Liverpool will have to make special plans for how to deal with Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Daniel Podence this afternoon as he could spoil the party and ruin their chances of clinching the Premier League title on the final day.
The Reds are a point behind leaders Manchester City and need them to drop points if they are to have any chance at lifting the trophy. But they need to focus on what’s in their control, and that’s making sure they claim victory themselves.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference Wolves manager Bruno Lage confirmed that Podence would be returning to the squad. The Portuguese player has been sidelined since the beginning of last month with a foot injury and has missed 5 games.
He returns for the final fixture despite his team having little to play for. The Old Gold’s failure to beat already-relegated Norwich City last weekend means that it’s now not possible for them to finish in a European place.
Podence could be key to ensuring Wolves finish in seventh place. He moved to the West Midlands in January 2020 for £16.6m and has been a key player for the club.
He is an exceptional goal creator and when you compare him to others in the Premier League who play in the same position it shows. He ranks in the top 10% this season for key passes and the top 5% for passes into the penalty area.
Liverpool might have a really strong defence but Jurgen Klopp will have been hoping that he was still unfit as it would have made Wolves a lot easier to deal with. As a result, this piece of news surely serves as great news for the Reds’ title rivals in Manchester City.
It’s not just his ability to create chances that is impressive, he also has plenty of opportunities to score himself, having the highest average number of shots on target per 90 minutes in the whole team at 0.91.
Despite this, in front of a packed crowd at Anfield, we would be surprised if Liverpool failed to win, but they will be in for a much tougher challenge now.