and could be a potent weapon on the counter-attack late on, particularly if Liverpool need a goal.

Article title: Lost and Won: Liverpool vs Wolves

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