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Monday 20:00: Wolves v Liverpool
Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Premier League
Liverpool showed some green shoots of recovery in their comfortable Champions League win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday night, but their previous win against the Germans provided similar hopes of recovery and proved to be a false dawn.
Liverpool lost three of their four league games after that first win in Hungary, so their good performance on Wednesday will count for little until the Reds back it up in the league.
Unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp’s side, the evidence suggests that they won’t back it up. Liverpool have lost six of their last seven league games in a dismal run of form that has seen them score just four goals and fall well off the pace in the race for the top four.
Their one victory in that period came against a Sheffield United side that is on track to record one of the lowest points tallies in Premier League history and Klopp’s side seem to particularly struggle against sides that operate a low block.
Wolves will almost certainly operate a low block at Molineux on Monday night and will fancy their chances of containing Liverpool.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have not been the same team that they were over the previous two seasons, but they have improved in recent weeks.
Wolves have lost just one in their last seven games – a 4-1 defeat at the Etihad that came after a glut of Man City goals in the last 10 minutes – and their season seems to have improved since a 2-1 win over Arsenal in February.
Prior to that, Wolves had not won in eight, but they have now taken 12 points from their last 21 and will look to at least avoid defeat on Monday.
Liverpool’s faltering attack has been one of the most unusual aspects of this unusual season.
The Reds looked close to unstoppable in their 7-0 win at Crystal Palace but have only scored 11 goals in the following 14 league games, drawing seven blanks.
Aside from two impressive performances against West Ham and Tottenham, Liverpool’s attack has been nowhere to be seen and has been far too easy to nullify. It’s hard to see them scoring many goals on Monday even if they manage a win.
Wolves, meanwhile, are one of the lowest scorers in the division and will almost certainly set up for a smash and grab result. It should make for a cagey fixture on Monday night.
Liverpool’s corner count continues to be impressively high in spite of their faltering attack. The Reds have won 47 corners in their dismal seven-game run, at a rate of almost seven corners per game.
They tend to win more games against sides that sit in and defend, winning 12 against a defensive Leicester outfit and nine against Fulham on Sunday. They will be camped in Wolves’ territory on Monday night and should win plenty of corners as they attempt to seize control.
They have also conceded more than two corners a game in that seven-game spell, so one would have to think that Wolves will get a few opportunities from set pieces themselves.
Liverpool’s top scorer averages almost three shots per game in the Premier League and will have plenty of opportunities to test Rui Patricio on Monday night.
Wolves have faced a staggering 68 shots in their last four games at a rate of 17 shots per game and will almost certainly face similar numbers on Monday.
Salah, who average roughly 1.5 shots on target per game, will surely be among Liverpool’s busiest attackers at Molineux and is an attractive price at close to even money.
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