Top Spot up for Grabs
Liverpool take on Wolves in the last game of the season before Christmas, and a win would secure top spot by at least one point depending on the result at Manchester City.
The significance of that is generally the team who’s on top at Christmas goes on to lift the trophy in May, but Klopp’s men can’t afford to think any further ahead than one game at a time.
Wolves are a tough side, as both City and Chelsea found out earlier in the season. This will be a strong test of Liverpool’s focus and determination.
Wolves Predicted Lineup and Team News
It was well known that Bright Enobakhare and Danny Batth would miss the Liverpool game, but now Diogo Jota has also been ruled out.
This opens up an attacking slot for one of Ivan Cavaleiro, Helder Costa, or Adama Traore alongside Raul Jimenez.
Jonny made a surprise early return from a knee injury in the win over Bournemouth and looks set to continue at left wing-back, where Ruben Vinagre is another option. Leander Dendoncker also offers fresh legs in central defence or midfield.
Liverpool Predicted Lineup and Team News
Alexander-Arnold looks set to have some involvement over the Christmas period as his injury is not as bad as first feared, but Klopp admitted in his press conference on Tuesday that the Wolves game would probably come too soon for him.
Nathaniel Clyne’s performance against Manchester United will certainly put him in the frame to deputise once again, but James Milner is confident of recovering in time to be in contention for the trip to Molineux.
We are now entering into the period where rotation could see the likes of Alberto Moreno coming in for Andrew Robertson, although whether Klopp would deploy the Spaniard against an in-form Matt Doherty is another question.
Wolves come into this game on the back of a three-game winning run so changes may be avoided, though Romain Saiss could be brought into central midfield if Nuno Espirito Santo wishes to add more steel to the centre of the park.
Central midfield is where the real wealth of options are for Klopp. Hendo could come back into the line-up there, as could Milner, with Wijnaldum, Keita and Fabinho.
Again, Klopp has the options to rest key players in attack but may prefer a stronger line-up away at Wolves than at home to Newcastle on Boxing Day. Shaqiri will be pushing for a start after his two deflected strikes sealed victory against Manchester United.
Wolves like to play fast, attacking football without sacrificing solidity in the midfield or security at the back. This is why they are a genuinely formidable side.
The conditions could be poor on the night, so Klopp’s men will need to remain disciplined and be close to their best to walk away with a victory.
The Reds have repeatedly show that they’re capable of doing so, therefore, I’m predicting a 1-0 win to take us into Christmas.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 22/12/2018