Liverpool-Wolverhampton Preview




The biggest sign Liverpool are champions-elect did not come from the on-pitch doings as they protected a slim lead against Manchester United. It came from the Kop for the first time this season despite victories in every game save one.

"We're going to win the league," they chanted.

Liverpool look to continue their unbeaten march Thursday when they face Wolverhampton at Molineux in search of a 14th consecutive victory in league play while potentially running their unbeaten streak in the Premier League to 40.

Liverpool (21-1-0) are 13 points clear of Manchester City with two matches in hand and are 30 points from clinching their first Premier League title in club history and first title overall since 1990. If they currently hold form, Jurgen Klopp's side would have their first opportunity to lift the trophy April 4 at the Etihad versus the reigning two-time champions.

While that is a way's away and does not even factor Liverpool's FA Cup run and bid to repeat as European champions, the Merseyside juggernaut rolls on. Sunday's 2-0 victory over United was not secured until stoppage time, when Mohamed Salah chased down a sidewinder launched by Alisson and held off a defender before slotting past David De Gea.

The goal sparked a frenzy around Anfield and among Liverpool's players, with Alisson sprinting the length of the pitch and launching into a lengthy slide on his knees before embracing the Egypt international.

"We had to defend them. The organisation was OK but it's just about timing then, 'When do you have the challenges, where do you have the challenges?'" Klopp told Liverpool's official website. "We were a bit late in these moments and that's why they came through, that's why they could at least finish their situations off. But we defend then with a lot of passion and big heart and stuff like this.

"[We were] carried as well by the atmosphere, which was great. Then the last situation in the game, Alisson Becker, what an assist and then Mo Salah, what a goal. There was a sprint duel of two really quick boys and Mo used his massive experience. Big relief in that moment."

Liverpool are 34-5-0 in their last 39 contests and can match the second-longest unbeaten Premier League run, established by Chelsea from 2004-05 at 40 (33-7-0). The Reds also have won five straight on the road in league play since their only dropped points during this term at Old Trafford on Oct. 20.

Wolverhampton (8-10-5) will not be awed by Liverpool - after all, Nuno Espirito Santo's side already have done the double over Manchester City and gave the Merseysiders all they could handle in a 1-0 defeat at Anfield on Dec. 29. Wolves are a distant sixth in the table to Liverpool, looking to secure European play for the second straight season, but also just six points behind Chelsea for the fourth and final Champions League spot with a match in hand.

Nuno's side ended a three-match unbeaten spell in league play and six-match impressive fashion Sunday, rallying from two down to win 3-2 at Southampton. Long vexed by VAR on the season, the reviews finally went Wolverhampton's way at St Mary's, none more important than Raul Jimenez's winner on 76 minutes after the review appeared not to go back far enough to notice the ball hit Adama Traore's arm in the buildup ahead of his pass to set up the Mexico international's goal.

"We are very happy and proud of ourselves," said Jimenez, who has already become the club's all-time leading Premier League scorer in less than two seasons, to Wolves' official website. "After a bad first-half, we came back and made our football - the things we know to do. We deserved it, we worked hard to achieve the win.

"It's very important for us after a very bad first-half. To come to the pitch again in the second-half and make what we made today was fantastic, the second-half, the way we pressed, the way we played football, it's what we know how to do, and we did it in the second-half. It's very important for us to come back and win this game and at the end of the match see the results of the other teams. The ones we are fighting with, they all drew or lost, so that makes us feel much better with what we did today. It's very important."

Jimenez and Traore have been the primary sources of offence for Wolves, with Jimenez factoring in 16 of their 34 league goals and matching Traore for the team lead with six assists in league play. Wolverhampton have just one loss at Molineux in their last 12 home matches in all competitions (6-5-1).

Wolverhampton also dipped into the transfer market ahead of this match, signing 19-year-old Ecuador international Eduardo Campana and assigning him to the Under-23 team.

A pair of VAR calls went against Wolverhampton in the reverse fixture, first a call reversed to disallow what proved to be Sadio Mane's match-winner on 42 minutes, and then having an equaliser chalked off right before intermission.

Wolves have more FA Cup wins over Liverpool (2) in the Premier League era than they do league wins in 11 overall matches (1-2-8). They have dropped six on the bounce since that lone victory, a 1-0 triumph at Anfield in 2010.

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