Liverpool-Wolves Preview

More youth and dynamism could be key for Liverpool against Wolves.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool fielded their oldest starting eleven in over 70 years against Crystal Palace on Saturday. The average age of the XI was 29 years and 318 days, while that of the midfield three which consisted of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Naby Keita was 32 years and 237 days.

The Reds’ performance at Selhurst Park reflected the high average age; they were lethargic, severely lacking in dynamism and failed to ever put Palace under sustained pressure. The 0-0 draw was certainly one of Liverpool’s dullest matches in recent times, with neither team creating more than 0.9 expected goals.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will look to have more spark and energy about them when they host Wolves tonight. Promising midfield youngster Stefan Bajcetic, who Mo Salah recently singled out as being “Liverpool’s best player” since he came into the first team, is expected to be reinstated to the starting line-up. The 18-year old will provide much-needed zeal in the middle of the park, something Liverpool lacked on the weekend.

Darwin Núñez and Ibrahima Konaté are also back in the squad after previously missing out with injury. Konaté is expected to start alongside Virgil van Dijk in the centre of defence tonight. His return should be a big boost for the Reds, as neither Joe Gomez nor Joel Matip have looked assured in recent weeks. Moreover, Konaté’s exceptional pace and reading of the game should enable Trent Alexander-Arnold to get forward more frequently, without sacrificing as much defensive solidity.

Liverpool currently sit in seventh, nine points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, with two games in hand. It is imperative that the Reds win these two additional games, starting tonight, if they are to finish in the Champions League places this season. Jürgen Klopp will be hoping that increased youthfulness and dynamism will give Liverpool the necessary extra spark, which they desperately lacked against Palace last time out.

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