Liverpool meet Wolves for the third time in 28 days on Saturday and after two league defeats on the road in 2023, there is no glossing over how crucial the three points are.
The Reds are on the road once again for the fifth time this calendar year, only one of the previous four has ended in a Liverpool victory.
And that’s exactly where Jurgen Klopp is taking his side once more, Molineux. He would welcome the same 1-0 result to the FA Cup meeting only 18 days previous, but who will he select to get the job done?
He’s been handed another injury blow and there are still question marks over a number of his experienced midfielders.
Here, we take a look at two potential starting lineups for Liverpool at Wolves.
Ibrahima Konate is the latest injury casualty, but Klopp offered a somewhat positive update on the rest of his squad when he spoke to the media on Friday afternoon:
- Konate sidelined with hamstring injury
- Diogo Jota is “pretty much back in normal training next week”
- Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk “getting closer” to return
- Luis Diaz is “running now, [but] will take a few weeks still”
Liverpool’s XI vs. Wolves
Liverpool have enjoyed a full week of training and Klopp will have had plenty of time and opportunity to see how his squad reacted to yet another setback at Brighton.
And if he’s resistant to making too many tweaks to his side, we could see just two.
Darwin Nunez would be one, and while many would be eager to see him in the central role with Cody Gakpo on the left, Klopp’s use of the pair suggests the Uruguayan will return on the left.
The other change is an enforced one due to Konate’s hamstring injury:
- Gomez and Matip start together at centre-back
- Bajcetic, Thiago and Keita start fourth game as midfield unit
- Nunez returns in place of Elliott, Gakpo continues central role
If those changes are made, the Reds would set up like this at the Molineux:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Bajcetic, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo
After the last outing at Brighton, the manager spoke of how the “body language [from] a couple of the boys have to be much better,” and you have to wonder if this could lead to more than just two changes.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was withdrawn before the hour mark at Brighton and James Milner may be in line to make another start at right-back, it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise, would it?
Cody Gakpo could find himself handed a break after five starts in a row, meaning Elliott would start in the forward line once more.
Neither Fabinho nor Jordan Henderson have been named in the XI in the last three games, but their cameos at Brighton did not offer convincing arguments to displace any one of Bajcetic, Keita or Thiago.
The manager spoke highly of Bajcetic on the eve of the match and noted how Fabinho has to “work his way back” into the XI:
- Milner to replace Alexander-Arnold at right-back
- Gakpo handed rest with Elliott retained in forward line
Those tweaks have Liverpool setting up as follows:
Alisson; Milner, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Bajcetic, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Elliott, Nunez
There can be no denying the importance of this fixture, with Liverpool having only collected one point from their last three Premier League fixtures.
They aren’t enjoying their time on the road having won just two of nine away games in the league this season, but if there’s any time to start turning that form around it is now.