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Match Preview: Liverpool vs Wolves

Sunday is the day of reckoning for Liverpool. The title is out of their hands but they can still win it should Manchester City slip up against Brighton.

It’s difficult to see Pep Guardiola’s side doing so but the Anfield faithful can still dream.

However, they take on a Wolves side who have been excellent against the top clubs this season so things won’t necessarily be straight forward. Nuno Santo’s men can’t finish any higher or lower than seventh spot but it’s highly unlikely they’ll roll over for Jurgen Klopp this weekend.

What history tells us

Recent matches between the two teams make it quite hard to predict who will win, especially given the fact Wolves have taken 16 points from the Premier League’s top six this term.

The Midlands club have won two of their last three meetings with Liverpool, winning two FA Cup ties either side of a league affair in December 2018.

When the two teams last met back in January goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, either side of a strike from Divock Origi, settled the spoils for Wolves.

However, given the fact the title is on the line, you’d imagine the visitors to Anfield this weekend will find life far tougher than during that victory.

Key battle

Trent Alexander-Arnold has had a wonderful season for Liverpool which was topped off with a genius assist against Barcelona in midweek, laying the ball into Origi for the club’s fourth goal.

He has been nothing short of sensational and his place in the PFA Team of the Year was fully deserved.

However, his spot could easily have gone to Matt Doherty too. Playing at right-wing back for Wolves he’s been fantastic in both the attacking and defensive phases of play.

The Irishman has been a major part of Nuno’s system but this could be his most difficult match yet when he comes up against the mercurial Sadio Mane.

Ref in focus – Martin Atkinson

Boasting a home win bias of just 29%, the omens may not be in favour of Liverpool going into this tie. Considering how good Wolves have been against the sides in the top half of the table this could make their chances of winning the title even slimmer.

Judging by Atkinson’s stats there is unlikely to be too much drama by the way of decisions. He’s as low down as 13th in terms of both red cards and penalties given this season out of 18 referees.

The 48-year-old has been one of the Premier League’s top officials for a number of years now and this will be his fifth visit to Anfield in 2018/19. He last took charge of a game there in March when the Reds beat Tottenham 2-1. Only one yellow card was handed out on that occasion.

Team news and predicted line-ups

Liverpool have had a number of injury concerns ahead of their final Premier League match of the season.

Mo Salah missed their incredible win over Barcelona in midweek but is set to be fit this weekend. Jordan Henderson had been a doubt but has overcome a knee injury sustained in the first half last Tuesday.

Andy Robertson was substituted at half-time in the same match and, as a result, is a doubt for Sunday afternoon’s visit of Wolves. However, Jurgen Klopp has suggested that he should be fine to start today.

Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are further doubts.

Definitely ruled out are midfield duo Adam Lallana and Naby Keita.

For Wolves, they remarkably have a clean bill of health. They’ve rarely been affected by injuries at all this season and that is again the case as they close out their campaign in Merseyside.

That means that Nuno will likely opt for a full-strength side despite giving minutes to Max Kilman and Will Norris late on against Fulham.

Article title: Match Preview: Liverpool vs Wolves

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