In their previous outing, Jurgen Klopp's squad convincingly defeated Aston Villa 3-0 during gameweek four. In contrast, their upcoming opponents, Wolverhampton Wanderers, suffered a 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace. The match between Crystal Palace and Wolves in the preceding weeks witnessed a lackluster first half, with both teams displaying solid defensive performances. However, the second half turned into a thrilling goal-scoring spectacle, with a total of five goals. Unfortunately for Wolves, two of those goals went to Odsonne Edouard, sandwiched between an Eberechi Eze effort, making Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha's headers inconsequential.
Wolves had a mixed run in August, securing a dramatic win against Everton and a dominant 5-0 victory over Blackpool in the EFL Cup. However, their performance at Selhurst Park left them in 15th place in the early-season standings, having already suffered three defeats.
It was anticipated that Wolves would face challenges as they adapted to life after Julen Lopetegui's departure. While they gave Manchester United a tough match in gameweek one, their focus now is on earning crucial points, especially in the bottom of the table battle.
At Molineux, Wolves experienced only one setback this season, a 4-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion. Before that, they enjoyed a five-game unbeaten streak at home, conceding just one goal during that period. However, their defensive strength was overshadowed by Brighton's performance, and a similar challenge may arise against Liverpool, a team known for their goal-scoring prowess.
During the international break, Liverpool faced the challenge of playing without their first-choice center-backs. Nevertheless, they managed to secure a convincing win against Aston Villa, scoring three goals without conceding. Mohamed Salah, who has been a subject of transfer speculation, reaffirmed his commitment to Liverpool by contributing to the victory with a goal.
Liverpool has been in impressive form, sitting third in the table with 10 points from 12 available, trailing only Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in terms of goal difference. Klopp's team is currently on a 15-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League, scoring in 14 of those matches.
While Liverpool has an upcoming Europa League fixture against LASK Linz, their immediate focus is avenging last season's 3-0 loss to Wolves at Molineux in February, a defeat they partially rectified with a 2-0 victory at Anfield a few weeks later.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS The Wolves medical staff is currently focused on the recovery of Joe Hodge, who suffered a thigh injury towards the end of August. Unfortunately, there is no definitive timeline for the 21-year-old's return. However, Tommy Doyle is expected to return soon from a minor knee concern.
The early kickoff time may present challenges for both managers. Hwang, from South Korea, and Cunha, from Brazil, who were the goal scorers in the match against Selhurst Park, face demanding journeys back to the West Midlands. It remains uncertain whether O'Neil will risk starting either of them. Hwang, despite initially being on the bench against Palace, made a significant impact. Sasa Kalajdzic is an alternative option to replace Cunha if the South American requires additional time to recover from his international commitments.
Klopp, who has previously expressed his dislike for 12:30 kickoffs, needs to assess the fitness of returning players, including Alisson Becker, Alexis Mac Allister, and Luis Diaz. Uruguay's manager, Marcelo Bielsa, disclosed that Darwin Nunez had been dealing with a muscular issue during the break. Despite Nunez's excellent recent performances, including a game-winning brace against Newcastle United and two assists against Villa, Klopp is optimistic about his availability for the weekend. However, Thiago Alcantara is unlikely to feature due to a hip setback.
Captain Virgil van Dijk faces an additional suspension game after admitting to improper conduct against Newcastle. Trent Alexander-Arnold, who suffered a thigh issue two weeks ago, will also be unavailable. On a positive note, Ibrahima Konate has returned to training after recovering from a muscle problem, and Joe Gomez is poised to step in as a capable replacement for Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
POSSIBLE LINE-UPS Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Sa; Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Bueno; Sarabia, Lemina, Gomes, Neto; Kalajdzic, Silva
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Matip, Robertson; Szoboszlai, Endo, Jones; Salah, Gakpo, Jota
Wolves 1-3 Liverpool
If Diaz and Nunez can't play, other players like Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo can step in. So, Wolves shouldn't be underestimated in their ability to compete with Liverpool this Saturday.