Wolves v Liverpool: Sadio could be the main Mane

Sadio Mane has an excellent record against Wolves and is hungry for goals, so back him to score in yet another Reds' win, says Jamie Pacheco...

Wolves v Liverpool
Thursday January 22, 20:00

Much-needed weekend win

Wolves can thank the impressive Raul Jimenez for his two goals at Southampton on Saturday. Not only because they meant an extra three points for them but because Wolves were risking throwing away all their hard work from just before Christmas.
Since beating Man City 3-2 at home, they'd gone five games without a win and there was a slight suspicion that teams were finally starting to work them out and that fatigue may have been kicking in after they started the season three weeks' earlier than anyone else.
A word as well for Adama Traore. He won't always get it right with those rampant runs straight at defenders but his sheer presence, pace and strength is enough to unsettle the opposition and create space and chances for others. He set up two of their three goals at the weekend.

Reds reach near-perfection

Some of the stuff Liverpool did against Manchester United was unlike anything I've ever seen on a football pitch. The speed and energy which every last player put into recovering the ball after losing possession and the pace at which they broke when they recovered it, was barely believable.
This is the work that Jurgen Klopp has put in over the past few years reaching levels of near-perfection. 'Near' being important here because if there was one criticism of their Sunday performance, it's that they didn't kill the game off until the last minute.
Better sides than United will make Liverpool pay for being a bit wasteful in attack but then again, not so many of them are in this division.

Can we make a case for opposing Liverpool?

You have to figure that at some stage Klopp is comfortable enough with his lead at the top of the table to rest a few weary legs like those of Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold or Giorgino Wijnaldum and that the whole machine isn't quite as seamless without them.
But then again, with the FA Cup nothing more than an unnecessary distraction for Klopp (if his line-up against Everton was anything to go by) and a few more weeks till the return of the Champions League, maybe he'll pick something like his strongest side yet again.
Wolves were great in beating City 3-2 a few weeks ago but the Citizens had had their keeper sent off early in that one and they lost at home to two of the better teams in the division in Spurs and Chelsea. So maybe they don't normally fare that well against the very best.

I'd love to oppose Liverpool here and lay them at 1.66 but after what I saw on Sunday, I'm not sure I can bring myself to do so.

'Unders' looks the way to go

If you want to know why the market is finding 'overs' and 'unders' so hard to split, we'll tell you.
Just 36% of Wolves' home games have gone overs, while that figure shoots up to 70% for Liverpool away games.
It's a similarly close story in terms of the matches played between these two over the last few years. In the last 12 between them (including a couple of FA Cup fixtures), it was seven that went 'unders' and five that went 'overs'.
My slight preference would be for 'unders', something that would have paid out in all of Liverpool's last five matches (including that win over Everton in the Cup), as their defence has gone back to looking as solid as it was this time last year. 1-0 or 2-0 would be my guess as to how this ends so you can get those two outcomes plus the somewhat plausible-looking 1-1 and 0-0 covered, by going with under 2.5 goals at 2.04.

Mane due, Liverpool win yet again

The more I think about this game, the more a narrow win for Liverpool seems like the most likely outcome. I do think they'll carry on winning but who can get that all-important crucial goal?
I'm going with Sadio Mane. After two games without a goal, he's 'due' as they say and whether he scores or not, he always looks lively, up for it and always gets at least one clear-cut chance a game.
He likes playing Wolves, too. He scored all of Liverpool's last three goals against Wolves in a 1-0 league win earlier on in the season and a 2-0 win last May.
Go with the Senegalese speedster to get a goal (11/10) which, combined with the away win (8/13) in a Same Game Multi, comes to odds of 2.64.

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