We can view Liverpool's exit from the FA Cup on Monday night in two ways. The initial feeling was that now that the Reds have one less competition to contend they should be in a great position to win the Premier League, having less games to play during the remainder of the season than their main title rivals Manchester City.
The other view is that Liverpool's fringe players were so bad against Wolves that Jurgen Klopp could be forced to play his best starting XI almost every outing, and therefore his star men will actually end up playing more games than anyone this season.
Daniel Sturridge looked completely disinterested; he probably put more effort into tying his boot laces than he did during the match. Xherdan Shaqiri - barring a stunning free-kick - was virtually anonymous throughout while the usually reliable James Milner was constantly error-prone.
Shaqiri and Milner especially have had decent seasons when called upon this term so perhaps they just lacked motivation against Wolves, or possibly the team simply struggled to play cohesive football given it was a line-up that I dare say has never even played a practice match together.
But what it is very likely to ensure is that Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will always play as long as they're fit, starting with Saturday's trip to Brighton. The Reds will be at full strength for sure, and going into the game on the back of two consecutive defeats could spell huge danger for the Seagulls.
Forget the FA Cup defeat, Klopp's men will be desperate to put the Man City defeat behind them and stretch their lead back to seven points before the Citizens play their game 48 hours later. Liverpool had won their previous four Premier League away games all by at least a two-goal margin, and that's the bet I fancy in this encounter.
Brighton can be a tough nut to crack on home soil, but Liverpool will be the toughest team they've faced at the Amex all season and it's worth pointing out that this fixture ended 1-5 to the Reds last term. Chris Hughton's men have also lost the last four meetings between the two sides, conceding 16 goals in the process.
Huge three points at the mercy of Bluebirds
Cardiff 2.32 v Huddersfield 3.75; The Draw 3.25
Huddersfield's plight is becoming almost unrecoverable. The Terriers are rock bottom of the table on 10 points, eight points from safety, and they currently trade at 1.11 in the Relegation market, which is no surprise at all when you consider a few factors.
David Wagner's men would need to overtake at least three clubs to survive, and when you consider that Fulham and Southampton are showing signs of improvement under their new bosses, and that of the three clubs on 18 points, Burnley and Newcastle look to have enough about them to beat the drop, then Huddersfield's task looks an almost impossible one.
Of the bottom six clubs, that just leaves Cardiff, who currently sit 17th in the table - the position Huddersfield are aiming to get to - eight points above Wagner's men.
So it's 'six-pointer' time again when the Terriers travel to the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and it certainly doesn't bode well that they've lost their last four such games - against Burnley, Fulham, Southampton and Newcastle - all in recent months during a period in which they've lost nine consecutive games.
It's very obvious that Huddersfield's big problem is scoring goals. They scored just five goals in those recent nine consecutive defeats and from the 23 games they've played this season the Terriers have scored more than once in a game on just one occasion.
Both teams will be massively up for this game but you just sense that a victory for Cardiff is almost priceless. It will take Neil Warnock's men 11 points above Huddersfield and will effectively mean they won't be overtaken by that club before the end of the season. The Bluebirds have also been in decent form on home soil this term and they are the obvious selection to win this game.
Warnock's men secured a superb win at Leicester over the Christmas period and from November to December they won three consecutive league games in front of their own fans, defeating Brighton, Wolves and Southampton. They've lost their last two at home, but hosting a massively out-of-form Huddersfield team that struggle to score goals is a far easier opportunity than having to face a rejuvenated Manchester United or a rampant Tottenham.
Saints to claim vital win at inconsistent Leicester
Leicester 2.00 v Southampton 4.40; The Draw [3,6]
Leicester are just about the most unpredictable team in the country right now, and that's saying something given some of the results recorded by other clubs over the festive period.
The Foxes' five-game festive run takes some beating though. They were big outsiders away to Chelsea but won, long shots against Manchester City but also defied the odds by winning that game too, and then they were strong favourites at home to Cardiff just after Christmas but somehow lost that one.
Fast forward a few days; a new calendar year but the same surprising results. They were outsiders to get the better of Everton at Goodison Park but came away with the three points, and then just last weekend they were huge odds-on favourites to beat Newport Countyin the FA Cup but surprisingly lost.
So your guess is as good as mine as to how they'll get on against Southampton on Saturday, but as daft a bit of logic as it sounds, the fact that they're relatively strong favourites to win suggests we should be opposing them if recent results are to go by. On a serious note though, the fact that I have no confidence in them whatsoever in winning the game at odds of 2.00 surely means we should be getting the Saints on side at 4.40.
If these two sides met four games in a row under the exact same circumstances as they will meet on Saturday, would I expect Southampton to win at least one of those games. The answer to that is a resounding yes given the inconsistency Leicester are showing right now, and that means that odds of 4.40 about the away win is the value call.
The Saints have had a mixed bag of results themselves recently, but they are certainly showing signs of improvement under new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl. Victory over Arsenal and an away draw at Chelsea were fantastic results, and if they can reproduce either of those two performances at the King Power Stadium then they will have an excellent chance of winning the game.
There's also the feeling that not all is well within the Foxes camp, and that boss Claude Puel doesn't really carry the confidence of the whole dressing room. If there are cracks, and given Leicester's inconsistent form of late, then backing Southampton to win is well worth a punt.
Back Liverpool -1 @ 1.96 to beat Brighton
Back Cardiff @ 2.32 to beat Huddersfield (best bet)