Liverpool v Wolves: Reds to sign-off in style

Liverpool conclude their Premier League campaign at home to Wolves on Sunday but can they keep their quadruple hopes alive? Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...

Title on the line for Liverpool

Liverpool have taken the Premier League title race down to the final day of the season by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Southampton on Tuesday night. Jurgen Klopp's side knew a midweek defeat at St Mary's would hand the title to Manchester City - while even a draw would effectively end the challenge because of their inferior goal difference.

And it looked as if the Reds might have a struggle on their hands when Nathan Redmond gave Southampton a 13th-minute lead. Liverpool, with nine changes from the side that won the FA Cup final at Wembley last Saturday, once again showed their resilience and reserves of strength as Takumi Minamino levelled before half-time with a thumping drive.

The pressure built after the break and the Merseysiders took a deserved lead after 67 minutes when Joel Matip sent an instinctive looping header into the top corner. The only negative for Klopp was a potentially serious-looking for Joe Gomez, although the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah could both be back in contention for Sunday.

Lage frustrated with Wolves

Wolves' hopes of European qualification were extinguished as already-relegated Norwich held Bruno Lage's side to a frustrating 1-1 draw at Molineux last weekend. Rayan Ait-Nouri rescued a point for the hosts after an improved second-half performance by the Black Country outfit, but it is now just one win from their last seven games.

There was an end-of-season feel to the game, with both sides lacking form and purpose. Norwich took an early lead, although Wolves battled back to level and were then unable to make their dominance count. Results elsewhere, combined with the disappointing draw, ensured Wolves can no longer reach the Europa Conference League for next season.

Speaking post-match, Lage was left frustrated by his side once again conceding first in a match. He said, "It has been easy to score goals against us in the last months. We changed the dynamic a bit, scored one and should score more. Sometimes the games are balanced and we are suffering first and conceding first, even when the opponent is doing nothing."

Formidable Reds

Liverpool have won each of their last 10 Premier League meetings with Wolves, since Stephen Ward scored the only goal of the game in a shock 1-0 defeat at Anfield against the Black Country boys back in 2010. Eight of those aforementioned 10 Reds' triumphs have arrived without conceding, although the last two victories arrived by narrow 1-0 scorelines.

Liverpool 1.20 remain unbeaten in the Premier League this calendar year (W15-D3-L0), only dropping points against top-five rivals Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham. The Reds boast an excellent W14-D4-L0 record at Anfield in league action this season, winning all bar one match when welcoming teams outside of the current top-four.

Wolves 18.50 have tailed off since January. The Old Gold are winless in their past six league outings (W0-D2-L4), with Bruno Lage's team posting W5-D2-L9 over a longer 16-game sample - only four Premier League clubs have collected fewer points during that period, which includes a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of league leaders Man City.

Goals to flow at Anfield

Premier League matches at Anfield have produced a lofty 3.00 goals per-game on average this season with 44% of those showdowns producing Over 3.5 Goals 2.25 profit. The Reds themselves have notched a minimum of three home goals in eight of their 18 encounters at their Merseyside base and a similar outcome could be on the cards for Sunday afternoon.

Wolves are without a clean sheet in eight league fixtures and have silenced only three of their last 18 Premier League opponents. The Old Gold are giving up an average of 1.71 Expected Goals (xG) per-game over their most recent 16 league dates and appear to have downed tools for the summer early on, increasing the likelihood of a one-sided outcome.

With that in mind, I'm happy to take Liverpool to win and Over 3.5 Goals at 2.40. The Reds could conceivably cross the goals barrier themselves, although Jurgen Klopp may again look to keep his squad rested, refreshed and ready for next week's Champions League final - increasing the potential for a Wolves consolation strike.

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