29 December 2019 10:32

Man utd Man United vs Man City Celta de Vigo

Adama Traore: Jurgen Klopp hails 'exceptional' winger ahead of Liverpool vs Wolves

Liverpool host Wolves in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, looking to finish a memorable 2019 with a bang. There is still plenty of work to do, however, starting on Sunday, when a dangerous Wolves side make the trip to Anfield—having just beaten Man City 3-2 on Friday. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also be missing until well after the turn of the year, having injured his ankle in the Club World Cup final win over Flamengo, with the boss revealing that the injured quartet are not set to return to training until mid-January. Willy Boly and Morgan Gibbs-White are out for Wolves, while Nuno could make numerous changes, considering kick-off arrives less than 48 hours after the win over City. Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Liverpool bring an unforgettable 2019 to a close on Sunday when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Anfield in their final match of the year. Jurgen Klopp's side sit 13 points clear at the top of the table courtesy of their 4-0 thrashing of Leicester City on Boxing Day, with Wolves denying Manchester City the chance to close that gap with a 3-2 win over the champions 24 hours later. Two weekends in particular have played a major role in that, with both seeing Liverpool claim notable wins over Leicester City and Wolves beating Man City a day later. The most recent Liverpool victory over Leicester was arguably their most impressive of the season, sweeping their closest challengers aside with a majestic display against a team that was previously unbeaten in front of their own fans this season and had conceded only five goals at home before the four they shipped to the Reds. The fact that their best performance of the campaign came in what was dubbed as their toughest challenge to date is another example of the monstrous mentality which has bludgeoned Liverpool to 26 wins from their last 27 league games, including 17 from 18 this season.

The stats are almost other-wordly; at their current pace Liverpool would end the season with 110 points, and in the 38 games since their last meeting with Wolves they have accrued 101 points. At home in particular Klopp's side have been bordering on faultless, with 16 consecutive league wins at Anfield while scoring at least twice in each of those matches. Should they avoid defeat on Sunday then they would become only the third top-flight team to reach 50 home games unbeaten - a feat Liverpool previously achieved themselves between 1978 and 1980 - with no visiting team coming out on top since April 2017. Home and away Liverpool are now 35 league games unbeaten, making it almost impossible to envision them suffering the sort of collapse which would be needed to surrender their 13-point lead at the top of the table. Wolves will be about as confident as any team travelling to Anfield, though, particularly after completing the double against Man City with a stunning comeback victory on Friday.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side fell two goals behind to the 10-man champions, only to storm back and win 3-2 as they climbed up to fifth place, now only two points adrift of the Champions League spots at the halfway stage of the campaign. Despite a relatively poor start to the season, Wolves are four points better off than at the same stage of 2018-19 and crucially have lost four games fewer too, with only Sunday's opponents have lost fewer games in the league so far. Indeed, Wolves come into this match having lost only one of their last 14 league outings and they could win three games in a row for the first time since May. It is away from home where they have been most impressive, going seven league games without defeat on their travels, although their last two away league losses have both come on Merseyside - against Everton earlier this season and at Anfield in May. Wolves have not won back-to-back top-flight away games in the same season since 1981, though, and doing so against Liverpool is about the toughest task in football right now. Should Nuno's side beat both Man City and Liverpool in succession then it would be a firm statement of their top-four credentials, with a second successive season in Europe looking like a distinct possibility right now. One concern will be their defensive record, though, with Wolves having conceded in 10 of their last 11 games ahead of this meeting against the only team to have scored in every match this season.

Wolves are also likely to shuffle their pack with less than 48 hours between games, although Nuno may be hesitant to make too many changes to a winning formula. Raul Jimenez could therefore lead the line once again, having been directly involved in 26 goals across all competitions this season - more than any other Premier League player. Liverpool have won seven and lost just one of the last 10 league meetings between these two sides, including victories in each of the last five by an aggregate score of 12-1. Wolves had experienced FA Cup joy against the Reds recently, though, including a memorable victory at Anfield in 2017, but their last visit to the stadium ended in a 2-0 defeat in May. Wolves have shown already this season that they can upset the biggest teams in the league, but it is impossible to ignore Liverpool's relentless form at the moment. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he always knew Wolves winger Adama Traore would become a star.

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves' 3-2 win over Manchester City in the Premier League. Wolves spent £18m on the 23-year-old in 2018 and Traore's talent has finally flourished, scoring five goals in all competitions this season, including three against Manchester City. Ahead of Wolves' Premier League visit to Anfield on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, Klopp, who conceded Traore has long been on his radar, said: "He finally found his manager who found a position for him. Traore sparked Wolves' comeback against Manchester City with his fourth Premier League goal of the season Klopp's Liverpool will aim to keep their 35-match unbeaten league run going against Wolves, who gave the Reds' title hopes a major boost by coming from two goals down to beat City 3-2 on Friday night. Liverpool went 13 points clear at the top of the league with a 4-0 at Leicester on Boxing Day The visit of Wolves is the first of three home matches in the space of eight days as Liverpool also welcome Sheffield United in the league, and then Merseyside rivals Everton in the FA Cup. FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Leicester in the Premier League. Watch Liverpool vs Wolves live on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday from 4pm. Wolves will try to become the first team to beat Liverpool in the Premier League this season after their stunning victory over Manchester City. Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Lallana, Origi, Firmino, Mane Match prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Wolves Liverpool will be eager to consolidate their place atop the Premier League table when they welcome Wolves to Anfield on Sunday. Leaders Liverpool will be in action in the penultimate game of the year, as they play hosts to Wolves at Anfield on Sunday evening. Fresh from their triumphant Club World Cup campaign in Qatar, the Reds produced arguably their best performance of the season as they trounced Leicester City 4-0 on Boxing Day. The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 2-0 win for Liverpool, with Sadio Mane scoring a match-winning brace. On Sunday, the Liverpool manager could be without as many as six first-team players, with Fabinho (ankle) another major absentee for the Reds. Liverpool have lost just one of their 10 Premier League games against Wolves (W7 D2), winning the last five in a row by an aggregate score of 12-1. Liverpool have won their final league game in each of the last five calendar years, since losing 2-1 at Chelsea in 2013. Wolves, on the other hand, have won their final league game in four of the last five calendar years, losing 2-1 at home to QPR in 2016. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 49 Premier League home games (W39 D10). Trent Alexander-Arnold has registered a Premier League-high 20 assists since the start of last season. Will the young winger produce the game changing performance that will condemn Liverpool to their first Premier League defeat of the season? However, in Wolves, the Reds face one of the biggest tests of their Premier League campaign till date, with the visitors themselves coming into the game on the back of a stirring collective display of their own.