Liverpool vs Wolves: Two key squad issues from last season will be put to the test
Liverpool suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat to Wolves last season at Molineux.
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There’s new faces on both teams, including a new manager in the dug-out for Wolves and there’s a sense that this game could be a very telling one for Liverpool, despite their strong start.
That defeat to Wolves saw many question both their midfield and centre-back options - only one area has been addressed this summer and both will be under the magnifying glass this time around once again.
Last season saw a midfield three of Thiago, Stefan Bajcetic and Naby Keita get torn apart by Wolves, and it’s likely neither of them will feature this time around.
Summer signings Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endo and Dominik Szoboszlai have all settled quickly, and it’s clear that the midfield rebuild has been a successful one so far.
Szoboszlai has been the standout signing no doubt, and he should be available to start with Endo and one of Curtis Jones or Harvey Elliott in midfield give Mac Allister’s heavier international commitments.
It will also be different given the talented Matheus Nunes has left for Manchester City, meaning that there should be no excuse for Jurgen Klopp’s men to not win the midfield battle this time around.
With Virgil Van Dijk still suspended and Trent Alexander-Arnold expected to be out, the focus quickly shifts to defence. After all, a back two of Matip and Gomez clearly struggled at Molineux last season - and both could feature again.
Gomez looks the most likely to feature at right-back given their lack of depth in that position, and Matip should partner the returning Ibrahim Konate who has missed the last two games.
It means Liverpool will once again arrive with a second-string back four to face Wolves, but with one of their key issues fixed, will their defence hold up to the task?
Wolves are struggling in front of goal once again and given that Liverpool should be able to dominate possession, unlike last season, and arrive with high levels of confidence after a strong start, they should come through this game unscathed.
However, it doesn’t mean their defensive issues are fixed and with Matip set to leave next summer, their defence is certainly going to be their focus moving forward in terms of additions.