The Anfield Wrap’s match preview before Liverpool v Wolves in the Premier League at Anfield, with a low bar to improve upon their last meeting…


TOMORROW marks the fourth time Liverpool have played Wolves in 2023 alone — and we’re still only in February.

I could direct you towards our other previews and joke that not much has changed, but in reality the task at hand continually looks different with each passing week. Confidence comes and goes, results are difficult to sustain, new injuries creep into the mix.

As fans of a club that have enjoyed frankly ridiculous levels of sustained success for the past few years, it has admittedly been difficult to shift our expectations. I’m certain it has for the team and manager as well.

To accept that a point against Crystal Palace away isn’t the worst thing in the world is hard, but it’s a process we have to go on if we want to try and enjoy the rollercoaster that is this season. Taking off Cody Gakpo for Stefan Bajcetic at the weekend was a clear signal from the manager that a point is OK. It keeps us moving in the right direction.

Positive steps forward, however incremental, matter. Particularly in the aftermath of Real Madrid, the priority would have been not to get beat. That didn’t make for an inspiring watch for fans, or a performance where we see evidence of improvement across the pitch, but at risk of pointing out the obvious, at least it’s another point on the board.

Playing against Wolves (again) at Anfield, that point simply has to become three. Jürgen Klopp joked in the press conference when asked about the 3-0 defeat a few weeks ago, but he’ll know anything close to a repeat of that at home would be a major setback.

Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker looks dejected as Wolverhampton Wanderers score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium

We’ve beat them and been beaten this season, and the players surely know the drill by now. With Joe Gomez out of the team and a Joel Matip own goal knocking Liverpool early in the game at the start of February, I imagine Klopp will try his hardest to get Ibrahima Konate back involved and in the team after he returned to team training this week.

Those questioning his form since his ACL injury surely must have thought back to how impressive Virgil van Dijk was last season as he was named in FIFA’s ‘The Best’ XI yesterday. Everyone is capable of making mistakes, but there is no other player I’d want to lead my back line in front of Alisson, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson completing the defence.

After two positive games in the Premier League, it was frustrating to see a midfield that lacked any real conviction and was played through too easily against Crystal Palace. It’s a must to bring Stefan Bajcetic into the starting lineup, and with his best performances recently coming when he starts on the left, I’d like Jordan Henderson on the right and Fabinho in the holding role alongside him.

No Darwin Nunez, no chaos. With our win rate dropping to 30 per cent when he has not been in the team in the Premier League this season, having him available again would be a huge bonus. Increasingly playing in the central role, I expect to see Gakpo get the start over Diogo Jota, with Mo Salah completing the attack.

Whatever happens, this is the last time we’ll play Wolves this season and that has to be cause for celebration.

Let’s go out on a high.

Predicted 11: Alisson; Trent, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Bajcetic; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez

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