Reds in desperate need of some FA Cup cheer – Liverpool vs. Wolves Preview

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Liverpool take on Wolves in the FA Cup fourth round at Anfield on Saturday, as they look to end a horrible run of January form.

Liverpool vs. Wolves

Saturday, January 28, 2017 – 12.30pm (GMT)
Anfield
FA Cup Fourth Round
Referee: Craig Pawson

It is impossible to deny Liverpool’s current struggles.

January is proving to be a hideous month for the Reds, with Wednesday’s League Cup exit to Southampton another sobering evening.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men look a tired outfit at present, and the fizz that they played with at the start of the season is nowhere to be seen.

That being said, there is still a fair chunk of the season remaining, and Saturday represents a chance to make progress in the FA Cup and pick up some momentum.

Championship side Wolves visit Anfield hoping to inflict a third straight home defeat on Liverpool—it will be interesting to see how strong Klopp’s team is.

Although the Premier League may be the be-all and end-all for many Reds supporters, ending the five-year wait for silverware is also very important.

With Liverpool’s title challenge again looking all but done, progressing to the last 16 of the FA Cup should not be sniffed at.

An improved performance and a positive result would be the first step on the road to recovery.

 

Opposition Q&A

We had a chat with Wolves Academy (@Wolves_Academy) ahead of the game—here’s a snippet of the interview.

Which three players should Liverpool fans look out for on Saturday?

Our star man this season has comfortably been right winger Helder Costa, who’s on course for double figures for both goals and assists this season. If anything good happens in an attacking sense, it will usually be through him.

Local academy player and defensive midfielder Jack Price is very important to how Wolves play—he screens the back four and recycles the ball to players around him. Jack will need to play well on Saturday if Wolves are to win.

Finally, another local academy player and captain, Danny Batth. No player has made more clearances in the Championship than Batth this season (311)—expect him to put his body on the line on Saturday.

As we write about the Wolves academy, keep an eye out for Morgan Gibbs-White (16), Connor Ronan (18) and Bright Enobakhare (18) who could all be involved. Gibbs-White made his professional debut against Stoke in the last round.

Read the interview in full here.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 7, 2017: Liverpool's Ben Woodburn in action against Plymouth Argyle during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp is fully expected to ring the changes, although the starting lineup may be stronger than in previous rounds.

Tuesday’s vital Premier League clash at home to Chelsea is the obvious priority, so a number of regulars could, however, be given the day off.

Loris Karius should continue in goal, as has been the case in cup competitions this season, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is likely to start at right-back again.

Joel Matip could begin proceedings, as he looks to gain more match practice, with the impressive Joe Gomez another who is in contention to start.

Fellow youngsters Ovie Ejaria, Sheyi Ojo and Ben Woodburn will hope to start, while Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi may also be called upon.

Second-guessing Klopp is never easy, however, so he may suddenly go with key men, in order to avoid another bad day at the office.

He could be without Adam Lallana (leg) and Nathaniel Clyne (rib), though, while Marko Grujic (hamstring) and Danny Ings (knee) are still out with long-term injuries.

Sadio Mane is the only other notable absentee—if Senegal lose to Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Saturday, he may be back in time for Chelsea.

 

Form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 25, 2017: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum looks dejected as Southampton score an injury time winning goal, to seal a 1-0, 2-0 on aggregate, victory during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 1-0 vs. Southampton
Lost 3-2 vs. Swansea
Won 1-0 vs. Plymouth Argyle
Drew 1-1 vs. Man United
Lost 1-0 vs. Southampton

Wolves – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 3-1 vs. Norwich
Won 1-0 vs. Aston Villa
Won 2-0 vs. Stoke
Drew 0-0 vs. Sheffield Wednesday
Lost 2-1 vs. QPR

 

Klopp’s View


Speaking at Melwood on Friday, Klopp related the faith he has in his squad to building a house:

“It’s a little bit like building a house, if you want. You start building, and you’re full of enthusiasm, you think ‘great, in half a year, one year, I will have this house’. In the summer, weather’s good.

“Then November comes and you’re still not finished and now it’s difficult, and in this moment you stop building, it doesn’t make sense.

“You have to wait maybe sometimes for the rain to stop, but then you will live in a house when you stay [with it].”

 

TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: A television camera blocks the view of the goal during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The match was chosen as one of BT Sport’s fourth-round offerings, with coverage getting underway on BT Sport 2 at midday. Kickoff is at 12.30pm (GMT).

Our matchday live blog will be running as always, with regular content from 11.45am and minute-by-minute updates during the game.

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