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10 key things to know ahead of Wolves vs. Liverpool – Time to break the 12.30 curse?

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Liverpool are back from the international break with a potential banana skin on the road at Wolves as they look to make it four wins in a row.

Wolves vs. Liverpool

Premier League | Molineux
September 16, 2023 | 12.30pm (BST)


The Reds made a fast start to their 2023/24 campaign by overcoming both Bournemouth and Newcastle despite going down to 10 men and they rounded off their opening block of fixtures by cruising to a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

Saturday’s trip to Wolves provides an opportunity for redemption, with one of the worst performances of last season culminating in a humiliating 3-0 defeat at Molineux.

Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of the weekend’s early kick-off.

 

1. Injury news

Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Trent Alexander-Arnold will be unavailable for the clash.

He did however give a more positive update on Ibrahima Konate‘s fitness, adding that he has made a full return to training and could be involved against Wolves.

 

2. The dreaded early kick-off

Fans have come to loathe 12.30pm starts and with good reason, with the Reds having won none of their six lunchtime encounters in the Premier League in 2022/23.

1-0 defeats at Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth stand out as particularly gloomy affairs, with the 4-1 thrashing at the Etihad in April also coming at midday.

The boss will be hoping to put that record right on Saturday and build on the healthy momentum that has been generated so far this season.

Klopp labelled the number of 12.30pm kick-offs his side play after international breaks a “joke”, with Liverpool having now faced double the amount of early starts (12) than any other Premier League side since the German took over.

  • Liverpool’s miserable 12.30 record that needs to change at Wolves
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    3. Happy hunting ground

    WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 4, 2021: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (R) celebrates with goal-scorer Divock Origi after an injury tinme winning goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    Despite last season’s disastrous visit, the Reds have typically enjoyed reasonable amounts of success at Molineux.

    Prior to the 3-0 defeat in February, Liverpool had won all six of their previous league visits to Wolves during a run of 11 consecutive top-flight victories in this fixture.

     

    4. A Gravenberch debut?

    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's new signing Ryan Gravenberch before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    Liverpool’s final recruit of the summer wasn’t registered in time to feature against Aston Villa, but he is in contention to make his first appearance this weekend.

    Ryan Gravenberch opted to remain on Merseyside to get up to speed in his new surroundings rather than meet up with his Netherlands U21 teammates on international duty.

    It showed a desire to make up for lost time, with Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai already making blistering starts to life at Anfield having had the benefit of a full pre-season at the club.

    Klopp gave a tentative “we will see” response when asked about the prospect of Gravenberch minutes, adding that his qualities make him an “interesting package.”

     

    5. Tierney involved again

    LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 19, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp is spoken to by referee Paul Tierney after being shown a yellow card during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    Paul Tierney is set to act as VAR in a Liverpool fixture for the second time this season having been at Stockley Park for Alexis Mac Allister‘s contentious sending-off against Bournemouth.

    Klopp has a history with the official having received a touchline ban last season for his post-match comments about Tierney in April’s dramatic 4-3 win over Tottenham.

     

    6. Repeat or revenge?

    WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 4, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker looks dejected as Wolverhampton Wanderers score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    Bad memories will need to be eradicated on Saturday with Liverpool’s last outing at Wolves having ended in a dreadful 3-0 defeat.

    The Reds will be keen to put things right and conquer some demons after suffering one of their lowest points of 2022/23 at Molineux.

     

    7. South American doubts

    DOHA, QATAR - Thursday, November 24, 2022: Uruguay's Darwin Núñez during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Uruguay and South Korea at the Education City Stadium. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    Liverpool’s South American contingent face a quick turnaround on Merseyside before travelling to Wolves having returned late from their international commitments.

    Alisson, Alexis Mac Allister, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz were all involved for their national sides on Tuesday night and face a race against the clock to be ready for Wolves.

    Nunez picked up a muscle issue with Uruguay and the manager said “we will see” when asked about his chances of involvement.

     

    8. Can O’Neil haunt Liverpool again?

    BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 11, 2023: Bournemouth's manager Gary O'Neil during a post-match press conference after the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. Bournemouth won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    As well as seeking revenge for the 3-0 defeat at Wolves, the Reds have a point to prove against a man who once coached Liverpool U23s.

    Gary O’Neil enjoyed a 1-0 win with Bournemouth back in March and has since taken over from Julen Lopetegui in the Molineux hot seat.

    It was the only time Liverpool have come up against an O’Neil-managed side and Klopp will be hoping to settle that particular score at the second time of asking.

     

    9. A fifth meeting in 2023

    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 1, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with team-mate Harvey Elliott after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    Remarkably, the two sides have already met four times in this calendar year, with the fixture becoming an almost weekly occurrence at one stage last season.

    Liverpool and Wolves were drawn against each other in the FA Cup third round in which a 2-2 draw at Anfield elicited an away replay.

    The Premier League double-header fell shortly after, culminating in a total of four clashes in less than eight weeks at the start of 2023.

     

    10. Follow the action with us

    WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 4, 2021: A general view before the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    The match gets underway at 12.30pm (BST) and you can watch full coverage starting at 11am on TNT Sports 1.

    Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more biased take on proceedings you can keep up to date with everything going on at Molineux with our matchday live blog, which will be available on our website shortly before kick-off.

    Up the Reds!