The final day of the season is upon us, and the top two positions (in the final Premier League standings) are still to be defined. Liverpool quite simply have to win in order to keep their title hopes alive, and hope that Manchester City drop points.
This game could go a number of ways, with a relaxed Wolverhampton Wanderers perhaps able to shock the nervous home side. Wolves have been unspectacular, but often times awkward and consistent. They are team that has been conceding goals aplenty of late, and have spent the season being goal shy at the other end.
With Leicester and perhaps Brighton able to surpass them this weekend, Wolves will be fighting to maintain a top half finish. With a more than respectable 8th position in the league, they may be able to play with relative freedom. A counter attacking system is assured, with their chances inevitably limited.
A home draw with Norwich last weekend (1-1) was disappointing for Wolves, especially after their 1-5 loss to Manchester City the week prior. The away team could well use this game to blood some underused squad players, as they look at how to approach next pre-season. Fábio Silva, Leander Dendoncker, Daniel Podence, and former Liverpool youth player, Ki-Jana Hoever, could all be recalled. Maximilian Kilman, Nelson Semedo and Romain Saiss are still injured. A 3-4-3 system will be maintained, as they will look to flood their own half whilst under pressure.
Liverpool will be able to go near full strength, with their Champions League final next Saturday. Joe Gomez is definitely out, with both Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk returning. Fabinho is still injured, and will not feature. Much of the team will be as expected, with the only forward line being in question. Sadio Mane will probably start with Luis Diaz, and Roberto Firmino could get the chance to add minutes after his own spell out injured. Diogo Jota will start only if Bobby does not.
Liverpool will want this game put away early, and add pressure to their title rivals. The need to withdraw the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita will be likely, with both so important to next weekend’s game against Real Madrid. A ferocious attacking threat will be evident, and the reds will look to be rampant in their closing home match of the season. Smart wide play and plenty of balls into the box will need to be defended, as Klopp will use all his tools to ensure a win.
Wolves will look to frustrate, stagnate and slow the game. Their own ambitions appear to pale in comparison to the reds, and that should see Jurgen Klopp’s men victorious. The result may be insignificant, as City have their own home game against Aston Villa, and start as heavy favourites.
The stadium will start the game as vibrant and loud as ever, but quiet moments of nervousness could seep onto the pitch. Phones will be refreshed, and headphones will be pinned to ears, as this most dramatic of final days will likely conjure up some twists and turns.
Player to watch – Luis Diaz
Liverpool 3 – 0 Wolves