Wolves face Liverpool in the FA Cup third-round replay at Molineux on Tuesday night. The first leg ended 2-2 and both sides will want to reach an away fourth-round tie against Brighton. The Reds are the holders of the cup whilst Wolves have lifted this trophy four times but not since 1960.
Wolves took just 12 points from their opening 15 league matches before Julen Lopetegui took official charge of the side. His seven matches in charge in all competitions post-World Cup have seen just one loss in 90 minutes. After winning 2-1 at Everton, the Midlands club were beaten 1-0 at home by Man Utd.
A 1-1 draw at Aston Villa was a good result before playing very well to draw 2-2 at Liverpool in the first cup meeting. They more than held their own, producing more open play xG and having a late goal incorrectly ruled out for offside. Since then, they’ve lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest. Over the weekend, Wolves beat West Ham 1-0 in a crucial Premier League result.
Wolves Team News
Julen Lopetegui left Goncalo Guedes out of the squad completely against West Ham but he could feature if the side is rotated heavily in this match. Mario Lemina has signed from Nice and already make his debut over the weekend but he is ineligible to feature in this match.
Wolves remain without the long-term injured Pedro Neto and Sasa Kalajdzic. They could change things up with Raul Jimenez, fit-again Diego Costa, and Adama Traore both options for the front three with Joe Hodge could play in midfield and Matija Šarkić could be handed another outing in goal.
The first leg saw plenty of rotation to the XI yet Wolves were still totally up for the match and were fuming to be denied a late winner.
Lopetegui could rotate the side a bit so it’s worth looking out for the starting XI one hour before kickoff. He has Wolves playing far more progress since his arrival and won’t have his team sit back.
This is turning into a very difficult season for Liverpool. They’re now 10 points off the top four having lost five of their last 11 league fixtures. Their 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest and 2-1 home loss to Leeds preceded four wins in a row, all of them with both teams on target and with plenty of chances given up.
They’ve since had two poor league losses, 3-1 at Brentford and 3-0 at Brighton, either side of a 2-2 home draw with Wolves in the FA Cup. Their last fixture at the Amex Stadium saw the Reds outshot 16-6 with Brighton having 61% of the ball.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool have plenty of injuries to contend with for this match. Virgil Van Dijk is out so it’ll be two of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Ibrahima Konate at centre-back. Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, and Luis Diaz are missing in attack and Darwin Nunez is a major doubt but could be involved in some way.
There could be some rotation in the problem midfield area. James Milner is back and Naby Keita could get a start in place of the struggling Fabinho. Harvey Elliott is another possible starter if Jurgen Klopp decides to make plenty of changes ahead of the Chelsea fixture.
The first meeting saw Liverpool pick a very strong XI as they looked to get the job done without a replay. It’s not clear what sort of lineup Jurgen Klopp will select as his squad is stretched and they face Chelsea in a key match in the Saturday early kickoff.
They will be very eager to avoid going to extra time ahead of the Chelsea match.
Wolves have won 2 of their last 4 PL matches
Wolves have 4 of their last 5 home matches (PL)
Liverpool have lost 5 of their last 11 PL matches
Liverpool have won just 2/9 away PL matches with 5 losses in 8 on the road
LFC have conceded in 8 PL matches in a row (13 goals leaked)
This is a difficult match to predict because Liverpool are so wildly inconsistent and leaky at the back, whilst having a plethora of injuries. Wolves have some useful rotation options and played well in the first meeting at Anfield so they could be the ones to progress to the fourth round.
Best Bet: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals (90 mins) at 2.20
Alternative Bet: Wolves win/draw double chance (90 mins) at 1.86
High Value Bet: Wolves win (90 mins) at 3.55