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Wolves fans ‘target’ further midfield pain – but have 12-year stronghold to overcome

Wolves are the next side aiming to capitalise on a struggling Liverpool this weekend, with two wide battles proving key at Anfield.

UPDATE: Liverpool vs. Wolves POSTPONED after Queen’s death

The Reds welcome Bruno Lage’s side to Anfield on Saturday afternoon, with victory desperately needed after Wednesday’s appalling 4-1 defeat away to Napoli in the Champions League.

Wolves have made an up-and-down start to their campaign, sitting 14th in the Premier League, but they have always proven to be a tough side to break down.

Before the game, we got in touch with Sam Cook from The Wolves 77 Club podcast (@77ClubPodcast) to hear about Wanderers’ start to the season, Liverpool’s top-four battle and much more.

 

How would you assess Wolves’ start to the season?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 13, 2022: Wolverhampton Wanderers' manager Bruno Lage celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Goodison Park. Wolverhampton Wanderers won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A mixed bag, really.

The win against Southampton last time out was very much needed, but it’s such a shame that new signing Sasa Kalajdzic injured his ACL just minutes into his debut.

We’ve lost two games this season, both by a one-goal margin (Spurs and Leeds away), but the shining light is that Wolves have the best defence in the Premier League.

We’re crying out for a striker who can find the net – it’s not like this Wolves side isn’t creating chances.

Raul Jimenez has been out-of-form for some time now, having been injured during pre-season off the back of his comeback from his horrific head injury in November 2020.

I don’t know if Diego Costa is the answer to that problem – Andy Carroll certainly isn’t.

Three goals in six games is not good enough.

 

How dour is the football to watch? Is that harsh?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 13, 2022: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rúben Neves during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Goodison Park. Wolverhampton Wanderers won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I wouldn’t call it ‘dour’ because we’re creating chances.

The new signings of Matheus Nunes and Goncalo Guedes look like proper prospects, but they need time to bed in and gel.

Nathan Collins seems to have fitted in nicely at centre-back – see above about being part of the best defence in the league.

We’re yet to see what deadline day signing Boubacar Traore can do, but I’m hopeful it will click eventually.

 

What has gone wrong for Liverpool so far this season?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 21, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadio Mane and injuries. Not replacing his work rate and goals is already proving a big problem, in my opinion.

But a lot will depend on injuries to Liverpool’s midfielders.

 

Where do you think the Reds will finish?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 3, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 241st Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I said in my pre-season predictions I didn’t think Liverpool will make the top two.

I think top four might be a push with the form of Arsenal, Spurs, Man United and of course Manchester City.

I’m going to go with fifth.

 

Looking to Saturday, what system are you expecting Wolves to go with?

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 29, 2021: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traoré during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Manchester United FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It will most likely be a 4-3-2-1 formation, but who the ‘1’ will be is anyone’s guess.

Hopefully, Raul has shaken off his groin complaint that saw him withdraw from the starting XI – and matchday squad – against Southampton.

If he isn’t available, then I’d personally play Adama Traore through the middle and hope for the best. This isn’t a game for rookie striker Chem Campbell to be thrown into.

Predicted XI: Sa; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Jonny; Neves, Moutinho, Nunes, Podence, Neto; Jimenez or Traore.

 

Where do you see the key battles taking place?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side's second equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I would be targeting the centre of Liverpool’s midfield.

If we can get Nunes doing a bit more ball-carrying, which is his key strength, then I think we have the ability to create chances.

Mohamed Salah vs. Jonny will also be vital, as will Trent Alexander-Arnold vs. Pedro Neto.

 

Which Liverpool player would you most like to see at Wolves?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Luis Diaz, please. He looks a great player and someone who can change a game in an instant.

Salah seems the obvious answer, but he’s seemed a bit off the pace since signing his new deal.

I also really rate Fabinho – he breaks up play well and chips in with the odd goal.

 

Finally, what’s your prediction?

Fabio Carvalho of Liverpool celebrates scoring the winning goal during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture credit should read: Darren Staples / Sportimage

I think Liverpool will win. We’ve not won at Anfield for 12 years and I don’t see that changing.

It might be a late goal that decides it – something maybe in the 17th minute of five added on – if the Newcastle game is anything to go by!

Liverpool 2-1 Wolves.

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