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Wolves team news, injury update and predicted XI vs Liverpool

Wolverhampton Wanderers return to action tonight as they travel to Liverpool in the hope of pulling off a minor FA Cup upset.

Having carefully navigated their way to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, there will be a belief at Molineux that they can achieve a similar feat in the other domestic cup competition under new boss Julen Lopetegui.

It will take be a tough task, though, with the opposition still boasting immense quality despite their rocky form this season.

Given that Wolves’ priority will remain on achieving Premier League safety, perhaps the manager will be wary of starting too many of his first-team regulars.

With that in mind, here’s the Old Gold line-up that Football FanCast are predicting for tonight’s trip to Anfield…

4-3-3: Sarkic (GK); Semedo (RB), Collins (CB), Kilman (CB), Ait-Nouri (LB); Hodge (CM), Neves (CM), Nunes (CM); Traore (RW), Jimenez (ST), Cunha (LW).

Lopetegui is expected to make six changes from Wolves’ 1-1 draw at Aston Villa earlier in the week.

Given the somewhat diminished importance of this competition, Matija Sarkic will likely deputise for Jose Sa in goal. However, he will sit behind a back four which is only slightly altered.

Whilst Nathan Collins and Max Kilman continue to develop their centre-back partnership, Nelson Semedo and Rayan Ait-Nouri will occupy the full-back spots, the latter coming in for Hugo Bueno.

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This defence will be screened by the midfield setup of Ruben Neves and academy graduate Joe Hodge, who only made his senior debut this season. This decision will see Joao Moutinho drop out, with the £100k-per-week veteran likely unable to feature as often as before.

The 36-year-old does remain the “maestro” that Tim Spiers once dubbed him, but having been a regular starter in the Premier League, he cannot play every minute given his seniority.

In attack is where Lopetegui is expected to make the bulk of his changes, with all three who started at Villa Park set to make way.

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Bruno Lage on the touchline for Wolves.

1. Wolves kick-started 2022 with an impressive win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, who scored the winner?

Adama Traore could be integral to any success that Wolves may have tonight, given his dynamism against the defensively culpable Trent Alexander-Arnold, so he will likely start. He could be joined by debutant Matheus Cunha, who makes his first start since signing for the Old Gold from Atletico Madrid.

Given that he is another ageing figure, Diego Costa could drop out for Raul Jimenez, who has seen his game-time dwindle this season amid injury frustrations.

The Mexican was once a mainstay in Wolves’ line-up, but since his head injury in November 2020 he has understandably struggled to regain his best form. He may get an opportunity tonight, though.