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Match Preview: Wolves vs Liverpool

Liam Wraith
CONTRIBUTOR
Preview
1.37K   //    19 Dec 2018, 19:30 IST

Liverpool enjoyed a 3-1 win over rivals Manchester United on Sunday
Liverpool enjoyed a 3-1 win over rivals Manchester United on Sunday

On Friday night, Premier League leaders Liverpool travel to Molineux to face Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolverhampton Wanderers side in the side's final fixture before Christmas.

The last time the pair met was in the FA Cup earlier last year. In a shock result, Wolves - who were in the Championship - were 2-1 winners at Anfield. Coincidentally, the sides will meet again in another third-round tie in 2019.

The most recent league meeting was a completely different story - Liverpool ran out comfortable winners, winning 3-0. This was the last time they were in England's top-tier, after their relegation in 2012.

Current Form

Wolves

Wolves were 2-0 winners against Bournemouth in their most recent fixture
Wolves were 2-0 winners against Bournemouth in their most recent fixture

Wolves come into this game after an impressive 2-0 win against Bournemouth. Currently 7th in the league, they're just one point off Manchester United in sixth.

They endured a slight blip in form after an impressive 1-1 draw away against Arsenal, with two defeats on the spin against Cardiff and Huddersfield. However, they have recently turned their fortunes around and won three games - Chelsea, Newcastle and Bournemouth.

With the best record against the big six teams this term outside the top sides, the only defeat they have thus far was a tight 3-2 loss against Tottenham.

Liverpool

Matchwinner Shaqiri in action against United this past weekend
Matchwinner Shaqiri in action against United this past weekend
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Liverpool come into this fixture after a morale-boosting 3-1 victory over bitter rivals Manchester United over the weekend. With this win, Jurgen Klopp has once again ended Jose Mourinho's managerial tenure at a club - which he did on two other occasions at Chelsea and Real Madrid.

The Reds' form speaks for itself. They sit atop the Premier League, having won their last six consecutive matches. Klopp's Liverpool side are one of only three unbeaten teams left in Europe's top five leagues: alongside Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, both of whom dominate their respective divisions.

They currently boast the league's best defensive record, most clean sheets and having conceded the least goals too. Their attacking record isn't too shabby either with 37 goals, only bettered by defending champions City.

Team news

Joe Gomez battling for possession during last year's Fourth Round tie at Anfield
Joe Gomez battling for possession during last year's Fourth Round tie at Anfield

Liverpool's main injury concerns come at the back for the game against Wolves. Joe Gomez is sidelined with a leg fracture; Joel Matip is out with a broken collarbone and Trent Alexander-Arnold is also likely to miss this game after being pictured wearing a protective boot last week.

James Milner is a doubt to feature after missing their big win over United with a tight hamstring. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Wolves in contrast, are likely to field a full first-team against the Reds, with a low amount of injuries thus far in this festive period. Jonny Castro (knee) is a doubt, but could be back for their Boxing Day clash with fellow promoted side Fulham.

What the stats say

Rising teenage star Morgan Gibbs-White in action against Bournemouth
Rising teenage star Morgan Gibbs-White in action against Bournemouth

If history is anything to go by, Liverpool are favourites to win here. After all, they're still unbeaten in England's top-flight. However, Wolves' impressive record against the big six will make them equally bullish about being the side to end the Reds' unbeaten start to the campaign. 

It'll be a difficult test for Klopp's men, but it's still hard to look past a slender Liverpool victory due to their red-hot form. 

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Liam Wraith
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