By Christopher Boulay
It is the heart of a busy period in Liverpool’s fixture list. While the next club to play the Reds may not typically irk the average supporter, it could be as dangerous of a match as any.
Liverpool heads to Wolves on Tuesday for its fourth match in 10 days. After the tepid showing against Bolton, the club had arguably its most memorable week in recent history. After a draw against Manchester City in the second leg of the League Cup put the squad into the final against Cardiff next month, Liverpool followed it up with an emotional win against Manchester United in the FA Cup. Now, with a team that is likely gassed, it will be interesting how manager Kenny Dalglish responds.
Craig Bellamy may get the start after only coming on as a substitute against United on Saturday. He may line up against fellow sub Dirk Kuyt, who scored the winner against the Red Devils and secured Liverpool a spot in the fifth round against Brighton and Hove Albion.
In midfield, the lineup may need to be shuffled a bit as captain Steven Gerrard received what is believed to be a hamstring injury. He is likely to miss the clash, and with this in mind, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Jay Spearing may be fighting it out for places in the center of the pitch.
Liverpool desperately needs wins in the league, as the club has tumbled to seventh in the table. However, despite the recent drop below Newcastle, the Reds are only six points off of Chelsea in fourth place.
Wolves is dealing with a more difficult task, as they are mired in a relegation battle. The club currently sits 19th in the table, but is only one point – and several goals – away from safety. To make matters worse, both Arsenal loanee Emmanuel Frimpong and Jamie O’Hara could miss the match due to injury. In addition, Karl Henry is also beginning a three-match ban due to a red card against Aston Villa.
Manager Mick McCarthy may have quite the job to do, especially with the uncertainty of his club’s roster, as well as the impressive form of Liverpool. The match is extremely important to both sides, and a result may not be enough for either in the long run.
Note: This is the final match of Luis Suarez’s ban.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool
When: Tuesday, January 31, 1945 GMT / 1445 EST
Where: Molineux, Wolverhampton
Premier League Table: Wolves 19th (18 points), Liverpool 7th (35 points)
Last Premier League Match: Wolves 2-3 Aston Villa, Bolton 3-1 Liverpool
Probable Liverpool Starting XI:
DEF: Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique
MID: Downing, Henderson, Adam, Maxi
FW: Kuyt, Bellamy
Subs from: Doni, Kelly, Coates, Carragher, Flanagan, Aurelio, Shelvey, Spearing, Carroll
Probable Wolverhampton Starting XI:
DEF: Ward, Johnson, Berra, Foley
MID: Edwards, Kightly, Milijas, Jarvis
FW: Ebanks-Blake, Fletcher
Subs from: De Vries, Elokobi, Stearman, Doherty, Hammill Frimpong, Hunt, Doyle
Interact: What’s your final score prediction? What’s your predicted starting eleven? Comment below.