Wolves to leave their mark on the Reds
It’s an all-Premier League clash at Molineux to round off the Third Round ties and arguably it's the toughest to call.
Liverpool are quite rightly favourites with the the bookies but how will the Premier League leaders react to their defeat at Manchester City on Thursday? And how many changes will they make given the cup is less of a priority for the Reds this term?
With the answer to both uncertain, backing an outright winner here would be brave. That’s why I’m having a punt on both teams to score instead.
Even if, as expected, Klopp rings the changes, such is the depth of Jurgen Klopp’s squad this year, he can still call upon players of real calibre, all capable of contributing.
Adam Lallana - possibly Liverpool’s most influential prior to a series of injury problems, Daniel Sturridge and Naby Kieta, are expected to play and will be chomping at the bit to prove their worth ahead of a hectic second half of the season when their services will undoubtedly be called upon.
Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri will also play some part so by no means will this be a second-string Liverpool side.
As for Wolves, they’ll be eager to give a better account of themselves than in the last fixture between the two just before Christmas. A 2-0 success for the visitors was as comfortable as it sounds.
But with Wolves impressing on their return to the top flight and destined to secure their Premier League status in comfortable fashion, this competition represents the perfect opportunity for the club to embark on a famous cup run.
There’s nothing to lose for the hosts who will look to attack Liverpool, as they have many of the top sides in the division so far. The Midlands side executed their game plan perfectly to sweep Spurs aside just last weekend.
Meanwhile, a win over Chelsea and draws against Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs is also proof of how Wolves generally raise their game against the bigger teams.
Doing so against a weakened Liverpool backline likely to consist of Mignolet and Moreno will give the likes of Costa and top scorer Jimenez ample opportunity to get themselves on the scoresheet.
The latter in particular has emerged as a fans' favourite at Molineux having scored six PL goals and assisted a further four. As well as his figures, his ability to bring in others into play and act as a focal point for the team has the money men at Wolves leaning towards triggering the £30 million fee it would take to make his move from Benfica a permanent one.
Neither side would be happy with a replay. Liverpool have a congested schedule ahead as it is, while Wolves will feel their best chance of winning the game is in front of their own fans.
With this in mind, both teams to score seems the natural way to go here and still brings value to the table at odds of 8/11 (1.75) with bet365.