If they are to have any realistic chance of wrestling the Premier League title from Manchester City’s grasp, Liverpool know that they must defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last match of the season at Anfield on Sunday (3pm, live on Sky Sports).
Ahead of the final weekend, City enjoy a point advantage over Liverpool at the top. City also have a superior goal difference, which leaves the only viable path to a Liverpool title triumph being a win over Wolves combined with a failure from City to win away to Brighton.
It says much for the incredible pace that both of those sides have set that one or the other will miss out on the title despite accumulating over 90 points. Both of their current totals would have been enough to claim the title in nine of the last 10 seasons, and in 24 of the 26 seasons since the formation of the Premier League as England’s new top flight in 1992.
In truth, it is hard to see City now stumbling, but Liverpool’s belief in miracles was certainly strengthened by their incredible comeback against Barcelona in midweek. Three goals down from the first leg of their Champions League semi-final and without two key attackers, they nevertheless secured their place in the final with an uproarious 4-0 victory at Anfield.
Hopes were raised when Divock Origi struck to give Liverpool the lead inside seven minutes. Alisson then made three good saves to keep Barcelona out before things really ratcheted up with two goals in two minutes from Georginio Wijnaldum just before the hour. The remarkable reversal was completed when quick thinking from Trent Alexander-Arnold provided Origi with the chance to sweep home a right-wing corner for the decisive goal.
Tottenham Hotspur now await in the final in Madrid on June 1, where Liverpool will be able to call upon Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, who missed the Barcelona return due to a concussion and a muscle injury respectively. Both should also be fit enough to form part of the matchday squad on Sunday, as Liverpool face a team who have proved very tricky opponents to the top six this season.
Wolves’ record against those teams reads superbly. Home wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, an away win over Spurs, draws away to Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United and at home to Manchester City have yielded an impressive haul of 16 points. That is 1.78 per match. Indeed, extrapolated over their whole campaign, that would give them 66 points, nine more than their actual total of 57.
With a solid defensive set up that provides a good base from which to launch rapid counter-attacks, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have found it much easier to get results against teams towards the top of the table than when forced to take the initiative against those towards the bottom. If they can sort that latter part out with personnel or tactical tweaks over the summer, they would be genuine top-six challengers.
As it is, in their first season back in the Premier League following a six-year absence in which they actually dropped down to League One for a season, Wolves have already confirmed a seventh-place finish. If Watford fail to defeat Manchester City in the FA Cup final next weekend, that would be good enough to yield a place in next season’s Europa League. Regardless, Nuno and his team have established themselves as a potent top-flight force.
Liverpool recorded a 2-0 win when these sides met at Molineux in December, with Salah and Virgil van Dijk scoring the goals. Wolves were able to take advantage of a relatively under-strength Liverpool XI to win 2-1 and so progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup when they met at the same venue in January.
Our Preview’s Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Betting Tips Verdict
Wolves don’t have anything to play for on Sunday, with their own finishing position now set. However their approach has proved awkward for all of the league’s top teams this season. It is capable of frustrating Liverpool and playing on the nerves that could well start to appear within Anfield and the team if they are unable to make an early breakthrough. Liverpool will, in all likelihood, get the job done, but there is a real chance that Wolves could upset the odds.
- Bet on Wolverhampton Wanderers +1 on the Asian Handicap @ 37/20 (that is between 7/4 and 15/8) with Bet365.