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Nine essential things to know ahead of Wolves vs Liverpool FA Cup replay



It’s been a dismal few weeks from Liverpool’s perspective, but can the current FA Cup holders find their way back to victory at Molineux?

Wolves vs Liverpool

A frustrating 2-2 second leg draw at Anfield was followed by more turmoil at Brighton.

Times are tough for Liverpool and fingers are pointed in all directions to unravel the source of the problems. It was a match nobody wanted, as the referee blew Anfield full-time in the first tie, but the replay offers Liverpool a chance to build some sort of momentum ahead of a tough spell of games at home and in Europe .

1. Repetition of the first Cup in three years

Liverpool’s failure to win the third round at Anfield resulted in their first FA Cup replay since Shrewsbury Town arrived at Merseyside in 2020, succumbing to a 1-0 defeat.

On that occasion, Jurgen Klopp opted to field the club’s youngest-ever XI, leaving Neil Critchley in charge as he and the first team watched what would be a pre-arranged winter break for England’s top clubs.

It was a decision which prompted an open letter from the Shrewsbury hierarchy, who were saddened and felt that Klopp’s decision had ‘ruined’ the tie and caused the replay to lose television coverage, which meant a major financial reward for the club.

2. Liverpool continue to concede first

Of all the trends of Liverpool’s season so far, perhaps the most troubling is their persistent habit of conceding the first goal.

Overall, 53.6% of Liverpool’s games this season have seen their opponents score first, a trend which began to be felt towards the end of the 2021/22 quadruple chase.

If the Reds are to progress in the competition, striking first in this competition will go a long way to making their lives easier.

3. Gakpo settles down

The £37m Dutch winger from Liverpool has had a baptism of fire since joining the club.

Cody Gakpo is yet to enjoy a win with his new teammates but there have been positive signals from the newcomer.

4. A replay against another probable Wolves side in rotation could be a good opportunity to open your account.

5. The striker’s recent injury problems mean Gakpo is likely to feature early on and into the foreseeable future – this is a great opportunity to call

6. Liverpool in the picture of the title race.

7. Second of four games against Wolves this season

Liverpool are yet to face Wolves in the Premier League this season.

September’s home game was postponed after the Queen’s death – and could still be rescheduled for this month – with the away game due to take place in early February.

The FA Cup doubles tie means the two teams will meet four times in 2022/23 and Liverpool will hope to at least have something to brag about from those clashes.

8. Several wolves on Liverpool’s radar

Matheus Nunes was the man on the lips of many in the days following the 2-2 draw at Anfield.

He was keen to join the Reds in the summer, and those stories have flared up again after Liverpool’s poor showing in the first game.

Reports (some dubious) have been circulating in recent days linking Ruben Neves to the move to Merseyside.

With Liverpool’s midfield still a big talking point for a variety of reasons, one or both players will no doubt be watching when playing for Julen Lopetegui’s side.

Wolves should be back to form in time for Diego Costa but Pedro Neto, Sasa Kalajdzic, Boubacar Traore and Chiquinho are all out.

9. Beware of the injured animal.

It’s safe to say that the controversial decision to shut out what would have been a late winner from Toti Gomes at Anfield angered Wolves.

The club sent unseen CCTV footage to chief referee Howard Webb which they said showed the goal should have been scored.

It could very well add further fuel to Wolves’ fire in the second leg, as they briefly thought they stole the game in their dying moments and have since obtained evidence suggesting they may have been wronged.

Liverpool will need to be vigilant to make sure the extra motivation isn’t enough to win their fourth round cap. The referee this time is Andre Marriner.

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