There's More At Stake Than Just Three Points...
I don't care if i still haven't collected yet, i'm still putting another quid on the big Greek for first goalscorer tomorrow!...
There's the small matter of bragging rights too.
Yes folks, it's that time of the season once again, after Wolves managed to stay in the Premier League last season i once again got to add tomorrow's fixture to my list of favourites. As a Liverpool fan living in Wolverhampton that alone makes the match a hell of a lot more exciting but add to that having my other half being an avid Wolves fan well the banter is just immense.
Come kick off tomorrow i will be sat in a pub in Wolverhampton with me fella and some mates, few drinks at hand and completely lacking confidence in Liverpool's abilities.
The plus side for Liverpool of course (and it's the ONLY plus side) is that our form at Anfield has been good. 4 games on the bounce unbeaten and only one goal conceded in that time.
To help support our quest for some confidence in the run up to the game it is perhaps helpful to know that Wolves are having problems on the road. They have not won away from home so far this season and their only point came from a draw at Goodison Park.
However, we must not be put into a false sense of security, those who have watched some Wolves matches this season will notice that whilst results have perhaps not always gone their way, they have been playing some good football and been unlucky on several occasions.
The key thing to remember is that Wolves have nothing to lose tomorrow, things can't get worse, they're propping up the table whereas for Liverpool thinks could just become even more embarrassing.
Injuries for Wolves also add some comfort to worried Liverpool fans (how many times have i used "lack of confidence" and words like "wary" & "worried" these past few weeks? It's just wrong!) with key man Kevin Doyle out this certainly puts an impact on their goal threat.
Mancienne is also out, so too is influential Karl Henry and traditionally solid defender Jody Craddock. Injuries are a problem for Mick McCarthy but his real problem appears to be his stubbornness.
At the moment Mick is playing Wayne Hennessey in goal for Wolverhampton Wanderers, now don't get me wrong, Hennessey is a good goalkeeper but unfortunately these last few matches for Wolves, he's not been great. Hahnemann however who was dropped for what i can see as no good reason seems a right talent, he's confident in instructing his defence, has made some superb saves this season and can distribute well.
Now don't get calling up Sky Sports News or whatever (they probably couldn't give a toss anyway) but me Pa who works on Virgin trains got talking to a passenger on the Wolverhampton to Euston train yesterday, it turned out to be Hahnemann's other half, my Dad being a Wolves supporter of course asked why Hahnemann wasn't starting and she replied "some things should stay in the dressing room". Now this isn't god's truth because my Dad's been known to exaggerate! (Lmao) although he met Roy Walker the other week too and the terrible joke within the anecdote seemed feasible to me!
Point being, i think Wolves are missing a trick without the American in goal.
Another frustration for Wolves fans on Boxing Day was when Mick McCarthy decided not to start by far their best player Matt Jarvis. To put it simply if Mick doesn't start Jarvis tomorrow night, not only is he mad but he is also handing Liverpool a major trump card.
Jarvis may not get on the score sheet very often but the reason Wolves get the ball in the net is usually because an attack has originated from a pacey Jarvis weave down the wing or a pin point cross whipped in.
I personally (no offence to the Wolves side) cannot pick out another player who should cause a major threat for Liverpool who will start tomorrow night. I mean there's Hunt but players like Gerrard and Torres have dealt with the likes of him before. Milijas can be dangerous particularly from free kicks but with Reina in goal that shouldn't be too hazardous.
For Liverpool in terms of injuries and starting line ups it actually looks a bit more promising. Still out are Spearing and Carragher but Daniel Agger is off the injury list. I still don't think he'll start but it's a positive at least.
For how Roy will set up i just can't predict it. Clearly Gerrard back from injury will feature and so too Torres, probably up front with Ngog. Back four will pretty much spell itself out - Konchesky, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Johnson with Reina in goal. Where the questions lie is in midfield, Lucas? Poulsen? (Please! Do not start Poulsen!) Babel? Cole? Jovaonvic? Meireles? I really don't know who he's going to select.
Team selections aside it doesn't really matter who Wolves or Liverpool put out because quite frankly it's going to be a difficult game either way.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have not scored in 270 Premier League minutes against Liverpool, i for one say we keep it that way and finish the game off with a nice little piece of Torres magic.
I haven't had to experience me fella celebrating a Wolves goal against Liverpool yet and in all honesty i can't promise that my reaction will be a safe one on his part! Haha. Nevertheless whatever the outcome, tomorrow's match will be massive entertainment myself, to some of you it may just be a Liverpool game against some side who got promoted last year, but to me...
THIS IS WAR!