Liverpool make the journey to the West Midlands to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers this weekend, in what is a crucial match for both of these teams. Liverpool are currently sat in ninth, with Wolves eight places below them in 17th.
Both teams have just one win in their last six in all competitions, and are in desperate need of a win - The Reds are in dire form and last picked up a Premier League win in December, and desperately need points as they attempt to keep pace with the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Brighton. Wolves are teetering on the edge of the relegation zone, with just goal difference separating them from Bournemouth just below them, and need a win in the battle to beat the drop.
A win for the home side on Saturday would be just their fifth league win this season, having suffered 11 defeats already this season. There are a host of reasons why Wolves have faltered so badly this season after their respectable 10th-place finish last season, but a lack of goals is arguably the main reason why.
This is not to say that the club tried – Wolves secured the signing of Sasa Kalajdzic from Stuttgart, but the Austrian suffered a season-ending injury on his debut. Raul Jimenez has just not been the same player since sustaining a head injury a few seasons ago, and so Wolves have had no one to pass the goalscoring burden to. They elected to then bring in free agent Diego Costa as a stopgap, but Costa has also not been able to sort out their goalscoring issues. And it is telling – Julen Lopetegui’s side are the lowest-scoring in the division, with just 12 this season. Winger Daniel Podence is their top scorer this season with five, and Wolves will need him to be on top form if they are to get anything from Saturday’s game.
Like their opponents on Saturday, Liverpool are in poor form, having picked up just one win in their last six. What will give them some encouragement is that their last win in any competition actually came against Wolves, with Harvey Elliott’s long-range strike enough to get Jurgen Klopp’s men past Wolves in their FA Cup third-round replay. That remains Liverpool’s only win this year, suffering three defeats and drawing twice in their other games.
Defeats to Brighton and Manchester City means that Liverpool are out of both domestic cup competitions, and their performances so far this season indicates that they will not go far in this season’s Champions League. Therefore, the only avenue left for them to achieve something this season is the Premier League, where they do still have a chance of qualifying for European football next season, although their performances will need to significantly improve if they want to achieve that goal, with Tottenham and Manchester United seven and ten points ahead of them respectively.
Saturday’s match will be the third time in five weeks that these two clubs will have played each other, and with their prior win in this fixture and better goalscoring form heading into the game, we think that Liverpool will ultimately be the most likely winners here, although Wolves can’t be fully written off. The Reds are priced at 17/20 odds to emerge victorious here, while Julen Lopetegui’s men are priced at 16/5 to win.
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