Wolves v Liverpool – Opposition Preview

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By Lewis Thompson

Twitter – @LewisThomps0n

We’re back for another opposition preview and the FA cup is back as Liverpool face Wolves tonight in the third round at the Molineux stadium. Both teams will be looking to get a good start to their FA cup campaigns as the sides meet in only their second FA cup match in football history!

Both sides met only a few weeks ago when Liverpool got a 2-0 win over Wolves at the Molineux. When the two sides met for the first time in the FA cup Wolves shockingly picked up a 2-1 win at Anfield, back on the 28th of January 2017. Liverpool have won four of their last five games against Wolves in past league meetings, with Wolves getting only one win back in 2010 which saw them win 1-0 at Anfield.

Wanderers will be heading into this game after a very inconsistent run of form. Santo’s men have tended to do much better against the bigger teams in the league this season with them taking points off every top six team (including a 3-1 win away to Spurs) apart from Liverpool. Yet in their last five games Wanderers have managed a 2-0 loss against Crystal Palace at home and a 1-1 draw away to Fulham. Inconsistency if you ask me? With both sides set to field very rotated teams anything could happen in this game.

Wolves have very few injuries heading into this fixture with only two major notable ones. Portuguese international Diogo Jota is still out with an injury and Romain Saiss is also out for this game as he picked up a knock in their 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. No Wolves players are suspended for this game.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo understands the challenge of beating Liverpool in order to progress to the fourth round. “It’s going to be very tough.” “We know, we know” Nuno said in an interview. “The moment that we saw the draw we know that we have a big task and a big challenge in front of us and we must prepare well for it.” Nuno will not treat this game as one that does not mean anything as the Wanderers boss also added “The FA cup every game is a final, you have to proceed you have to keep on going.”

Now onto my predicted line-up for Wolves. I feel Nuno will take this match as an opportunity to rest some of his key players that have helped with his success in the Premier League. Players such as Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez will more than likely get their deserved breaks.

I think Nuno will start the game with a 3-4-2-1 which transitions into a 5-2-2-1 on the defence. In nets John Ruddy is looking likely to come in to give number one Rui Patricio a well-deserved break. I think the three-man defence will be Leander Dendocker, Conor Coady ©, and Willy Bolly. Youngster Morgan Gibbs-White is part of a four-man midfield with Ruben Neves as his other centre midfield partner as well as Ruben Vinagre and Jonny acting as wing backs. I think the two wingers to start the game will be Adama Traore out on the right and Ivan Cavaleiro out on the left. That leaves the striker position free which I believe will be filled by Leo Bonatini.

Personally, I think Jurgen Klopp is going to take this game just as serious as Nuno Santo. Klopp recently said in a press conference that “FA cup success isn’t enough” for this season. Although I do feel Liverpool will also field a slightly weaker team, we do have the squad depth to put out a strong starting eleven. I’m going to go with a 2-1 win to Liverpool with Shaqiri scoring both goals for Liverpool and Bonatini getting one for Wolves. Let me know what you think the score will be? And let me know how far you think Liverpool will get in the FA Cup this time around! COME ON YOU F*CKING REDS!!

By Lewis Thompson

Twitter – @LewisThomps0n

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