Liverpool vs. Wolves
Sunday, December 7, 2020 – 7.15pm (GMT)
Premier League (11)
Referee: Craig Pawson
When Wolves arrive for their evening kickoff, Jurgen Klopp‘s side will have last entertained their own supporters 271 days previous, though a 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid was scant entertainment for those in attendance.
Since that last-16 exit, however, Liverpool have gone on to lift the Premier League trophy, albeit to a surreal backdrop of an empty stadium.
The club have confirmed that the trophy will not be presented in front of the 2,000 supporters privileged to head to Anfield on Sunday, with all ceremonies on hold until a packed stadium is permitted.
But this clash with Nuno Espirito Santo’s ambitious Wolves outfit is significant nonetheless, giving a decidedly stretched Reds the chance to parade their champions status with a worthy performance.
Klopp finds himself in a rare position this weekend as the Reds have no new injury concerns, and instead welcome back two players previously sidelined.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita were both part of full training on Friday, and though the manager refrained from suggesting they could be fit to start, the pair are likely to make the matchday squad.
Wolves will certainly be without striker Raul Jimenez after his shocking head injury in their 2-1 win over Arsenal last time out, with 18-year-old Fabio Silva expected to make a first Premier League start in his place.
Left-back Jonny Otto is also out, but otherwise the Midlands side are largely free of fitness problems.
Ex-Liverpool right-back Ki-Jana Hoever could make the substitutes’ bench, as he continues a regular run in Nuno’s matchday squad as deputy to Nelson Semedo.
Possible Wolves XI: Patricio; Semedo, Boly, Coady, Marcal; Moutinho, Neves; Traore, Podence, Neto; Silva
Last 5 at Home to Wolves (All Competitions)
Won 2-0 – May 2019 (Mane x2)
Lost 2-1 – January 2017 (Origi; Stearman, Weimann)
Won 2-1 – September 2011 (Johnson OG, Suarez; Fletcher)
Lost 1-0 – December 2010 (Ward)
Won 2-0 – December 2009 (Gerrard, Benayoun)
Did You Know?
Since their return to the top flight under Nuno in 2018, Wolves have lost all four of their league meetings with Liverpool.
Jimenez’s goal in the 2-1 loss at Molineux in January was the only time a Wolves player managed to find the back of the net in those games, while Sadio Mane has been the most prolific for the Reds, scoring three times.
Hoever made his debut that evening, at the time becoming the youngest-ever player to feature for the Reds in the history of the FA Cup – he is still the fifth-youngest in all competitions.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Wolves – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking at Kirkby on Friday, Klopp praised Wolves as an “absolutely top team” whose performances are even better than seventh place, where they sat at the beginning of the weekend:
“When you play them, they don’t play like seventh in the league, they play like an absolutely top team.
“They had, especially last year, the Europa League to deal with and they did exceptionally well, to be honest.
“They played well there and that’s a really tough task after getting promoted only a year before that.
“So, absolutely outstanding, Nuno is doing an exceptional job. Top, top recruitment, quite a few players from Portugal, it’s clear, with all the people working there at the club. Top, top players.
“Yeah, nothing bad to say about them.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Liverpool vs. Wolves kicks off at 7.15pm (GMT), with the game shown live on Amazon Prime and coverage beginning at 6.30pm.
Ben Twelves will be providing updates in our usual matchday live blog, including all the goals, highlights, stats, facts and tactical insight, also from 6.30pm.