Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Match Preview

A few weeks ago both Liverpool and Wolves were purring after beginning the season in sparkling form. The two meet on Saturday at Anfield desperate to get their campaigns back on track after a torrid few weeks on the field.

Liverpool were thumped last week at Tottenham going down 4-0 at White Hart Lane with Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel giving manager Kenny Dalglish extra reason to moan after they both received red cards. The Reds positive start to the new campaign has completely washed away after last weeks loss and the defeat to Stoke seven days prior to that. It’s the toughest period Dalglish has had to endure since taking over the reigns at the turn of the year and he tried to remedy the sudden decline by sending out a strong team in Wednesday’s Carling Cup fixture at Brighton. Goals from Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt saw Liverpool home and into the next round showing the boss is taking every competition seriously. The big positives to come from that game was the energetic performance from Bellamy, who could prove to be an astute bit of business, and the return of skipper Steven Gerrard. His comeback from a groin injury couldn’t come soon enough for Dalglish who will be tempted to start the midfielder from the off against Wolves. Jordan Henderson’s insipid displays in the last few games could see him drop to bench although he may be given a reprieve after Adam’s sending off last week.

Wolves have suffered a similar drop in for to their opponents failing to win or score in their last two games. They also suffered a thrashing at home with newly promoted QPR coming away from Molineux with three points last week after a 3-0 victory. Mick McCarthy responded by sending out his strongest possible eleven in midweek and it paid off with Wolves smashing five past Championship side Millwall to progress to the fourth round of the Carling Cup. What will be more alarming for McCarthy will be his teams inability to find the back of the net in their last two fixtures. Wanderers were free scoring in their opening games but have seen chances dry up and the onus will be on Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher to bang in the goals. Out on the wings Matt Jarvis and Steven Hunt will be tasked with providing plenty of width at Anfiield with the former facing an intriguing battle with Jose Enrique.

Martin Kelly is likely to return at right back with Skrtel set to replace the injured Daniel Agger after serving his suspension.

Wolves could have captain Roger Johnson back after recovering from a calf injury whilst Fletcher has shaken off a groin complaint and is fit to play. Kevin Foley, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Ronald Zubar and Jody Craddock all remain sidelines.

Key Players

Luis Suarez – Who else but the Uruguayan at the moment could be considered Liverpool’s star man? An annoying presence for any defence he will be charged with getting in the face of Wolves back line and using his pace and determination to put them under constant pressure.

Karl Henry – As Wolves midfield enforcer he will have a task on his hand keeping Liverpool’s central trio quiet and creating space for Jamie O’Hara to carry out his playmaker duties. Will need to control his temper after last week’s spat with Joey Barton escalated out of nothing.

Verdict: 2-0

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