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It’s Premier League match time at Molineux again, as Wolves look forward to hosting Liverpool in a second leg meeting on January 22, in match week 24.
The first leg encounter between the sides, hosted by Roy Hodgson’s squad, on December 29, ended 1-0 in Wolves favour, only their second win, at Anfield, in 60 years. This was Hodgson’s last game at the helm, as it transpired, and he was subjected to hostile booing by the crowd as were his substitutions, Babel and Konchesky. Some of Hodgson’ decisions could certainly be called into question, such as, for instance, benching Agger and playing Kuyt as a winger.
That said, the manager cannot be blamed for the utter ineptitude of his players, and there was plenty of evidenmce of that, on the day. Wolves outplayed Liverpool, whose decline is no longer in the realm of speculation, and new manager Kenny Dalglish has his task cut for him, as he tries to rebuild the squad.
The winning goal for McCarthy’s side came 12 minutes after the interval when Ward was put through by Ebanks-Blake who latched on to a poor clearance by Kyrgiakos. Going forward, Wolves were crisp and inventive, and aggressive, to boot. The Merseysiders had just one clear goal scoring opportunity when Fernando Torres fired a great cross that fell in Meireles path via Elokobi’s foot, but the Liverpool midfielder’ failed to convert. On the whole, Torres’ lack of confidence was palpable.
Head to head, in 5 league matches between the sides, Liverpool leade 2-1. In their last 10 league games, Wolves have won 4 while losing 6, while Liverpool have not done much better in their last 10, winning just 3, while drawing 2 and losing 5.
Wolves have won 5 of 11 games hosted, this season, while losing 4 and drawing the remaining 2; Liverpool’s away record has been poor, with 8 losses in 11 games on the road, while drawing 2 games and winning just the one.
Relegation favourites at 19th place, Wolves are coming off a 4-3 lossaway at Man City, while Liverpool, currently in 13th place on the points table, drew 2-2 with Everton at Anfield, in match week 23.
On current form, Liverpool should be happy if they could bank a point from the game.
Wolves’ starting eleven against Man City had the following men: Hennessey, Zubar, Stearman, Berra, Ward, Hunt, Milijas, Jones, Jarvis, Doyle and Fletcher. Mujangi Bia, Mouyokolo and Henry were the substitutes used.
Liverpool had the following men in their starting eleven against Everton: Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Meireles, Spearing, Lucas, Kuyt, Torres and Maxi. Shelvey and Kyrgiakos featured as substitutes.
write by Justin Fernandes