January 22, 6:10 P.M. IST, Live on ESPN
“We wouldn’t be disrespectful to Wolves to say that, if we are right mentally, then we are going to win” – Kenny Dalglish
Thats the way you always expected a Liverpool manager to talk during a pre-match press conference, Mr. Hodgson please take a note!
However, had winning been as simple as the way Dalglish makes it sound, Liverpool would not have been on the current predicament, after winning just one and losing eight matches on the road, this season. Wolves have had a flip-flop form recently, having won 3 and lost equal number of games in the last 6 fixtures. What is notable though is their performance against the stronger teams, having been close to creating an upset at Eastlands and defeating Chelsea in the last fortnight, they were also instrumental in the ousting of Roy Hodgson after defeating Liverpool at Anfield last month. The prophecy does not seem to favor Liverpool at the moment as has been the case since last 20 years!
Team News and Tactical Brief
Liverpool are back to the 4-2-3-1 system. Although the team looked organised against Everton while building attacks and creating chances, there is still some work to be done in the defense, that has been miserable since Carragher got ruled out because of the dislocated shoulder. He is been missed and that shall be the case at the Molineux as well. Gerrard would be serving his final suspension against Wolves and should be back against Fullham in the mid-week fixture. Raul Meireles tried to fill the Captain’s boot last weekend, when he was primarily assigned the place behind Fernando Torres. Meireles scored the opening goal for the Reds and people might suggest that the performance was his best at Liverpool, chalkboards suggest something different!
Meireles looks uncomfortable in the advanced position
While the number of misplaced passes are an indication of the midfielder’s comfort level in the final third, notably the number of passes itself suggest that Raul may not be the best option to replace Steven Gerrard behind Torres. Raul is a box to box midfielder and his best position in the field remains at the center. Joe Cole in the past, had mentioned his desire to play at that position and Wolves could be the right team to test the player’s ability in the whole.
Wolves are in a relegation battle and before they face Mancheter United and Arsenal in the forthcoming fixtures, they would look to corner the vulnerable Liverpool side.
Wolves would miss out on a number of its players due to injuries and suspension. Edwards, Mancienne , Ebanks-Blake, Guédioura, Kightly are all out injured while Elokobi would serve his last suspension.
Wolves would most likely stick to their 4-4-2 system against Liverpool. Stearman and Berra are expected to start as center halves after maintaining 4 clean sheets in the last 8 matches. Fletcher, Doyle and Hunt remain to be the key threats after a run of good performances.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Joe Cole (Liverpool)
The lad is yet to live up to his pay check. He has things to prove and after a shift with the reserves in the mid-week, Wolves could just be the team, to put up an inspiring performance against.
Wolves 1- 2 Liverpool
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST