Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Liverpool vs Wolves Preview: Team News, Predicted XI, Talking Tactics And Key Men

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

The never-ending injury crisis put Liverpool in further turmoil on Tuesday night when they hosted Ajax in a crucial Champions League encounter. Alisson Becker’s hamstring strain was a further blow, yet the Reds managed to clinch a victory and boost their confidence overcoming those limitations. The return of around 2000 fans at Anfield will motivate them to uplift the show and deliver a stellar show on Sunday night against Wolves.

Wolves, meanwhile, suffered a massive setback when hitman Raul Jimenez suffered a horror head injury after clattering with Arsenal’s David Luiz in the early minutes of the tie. Yet the Wanderers were lethal in the attacking third and humbled the Gunners 2-1 at their own backyard. They have been consistent with their display under Nuno Espirito Santo and are now set to test Liverpool’s resolve in order to keep pace with the league’s ‘big six’ for a place in Europe.

Team News

Liverpool

While Virgil van Dijk is ruled out for the season with a cruciate ligament rupture, his central defensive partner Joe Gomez endured a knee injury [patellar tendon] as well during the international duties. Alisson Becker, James Milner and Naby Keita might take a few more days to recover from their hamstring strains whereas Trent Alexander-Arnold [calf] would undergo a late fitness test to be back in the contention for the weekend game. Thiago and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continue to be sidelined with knee injuries, so is Xherdan Shaqiri who is nursing a knock since returning from the national camp.  Despite having fitness issues, skipper Jordan Henderson and Andrew Robertson are expected to be involved against Wolves.

Predicted XI: Caoimhin Kelleher, Neco Williams, Joel Matip, Fabinho, Andrew Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah.

Wolves

Raul Jimenez has undergone surgery and is ruled out for up to four months while Jonny is continuing his rehabilitation from a long-term knee problem. However, Romain Saiss might be included for their Anfield trip if the Moroccan is declared fit having been tested positive last week for coronavirus.

Predicted XI: Rui Patricio, Willy Boly, Max Kilman, Conor Coady, Nelson Semedo, Joao Moutinho, Leander Dendoncker, Marcal, Adama Traore, Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence.

Liverpool in action against Wolves
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Sadio Mane of Liverpool closed down by Ryan Bennett of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on December 29, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Here Is The Liverpool vs Wolves Tactical Preview:

Talking Tactics

Liverpool

Although Jurgen Klopp has rested one of his ‘front four’ in recent fixtures to make the 4-3-3 work, a 4-2-3-1 against Wolves can’t be ruled out just yet considering the injury crisis in the middle of the park. This would see Roberto Firmino shifting as a midfield attacker leaving the ‘false 9’ role for Mohamed Salah. Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane would be operating from the right and left-hand flanks respectively.

Wolves

Wolves were found playing a rare ‘back four’ against Arsenal but might shift to their usual ‘back three’ set-up versus the Merseysiders. The absence of Jimenez is a massive setback, but the gaffer should rely on their wing-play to pose aerial threats on rookie Caoimhin Kelleher and a pretty much makeshift backline. The power of Adama Traore and the trickery of Pedro Neto would keep the Reds on their toes in the defensive half.

Key Men

Liverpool

All eyes will be on Jota though who completed a summer switch from Molineaux and has set the league by storm already in Liverpool colours. Kelleher, majestic against Ajax, should keep his place between the sticks ahead of error-prone Adrian.

Wolves

Skipper Conor Coady, the ex-Liverpool academy graduate and a lifelong fan, would be determined to contain his former teammate (read Jota) and upset the reigning English champions. Adama Traore, a threat with his pace and physique, would look to explore the width of the pitch amid fitness woes of Robertson.

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