Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Liverpool

Verdict: Mohamed Salah to score

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

Liverpool will be looking to continue their fine start to the 2023/24 season on Saturday when they travel to the Molineux to face a troubled Wolverhampton Wanderers side.

On the other hand, the home side beat this particular opponent at their own ground last term, and their goal will obviously be to try and repeat the feat and turn their fortunes around.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Crystal Palace and Wolves played out an entertaining encounter in their last game, with five goals scored in the second half. Odsonne Edouard bagged a brace for Crystal Palace, while Eberechi Eze also found the net. For Wolves, Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha scored headers, but it wasn’t enough as they lost 3-2.

Wolves started the season well under new manager Gary O’Neil, securing a win against Everton and a 5-0 EFL Cup victory over Blackpool in August. However, they have faced some challenges and currently sit in 15th place in the table after three losses this season.

While they played a fine match against Manchester United in gameweek one (and still lost), the focus for Wolves now is on accumulating points, especially as they have been strong at Molineux in the past. Before their 1-4 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, they completed a five-game unbeaten streak at home, conceding only one goal during that period.

However, they face a tough challenge against an attacking Liverpool side, which could test their defensive resilience once again.

Team News

Joe Hodge, who suffered a thigh injury in late August, is still out of action and there is no definitive timeline for his return.

The early kick-off time for this match could pose challenges for both managers, particularly in terms of player fatigue due to international travel. Hwang, who scored for Wolves against Crystal Palace, had a long journey back from South Korea, while Matheus Cunha faced a similar situation returning from Brazil. It remains to be seen if either player will be fit to start the match.

Hwang started on the bench against Palace but made a significant impact as a substitute. Sasa Kalajdzic is an alternative option to replace Cunha if the Brazilian needs more time to recover from his international commitments and the subsequent journey back to England.

Liverpool

Liverpool will head  into this match in good form, coming off a convincing 3-0 win at home against a high-quality Aston Villa side two weeks ago. In that match, Dominik Szoboszlai, Matty Cash (own goal), and Mohamed Salah were all got their names on the scoresheet.

Mohamed Salah, despite transfer speculation and ongoing interest from Saudi Arabia, remains committed to Liverpool and continues to perform at a typically high level.

The Merseysiders currently sit third in the Premier League table with 10 points from their first four games, with only defending champions Manchester City maintaining a perfect record (12) and Tottenham Hotspur ahead merely on goal-difference.

Liverpool will soon shift their focus on the Europa League as they face LASK Linz, but they must first seek to avenge their 3-0 loss to Wolves at Molineux in February and build on their 2-0 win against this opponent at Anfield a few weeks later.

Team News

Liverpool will have uncertainties of their own due to the just-finished break, with Alisson Becker (Brazil), Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina), Luis Diaz (Colombia) also traveling back over a long distance. Further more, there are concerns over the fitness of Darwin Nunez after Uruguay boss Marcelo Bielsa said the striker was carrying a muscle problem.

On top of that, captain Virgil van Dijk misses this game through suspension, extended due to his behaviour when he was shown a red card against Newcastle.

Midfielder Thiago Alcantara is a major doubt, having not played at all this season so far. On the other hand, defenders Ibrahima Konate and Trent Alexander-Arnold are expected back from injury issues of their own.

Conclusion

If Diaz and Nunez aren’t ready to start this game, Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo are more than capable to step into the breach alongside Salah, and the Reds are likely to return to the Merseyside with all three points in their bag. Salah is on great form, and he should be able to find the back of the Wolves net on Saturday.

Verdict: Mohamed Salah to score

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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