Friday EPL: Wolves v. Liverpool
The expectations have been high for the Wolves all season despite just coming up from the Championship after the near 100 point season they had their last season. Early on, it looked like those expectations would be met, starting the season 4-3-1, only losing to Leicester City on Matchday 2. That, however, was followed by a six match winless streak (0-1-5), when they scored only four goals against clubs not exactly at the top of the league.
A 2-0 loss to Huddersfield at Molineux was the low point, with manager Nuno Espirito Santo calling it the worst loss since he took over the club. After following that loss with one to Cardiff City in Wales, they defeated Chelsea at home to kick off their current three-match winning streak.
So which club will show up to Molineux tonight? The one that has held their own against the Big Six so far this season (1-3-1)? Or the one that lost consecutive matches to clubs currently 19th and 16th in the league? Regardless, it will take a perfect match, and a raucous home crowd, for the Wolves to walk away with a point in this one, but they’ve also surprised at times this season when expectations weren’t that high on them.
Liverpool did exactly what was expected of them last weekend, they won by several goals. However, their goalkeeping woes reared their ugly head — yet again. This time it was with their expensive, new keeper Alisson, who bobbled a ball — right onto the waiting foot of Jesse Lingard for United to go level early in the match.
While Liverpool took care of business the remainder of the game, the doubts surely have bubbled up again. Alisson’s blunder didn’t end up costing Liverpool and the lopsided beating was likely the final straw for Mourinho. Goalkeeping errors have been a huge nuisance for a Liverpool side striving for Premier League glory in what was a sad saga for Liverpool fans.
Liverpool have been phenomenal away from home this season, though they’ve been phenomenal all season regardless of where they’ve played (except maybe outside of England). Their home/road splits are nearly exactly the same: they’ve scored 18 goals at home and 19 on the road. Surrendered two goals at home and five on the road. Alisson has four clean sheets on the road with six at home. Just a string of consistency from the Reds regardless of venue. I’d be hard-pressed to see them lose this one to snap their unbeaten streak.
What to expect from the matchup
The neutrals are expecting a rather one-sided match totaling three goals scored. They are heavily expected to go almost exclusively the way of the sizable visiting favorite, Liverpool. They’ve truly been among the elite of the Premier League this season, and their position six points clear of third-place Tottenham Hotspur confirms that.
If the match goes the way we think, we can see it being a 2-1 Liverpool victory, with Mo Salah going ahead (at least temporarily) over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the scoring lead in the Premier League with one of the two goals. We could also see Liverpool staking the early 2-0 lead with Alisson on his way to yet another clean sheet, only to let a late goal to reach that final score. Either way, expect a lot of attacking football from both sides in this one.