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Dec 29, 2019 at 4.30pm UK
Liverpool
1-0
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
Mane (42')
FT(HT: 1-0)
/esi/1339/6_G_1_92698/index.html?art_id=384295&game_id=92698&sport_id=1&ESI

Preview: Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:384295: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.
By , Editor | 1mo

Liverpool bring an unforgettable 2019 to a close on Sunday when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Anfield in their final match of the year.

Jurgen Klopp's side sit 13 points clear at the top of the table courtesy of their 4-0 thrashing of Leicester City on Boxing Day, with Wolves denying Manchester City the chance to close that gap with a 3-2 win over the champions 24 hours later.


Match preview


It takes a lot for a calendar year to be classed among the best in the history of a club as illustrious as Liverpool, but 2019 can certainly challenge that honour.

A sixth Champions League crown, the UEFA Super Cup and a first ever Club World Cup title mean that it has been a memorable year in the trophy stakes, while they look almost certain to end their 30-year wait for a 19th top-flight triumph too.

Two weekends in particular have played a major role in that, with both seeing Liverpool claim notable wins over Leicester City and Wolves beating Man City a day later.

The most recent Liverpool victory over Leicester was arguably their most impressive of the season, sweeping their closest challengers aside with a majestic display against a team that was previously unbeaten in front of their own fans this season and had conceded only five goals at home before the four they shipped to the Reds.

The fact that their best performance of the campaign came in what was dubbed as their toughest challenge to date is another example of the monstrous mentality which has bludgeoned Liverpool to 26 wins from their last 27 league games, including 17 from 18 this season.


The stats are almost other-wordly; at their current pace Liverpool would end the season with 110 points, and in the 38 games since their last meeting with Wolves they have accrued 101 points.

At home in particular Klopp's side have been bordering on faultless, with 16 consecutive league wins at Anfield while scoring at least twice in each of those matches.

Should they avoid defeat on Sunday then they would become only the third top-flight team to reach 50 home games unbeaten - a feat Liverpool previously achieved themselves between 1978 and 1980 - with no visiting team coming out on top since April 2017.

Home and away Liverpool are now 35 league games unbeaten, making it almost impossible to envision them suffering the sort of collapse which would be needed to surrender their 13-point lead at the top of the table.

The advantage becomes even more convincing when you factor in their game in hand against West Ham United too, and even a difficult upcoming run of fixtures seems unlikely to trouble Klopp's relentless side.


Wolves will be about as confident as any team travelling to Anfield, though, particularly after completing the double against Man City with a stunning comeback victory on Friday.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side fell two goals behind to the 10-man champions, only to storm back and win 3-2 as they climbed up to fifth place, now only two points adrift of the Champions League spots at the halfway stage of the campaign.

Despite a relatively poor start to the season, Wolves are four points better off than at the same stage of 2018-19 and crucially have lost four games fewer too, with only Sunday's opponents having lost fewer games in the league so far.

Indeed, Wolves come into this match having lost only one of their last 14 league outings and they could win three games in a row for the first time since May.


It is away from home where they have been most impressive, going seven league games without defeat on their travels, although their last two away league losses have both come on Merseyside - against Everton earlier this season and at Anfield in May.

Wolves have not won back-to-back top-flight away games in the same season since 1981, though, and doing so against Liverpool is about the toughest task in football right now.

Should Nuno's side beat both Man City and Liverpool in succession then it would be a firm statement of their top-four credentials, with a second successive season in Europe looking like a distinct possibility right now.

One concern will be their defensive record, though, with Wolves having conceded in 10 of their last 11 games ahead of this meeting against the only team to have scored in every match this season.

Liverpool Premier League form: WWWWWW
Liverpool form (all competitions): WWLWWW

Wolves Premier League form: DWDLWW
Wolves form (all competitions): WDWLWW


Team News


Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson was forced off against Leicester after picking up a kick to his shin, but he is expected to be in contention for this match.

Klopp could hand his captain a rest regardless, though, with changes expected from both sides given the quick turnaround in the fixture schedule.

The Reds are still without centre-back duo Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren through injury, while Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nathaniel Clyne are also still sidelined.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was the star of the show against Leicester, may also be given the day off considering he is just one booking away from a ban in what is the final match before the threshold increases to 10.

Wolves are also likely to shuffle their pack with less than 48 hours between games, although Nuno may be hesitant to make too many changes to a winning formula.

Raul Jimenez could therefore lead the line once again, having been directly involved in 26 goals across all competitions this season - more than any other Premier League player.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Milner, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Lallana; Salah, Firmino, Shaqiri; Origi

Wolves possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Vinagre; Traore, Jimenez, Cutrone


Head To Head

Liverpool have won seven and lost just one of the last 10 league meetings between these two sides, including victories in each of the last five by an aggregate score of 12-1.

Wolves have found things particularly difficult at Anfield too, losing 15 of their last 17 top-flight visits to the stadium and failing to even score in 10 of the last 14.

Wolves had experienced FA Cup joy against the Reds recently, though, including a memorable victory at Anfield in 2017, but their last visit to the stadium ended in a 2-0 defeat in May.



We say: Liverpool 2-1 Wolves

Wolves have shown already this season that they can upset the biggest teams in the league, but it is impossible to ignore Liverpool's relentless form at the moment. Klopp's side only seem to be getting better and, while this one will be far from easy for them, we are backing them to chalk up yet another win in what is quickly becoming a title procession.


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool26251061154676
2Manchester CityMan City27183668293957
3Leicester CityLeicester27155754272750
4Chelsea2713594537844
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd27118841291241
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs2711794436840
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27101072925440
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2791263832639
9Arsenal2781363936337
10Burnley27114123339-637
11Everton27106113641-536
12Southampton27104133448-1434
13Crystal Palace2789102432-833
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2787122441-1731
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610113239-728
16Bournemouth2775152643-1726
17Aston Villa2774163452-1825
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2666143045-1524
19Watford2759132443-1924
20Norwich CityNorwich2746172451-2718
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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom341812462362666
2Leeds UnitedLeeds34188849301962
3Fulham34169948371157
4Brentford341681056292756
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest341511845331256
6Preston North EndPreston341681049381156
7Bristol City34158114849-153
8Blackburn RoversBlackburn341491150401051
9Swansea CitySwansea34131294442251
10Cardiff CityCardiff34121484847150
11Millwall34121394039149
12Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds34129134441345
13Derby CountyDerby341112114246-445
14Birmingham CityBirmingham34129134552-745
15Queens Park RangersQPR34127155158-743
16Reading34119144138342
17Hull City34118154853-541
18Charlton AthleticCharlton34109154448-439
19Stoke CityStoke34114194353-1037
20Middlesbrough34813133444-1037
21Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3499163955-1636
22Wigan AthleticWigan34810163450-1634
23Barnsley34710174158-1731
24Luton TownLuton3493224069-2930
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