Liverpool have already had a historic week and it could be about to get even better on Sunday. They go into the final round of Premier League matches with a chance of lifting their first league title since 1990. The Reds haven’t won the top division since it became the Premier League, but they have a chance as they welcome Wolves to Anfield on Saturday. It won’t be easy for them, as the visitors have fared well against top-six teams this season, but Jurgen Klopp’s men know that they need a victory to give themselves a chance of finishing on top of the pile.
This has been an exciting week to be a Liverpool supporter as the team came back from 0-3 down on aggregate to beat Barcelona and qualify for the Champions League final. It marks their second successive Champions League final and they will go into this year’s as favourites to lift the trophy. Their triumph was all the more remarkable considering the injuries they had to deal with, both prior to and during the match. Klopp has built a special group of players and they deserve to lift one of the two major trophies that they remain in the running for.
Wolves have been a breath of fresh air since their promotion to the Premier League. Although they have spent big money, they have also shown faith in homegrown players, with Conor Coady and Matt Doherty being two individuals to emerge with credit this season. Nuno Espirito Santo has proven himself to be a top coach and the Midlands club look capable of breaking into the top six over the coming years. The ambition is certainly there and they will want to prove their credentials yet again by spoiling the party on Sunday.
Liverpool have scored 18 headed goals in the Premier League this season. This is more than any other team has managed.
Wolves have won the most points of any promoted team (57) since Ipswich Town in 2001.
It has been another season of progression for Sadio Mane, as he has shown a consistency that has previously been lacking. He has reached 20 Premier League goals for the first time in his career. To put that achievement into context, his total for the entirety of last season was ten in the league. The Senegalese international has doubled that total, while becoming a much more effective player in the final third. During the week, he spearheaded the Liverpool attack in the absence of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Although he didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet, he had a huge influence on the game, causing problems for the Barcelona defence with his movement. He will be hoping to finish the season strongly and take goal-scoring form into the Champions League final. Wolves will provide a tricky opponent for the Reds, but the occasion should provide them with the confidence to take the three points.
Many were expecting Wolves to spend big money when they were promoted to the Premier League and the club have brought in a number of tested international footballers. However, one of the stars of their season has been a player that has been with the club since 2010. It would have been easy for the right wing-back to fall by the wayside, but he has taken the challenge on and thrived as a result. At times this season, he has been unplayable as an attacking force, providing a number of crucial goals and assists. The Irish international has contributed eight goals and five assists across all competitions. Few defensive players have managed to provide as much as he has, especially outside of the top-six teams. Liverpool will look to play on the front foot on Sunday, which could leave space open on the counter-attack for Doherty. He will be an important player for the away side at the weekend.
Liverpool could be boosted by the returns of both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Andrew Robertson is a doubt after being taken off with an injury during the week. Naby Keita is almost certain to miss out.
Wolves don’t have many major injury concerns. It is expected that they will start with a full-strength team as they attempt to get one final marquee result this season. Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves are all likely to start.
It is going to be a great occasion on Sunday regardless of the outcome. Liverpool supporters will be disappointed if they don’t manage to lift the trophy, but they can proud of their team’s efforts as they have accumulated their highest ever Premier League points tally. Their success in the Champions League means that they have something else to play for and that takes the pressure off of this game. They should have enough to take three points, but it is unlikely to be enough to earn that elusive Premier League title.
Liverpool 3-1 Wolves