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MATCH PREVIEW: Wolves v Liverpool, Molineux KO - 3pm 4th Feb

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duvva 💅:

Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Marc Perry.
Fourth official: Matt Donohue.
VAR: Lee Mason.
Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood.
Well where to start (probably not with the ref...). I don't think it's much of a stretch to say most are feeling a little bit underwhelmed right now, in fact that's probably a bit of an understatement. There's plenty of chatter around transfers, owners etc elsewhere on the boards so I'll try to avoid that on the whole here and focus purely on the football and the match ahead - although that hardly provides much more cheer either.

Is it me or do we just seem to be playing Wolves and Brighton at the moment? At least we have a recent win against Wolves at Molineux and although it probably doesn't feel like it I think we played better in the first half at Brighton at the weekend than we did in that game. Indeed the first half against Brighton is the best we've played in a while, we were worth more than the one goal and certainly didn't deserve the jammy equaliser - but when things aren't going your way that's often how it works out.

No getting away from the fact the latest injury in a season full of them, is another big blow, with Konate now sidelined, is Matip back yet? If not, at least I don't think he's far away, but it leaves us bare bones again at CB with an inconsistent Gomez and probably Phillips likely to play. Or I suppose Fabinho is another option - who knows perhaps it's the change he needs to regain his form (clutching at straws perhaps but what else is there right now)

Hopefully at least we'll keep the starting midfield three the same as Thiago, Bajcetic & Keita seems to be the best we have at the moment and some improvement in performance has been seen since they've been played together. The problem is we do seem to run out of legs in the second half, and the subs aren't offering enough when swapped in.

I think most would like to see Nunez restored to the starting 11, with Elliott the most likely to make way if this happens. Gakpo has shown some good link up play so far and hopefully his finishing will begin to settle down as he himself does. Clearly Mo isn't at his best at the moment but I think he's always worth an assist or a goal so with current options he doesn't look like being left out.

Thankfully Wolves are in no better form than us, with just one win against West Ham (1-0) since beating Everton on Boxing Day. They don't have any new injury worries to my knowledge, but I'd still like to think this is a team we can beat if we perform as we did in the first half against Brighton. May be a bit much to ask for a third clean sheet in four games with Konate out, but what we really need to do is capitalise on the chances we create - if we'd managed to get a second in the first half v Brighton we may still be in the FA Cup and coming into this in a better mood.

It's difficult to predict what we're going to get each match at the moment but here's hoping for a decent 90 minutes (not just 45), and a positive result ending in 3 points.

Come On Reds let's keep fighting for what we have left to fight for

stockdam:
Thanks Duvva and I think you have summarised the uncertainty about how we will perform.

Konate has been our best player recently and will be a big miss. The centre halves will be a concern but who knows.

I think we are slowly improving and I expect a much better performance. I hope Nunez, Gakpo and Salah hit form and if they do I think we will win this comfortably.

However our defence has been erratic to say the least and a new partnership in the centre is a risk.

skipper757:
Cheers for the write up Duvva.

Our third meeting against Wolves in a month, and if we havenít had enough of them, weíll get them again later this season in a rearranged fixture.

We can look at it as the beginning of the second half, and itís an important fixture to start putting a disappointing January behind us.  Weíre not out of the top 4 race and we have Real coming up.

Need to start going on a run again and stay within distance of our goals (CL run, top 4) while our injured stars recover.

Wolves have been uninspiring all season, but these are the types of fixtures non-elite teams (like us) struggle to put away.  Much has been made of our early goals conceded and our poor defensive record.  With VVD and Konate out, itís another test but also an opportunity for Gomez and Matip.  If we continue to look shaky against a less than prolific Wolves side, itís not a good start for our second half.  I look for us to shore up at the back here.  Itís very difficult to go on a run or deep in the CL if we continue to be poor defensively.

AndyMuller:
Do we only play Brighton and Wolves these days? Feel like Iím in the Matrix.

Another L.

killer-heels:
Has a dull 0-0 written all over it.

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