Liverpool are one of six unbeaten teams remaining in the Premier League. Can they maintain their strong start to the season at Molineux? We look ahead to Saturday’s game with our Wolves vs Liverpool prediction and preview.
Wolves vs Liverpool: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer is siding with Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s early kick-off, giving Jürgen Klopp’s men a 53.3% chance of victory.
- Wolves thrashed Liverpool 3-0 in this exact fixture last season to end a run of six consecutive home league defeats against the Reds. They last won consecutive matches against Liverpool at Molineux between February 1980 and August 1981.
- Mohamed Salah has gone five away Premier League games without scoring, though he does have six assists in his last four appearances on the road.
With the first international break of the 2023-24 season firmly in the rearview mirror, Premier League action resumes on Saturday as Liverpool travel to Molineux to face Wolves in the early kick-off.
Liverpool possess one of six remaining unbeaten records in the Premier League, having cruised to a 3-0 win over Aston Villa to enter the hiatus third in the early-season league table, two points adrift of reigning champions and early pacesetters Manchester City.
That positive start has seen them tipped for a title challenge in some quarters, and it’s fair to say Jürgen Klopp’s men look more like their old selves after a dismal 2022-23 campaign. Only Everton (152) have attempted more presses – defined as a coordinated action by two or more players applying pressure at the same time – than Liverpool’s 151 in the Premier League this season. After four games last term, their 69 pressures represented the league’s fourth-lowest figure.
Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai were on target in Liverpool’s win over Villa, with the former making it 10 consecutive Premier League games with a direct goal involvement. The last player to record a longer streak of matches with a goal or an assist in the competition was Salah himself, doing so in 15 successive games between August and December 2021.
However, Salah has not had much luck in front of goal on his travels lately. He has failed to net in five successive away Premier League outings, though he has recorded six assists in his last four on the road. He could become just the fourth player to assist on five consecutive away appearances in Premier League history on Saturday, after Muzzy Izzet, Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Deulofeu.
It remains to be seen who will join Salah in Liverpool’s frontline, with Uruguay boss Marcelo Bielsa citing “muscular difficulties” after substituting Darwin Núñez during a loss to Ecuador on Tuesday. In defence, captain Virgil van Dijk must serve an additional one-match ban after admitting to improper behaviour in the aftermath of his red card at Newcastle United last month, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is out after withdrawing from the England squad due to a hamstring issue.
In more positive news, Klopp said on Friday that centre-back Ibrahima Konaté is back from injury as they bid to end a dire run in early kick-offs.
Liverpool failed to win any of their six Premier League games starting at 12.30pm on a Saturday last season, drawing three and losing three. The Reds scored just three goals from 8.56 xG throughout those fixtures, five of which took place away from Anfield.
Wolves, meanwhile, have had a mixed start to their first season under Gary O’Neil. While they were unfortunate to lose at Manchester United on Matchday 1 before claiming a vital win at Everton, their return of three points from four matches has done little to ease fears of a potential relegation fight.
O’Neil’s side were beaten 3-2 by an Eberechi Eze-inspired Crystal Palace prior to the international break. They have now won just two of their last 37 Premier League games when failing to keep a clean sheet (eight draws, 27 defeats), and are winless in their last 14 such matches since beating Southampton 2-1 in February, recording three draws and 11 defeats since then.
One positive O’Neil could take from the defeat at Selhurst Park was the performance of Pedro Neto, who teed up Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha for Wolves’ goals. The Portugal international has a joint-high three Premier League assists this season, a tally he has only beaten in one previous campaign, registering six in 2020-21.
Should Wolves succeed in keeping things tight, they will be confident in their ability to change the game using their bench. Three of Wolves’ four Premier League goals this campaign have been scored by substitutes, with Hwang netting twice off the bench and Sasa Kalajdzic doing so in the win over Everton. Since the start of last season, 29% of Wolves’ Premier League goals have come via substitutes (10/35), the highest share of any team with a minimum of five goals.
O’Neil has a few injury concerns to deal with, and there could be a different look to his lineup on Saturday. Matheus Nunes’ exit gave Wolves the funds for a late trolley dash, and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Tommy Doyle, Enso González and Santiago Bueno could all make their debuts.
Wolves vs Liverpool United Head-to-Head
Wolves triumphed 3-0 in this fixture last season, with Craig Dawson and Rúben Neves getting on the scoresheet after Joël Matip put through his own net early on at Molineux in February.
However, victories over Liverpool have been few and far between for Wolves recently. They are looking to win back-to-back home games against the Reds for the first time since enjoying a run of three victories between February 1980 and August 1981.
Wolves have only found the net 12 times in their last 23 league games against Liverpool, with a quarter of those strikes arriving in February’s win, which helped Julen Lopetegui’s team pull clear of the relegation zone.
Overall, Liverpool have been dominant in recent meetings, winning 12 of the teams’ last 13 head-to-head Premier League meetings including the most recent one in March, when Van Dijk and Salah netted in a 2-0 victory at Anfield.
Liverpool travel to the West Midlands in outstanding form, going unbeaten through their last 15 league games since April’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City (10 wins, five draws).
This is their fifth separate run of 15 or more Premier League matches without defeat since Klopp took charge in October 2015. Only City (seven) have enjoyed more such runs in that time.
The Reds’ latest win took Klopp to 188 victories from his first 300 Premier League games. Pep Guardiola (201 wins from 270 games) and José Mourinho (189) are the only managers to record more wins as of that milestone in the competition’s history.
Wolves, meanwhile, have lost four of their last five league games in a run stretching back to last season.
Their Matchday 3 victory at Everton is their only win in their last seven league outings, since a 1-0 home triumph over local rivals Aston Villa in May.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Wolves vs Liverpool Prediction
The Opta supercomputer expects Liverpool’s strong run of form to continue on Saturday, giving the visitors a 53.3% chance of avenging February’s chastening defeat at Molineux.
Wolves are given a 20.1% chance of causing an upset, with the likelihood of a draw rated at 26.6%.
Liverpool’s positive start to 2023-24 sees the model make them second favourites for the title. Across 10,000 season simulations ahead of kick-off, the Reds were top of the pile in 6.1% of scenarios, with their chances of finishing second rated at 50.0%.
Despite enduring a tumultuous few months, Wolves are assigned just a 14.7% chance of relegation by the supercomputer, making them the sixth-most likely side to drop into the Championship after Luton Town, Sheffield United, Everton, Burnley and Bournemouth.