Wolves vs Liverpool predictions: Lopetegui's men can deepen Reds' gloom
After successfully predicting Newcastle would beat Leicester to nil in the Carabao Cup last week, Aidan Perkins assesses Wolves' FA Cup third-round replay at home to Liverpool.
Liverpool will want to quickly get over their dismal defeat at Brighton when they go to Wolves for an FA Cup third-round replay but it could be more pain on the road for the Reds on Tuesday.
These two sides drew 2-2 in an entertaining, and controversial, Anfield affair last week and, ironically, there is a trip to Brighton waiting for the winner in the fourth round.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp admitted it was one of the worst displays of his Liverpool tenure at the Amex on Saturday when they lost 3-0, and the German coach is expected to make several changes for the trip to Molineux.
Wolves, meanwhile, will want to make up for what they perceived to be an unjust draw in the first game, when they had a late goal ruled out by VAR, as they look to continue their obvious improvement under new manager Julen Lopetegui.
It is expected both managers will opt to make changes and delve into their squads for this replay.
Lopetegui is set to be without striker Diego Costa again as he continues to be hampered by a knock, while Chiquinho, Sasa Kalajdzic, Pedro Neto and Boubacar Traore are all still absent.
Goncalo Guedes could return after he missed the league win over West Ham on Saturday, while Joao Moutinho is set for a late fitness test.
New signing Mario Lemina could start for the hosts, while Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez are options to come into the XI up front and out wide.
Klopp could be forgiven for making wholesale alterations so bad was the performance on the south coast but in all likelihood, there would have been plenty of changes for the replay anyway.
Kostas Tsimikas, Joe Gomez, Nat Phillips, Naby Keita, James Milner and Fabio Carvalho are among those pushing for recalls, but Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk are all unavailable due to injury and Darwin Nunez remains a doubt with a tight hamstring.
Before the 2-2 draw in the first meeting, Liverpool had won the previous seven games between the two clubs, a run that included three successive wins at Molineux by a single goal.
Wolves have won the last two FA Cup ties, however, triumphing 2-1 at Anfield in the fourth round in January 2017 and then 2-1 in a home third-round clash two years later.
Lopetegui has been in charge of seven Wolves games so far, winning three, drawing three and losing just one — a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United — although one of those draws was followed by a penalty shoot-out loss to Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.
Liverpool have not kept a clean sheet in any competition since November 9 and have conceded a total of 14 goals across their last seven matches.
Liverpool have been laboured and lethargic for several weeks and even though Klopp is set to ring the changes and there should be a reaction from the visitors, they remain without a number of key players.
Wolves will be fired up to try and progress at the Reds' expense and there is no denying the Black Country outfit were on the wrong end of a couple of dubious VAR calls at Anfield.
That sense of injustice that they are not already through should only serve to inspire the home side even more in the replay.
Wolves look like a team on the up under the guidance of experienced coach Lopetegui, with their 1-0 home win over West Ham at the weekend moving them out of the Premier League relegation zone.