Wolves v Liverpool Monday 7 January, 19:45 Live on BBC1
The good, the bad, the Wolves
The four-game festive Premier League programme typically passed with no end of strange results. You'll go a long way to find a more bizarre nine-point haul than the one achieved by Leicester, who defeated Chelsea and Everton away from home as well as Manchester City at the King Power Stadium, but surprisingly lost at home to Cardiff.
Wolves have had their fair share of inconsistent results recently also. At the beginning of December they defeated title-chasing Chelsea, just days after they'd lost to Cardiff. And more recently they failed to beat then bottom-of-the-table Fulham, went to Wembley and brushed rampant Tottenhan aside in a stunning second half display before surprisingly losing at home to Crystal Palace.
Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness highlighted these set of results recently and stated they are what makes his job so difficult. He only has to talk and analyse the games, spare a thought for us punters who have to attempt to predict the outcomes!
Undoubtedly Wolves' form against the 'big six' this season tells us just how good they can be on their day, and that is perhaps the best form line to judge them on. For the record they've defeated Chelsea (home) and Spurs (away), and held Arsenal, Man City and Man United to draws. Their two defeats against big six clubs however were both at Molineux, one against Tottenham and the other against Liverpool.
At this stage of the FA Cup last season Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo made plenty of changes to his regular line-up, including leaving the likes of Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota and Willy Boly completely out of his squad. Wolves drew 0-0 at home to struggling Swansea before losing the replay 2-1, again without their star players.
Past evidence suggests Klopp won't rotate too much
If Wolves have been hard to predict this term then Liverpool have been the complete opposite, at least in the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp's men have been in fantastic domestic form of late, winning nine league games on the spin before eventually losing their unbeaten record when they went down narrowly away to Manchester City on Thursday night.
There is a word of caution however, and that is that Liverpool had lost four times this season prior to the Man City defeat, and all four of those losses were in cup action, three of them away from home. But then losing narrowly to the likes of Chelsea, PSG and Napoli isn't really a concern, especially when the League Cup would have been low on the club's priorities this season and they still achieved their aim of qualifying for the Champions League knock-out phase.
Liverpool faced Merseyside rivals Everton at this stage of the competition last season and that probably guaranteed that Klopp would name a strong starting line-up, but the Reds also lined-up very strong in the fourth round at home to West Brom. They would lose that game but Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Saido Mane all started the match alongside a lot of other Liverpool regulars at the time.
Reds an outstanding price to win
There's a bet I really like ahead of this game, and it's the straightforward Liverpool win at a scarcely believable 2.04.
I wrote in a recent Premier League preview that when two managers are expected to rotate their starting line-ups, it actually puts a 'big six' club in a far stronger position. We all know that a full strength Liverpool side is a lot better than a full strength Wolves side, but I'd argue strongly that a rotated Reds line-up is even more superior to a rotated Wolves line-up.
When these two sides met at Molineux just before Christmas Liverpool were 1.55 favourites to win, yet here we can back what is sure to be a strong starting line-up at 2.04for the victory.
If Klopp does make lots of changes that still means his defence could feature Joe Gomez and Alberto Moreno, his midfield at least two of Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Naby Keita or Fabinho, and an attack with Daniel Sturridge and Zherdan Shaqiri.
But I'm not convinced that the Liverpool boss will make wholesale changes - he certainly didn't last season just a week before his side met Man City in the league, and he also named a very strong line-up in the fourth round - and that makes Liverpool an outstanding bet at 2.04 to win at the first time of asking.
Wolves can be backed at 4.00 to win (the Draw is 3.70) but with Santo expected to leave some of his big names out then it would be a stretch for me to have any more confidence about the away victory.
The bigger the price the more we bet
I have no interest in assessing the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market - Overs is a shade of odds-on which I'd say is correct - or trying to back a First or Anytime Goalscorer without knowing the starting line-ups, so I'm simply going to back a Liverpool win at a bigger price than I've already suggested.
And that is by backing the Reds with a -1 handicap, which is available to back at 4.00.
My gut feeling is that there will be a bigger gulf in ability between these two sides on Monday night than there was when they met just before Christmas in the Premier League. Liverpool won that game very comfortably by playing what Klopp described as "perfect football", and if my hunch is right - that Klopp will make fewer changes than Santo - then a price of 2.04 compared to 1.55 a few weeks ago is too good to miss.
But I see no reason why Liverpool won't run out comfortable winners again and backing them to win by at least a two-goal margin also makes massive appeal.