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10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Wolves

It’s simple: Liverpool must beat Wolves on Sunday and hope for Man City to throw away the Premier League title at the hands of Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.

Liverpool vs. Wolves

Premier League (38) | Anfield
Sunday, May 22, 2022 | 4pm (BST)


The Reds have taken the title race to the final day of the season, having scrapped their way to a 2-1 win at Southampton in midweek.

Wolves head to Anfield on Sunday, and while victory is imperative for Jurgen Klopp‘s men, attention will also be on events at the Etihad. It makes for an intriguing final day ahead!

Here are 10 things to know ahead of the final league game of the season.

 

1. Simple scenario for Reds

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 17, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With goal difference almost certain to play no part in proceedings now – Liverpool would need to draw and City lose – the task is very straightforward for the Reds.

They must see off Wolves by any scoreline necessary and then hope that the Gerrard narrative goes into overdrive in Manchester.

A draw or a win for Villa would be enough to seal title glory for Liverpool, assuming they get the job done on Merseyside.

It could be a thriller, or both the Reds and City could win easily – whatever happens, this has been a remarkable effort by Klopp and his players.

 

2. Wolves’ season fizzles out

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, November 1, 2021: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Hwang Hee-chan during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Everton FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wolves have enjoyed a positive season overall, with Bruno Lage coming in and making them an expertly-drilled defensive outfit.

At one point, a top-four finish wasn’t completely out of the question, but things have gone flat in recent weeks, following no wins since April 2.

The Wanderers now look nailed-on to finish eighth in the Premier League, meaning they will miss out on the last European spot to West Ham.

With the likes of Ruben Neves and Conor Coady potentially moving on this summer, it could be tough to repeat this feat next season.

 

3. Possible Wolves XI

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 4, 2021: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara' (R) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rúben Neves during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wolves haven’t had a game since their 1-1 draw at home to Norwich last Sunday, meaning Lage’s players are well-rested.

It means the Portuguese should be able to field his strongest-possible starting lineup, with no new injuries to report.

Nelson Memedo and Max Kilman are still out, though.

Neves could be playing his last game for the club in midfield, as could Coady and Romain Saiss, both of whom could start in a back-three.

Predicted Wolves XI: Sa; Boly, Coady, Saiss; Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri; Hwang, Neto, Jimenez

 

4. Who’s out for Liverpool?

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 10, 2022: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' goes off injured during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fabinho is still missing from Liverpool’s midfield, but he has confirmed that he will be fit for the Champions League final.

Joe Gomez may also miss out after injuring his ankle in the win at Southampton, although the issue isn’t thought to be serious, thankfully.

Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah could return after brief absences with Klopp eager to restore some rhythm ahead of Paris, but the Reds will “take no risks.”

 

5. Predicted Reds lineup

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is sure to be one eye on the Real Madrid clash, but Sunday is still potentially a huge day – one that could end with Liverpool as Premier League champions.

For that reason, a far stronger team will be fielded than the one at St Mary’s on Tuesday, with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Thiago, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane all likely coming back in.

Van Dijk and Salah are harder to predict and they will surely only feature if Klopp believes they are at absolute full fitness.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Diaz, Mane

 

6. Farewell to a Liverpool legend

Speaking to the media, Klopp confirmed Divock Origi would leave Liverpool this summer, adding that he would receive a “special” reception on Sunday:

“Yes, I expect Div to get a special reception, farewell. He is and will be, for me, forever a Liverpool legend.

“One of the most important players I ever had, that sounds completely strange with the amount of games he had but it was, and is, a pure joy to work together with him.

“It’s not over yet just because it’s the last Premier League game, but, yes, he deserves all the good thoughts we can generate for his future.

“Wherever he will go he will be successful, 100 percent. An outstanding player, an outstanding boy. Everybody in the team absolutely loves him because he’s just a relaxed, loveable guy.

A 94th-minute winner to clinch the title, is it? Oh, go on then…

 

7. Liverpool’s home record vs. Wolves

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 12, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the second goal during the final FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have every reason to feel positive going into Sunday’s match, not least their record against Wolves at Anfield.

In fact, the Wanderers haven’t tasted success there in the league since way back in December 2010, during the dire Roy Hodgson era.

Since then, Liverpool have won all four league clashes at Anfield, although Wolves did win 2-1 on the Reds’ home soil in the FA Cup in 2017.

 

8. Did You Know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 12, 2019: Liverpool supporters check the score of the Brighton & Hove Albion versus Manchester City match on their smart phones during the final FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool must beat Wolves this weekend and that is exactly the same scenario they found themselves in on the final day of the 2018/19 campaign.

Similarly, Klopp’s side were hoping for a favour from another team, with Brighton looking to take points off City at the Amex Stadium.

For a brief minute – literally! – it looked as though glory may be coming Liverpool’s way, as the Seagulls took a first-half lead.

Pep Guardiola’s side responded immediately and went on to win 4-1, though, rendering the Reds’ 2-0 win over Wanderers meaningless.

Can we all take those emotions again?!

 

9. Taylor confirmed as referee

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara reacts to a decision by referee Anthony Taylor during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has been confirmed that Anthony Taylor will referee Sunday’s game, with Stuart Attwell on VAR duty.

This will be Taylor’s fifth and final Liverpool match of the season, with the other four games all Premier League fixtures.

The 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea was followed by the legendary 5-0 win away to Man United, before he oversaw the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in January.

Taylor was also in charge of the 2-2 draw at City last month – quite why he gets so many big games, I don’t know!

 

10. Follow on TIA’s live blog

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 14, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with former player Jason McAteer (L) after the FA Cup Final between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. The game ended in a goal-less draw, Liverpool won 6-5 on penalties. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Unsurprisingly, Liverpool vs. Wolves (4pm BST) is one of Sky Sports’ matches of choice, with coverage getting underway on Sky Sports Premier League at 3pm.

If you are unable to watch the action, a pensive Dan Clubbe will be guiding you through proceedings on TIA’s matchday live blog, as well as keeping you up-to-date with the City game.

Come on you Reds!

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