Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool: the predictions and the psychology

You don’t need me to tell you that Liverpool are flying through this season.  Nor that they were pursuing the notion of going unbeaten all season.  But didn’t.

Here is their away form thus far this season

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 12 10 0 2 28 12 16 30
2 Liverpool 11 8 2 1 22 7 15 26
3 Chelsea 10 7 1 2 19 8 11 22
4 Manchester City 10 6 2 2 19 7 12 20
5 Manchester United 11 5 2 4 22 19 3 17

Eight wins two draws and one defeat, away from home with 22 scored and seven conceded – quite a superb away record in a league where away form among the bigger clubs is growing.

So where have those away defeats come from?  Here’s the full list including all the major competitions.

Date Game Res
26 Sep 2018 Liverpool v Chelsea L 1-2 League Cup
03 Oct 2018 Napoli v Liverpool L 1-0 Champions League
06 Nov 2018 Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool L 2-0 Champions League
28 Nov 2018 Paris St Germain v Liverpool L 2-1 Champions League
03 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Liverpool L 2-1 Premier League

On the other hand Liverpool did have a run of eight successive wins in all competitions ahead of the 3 January result.

Wolverhampton at home are more modest in their achievements…

Team P W D L F A GD
Pts
9 Everton 11 5 3 3 18 16 2 18
10 Watford 11 5 1 5 16 18 -2 16
11 Leicester City 10 4 2 4 12 10 2 14
12 West Ham United 11 4 2 5 16 18 -2 14
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 11 4 2 5 12 15 -3 14

Four wins two draws and five defeats.

If we look at Wolverhampton’s results through December and into this month (all of which have been Premier League games) we find just two defeats…

05 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea W 2-1
09 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-2
15 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0
21 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool L 0-2
26 Dec 2018 Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-3
02 Jan 2019 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace L 0-2

One to Liverpool and one in their most recent game at home to Crystal Palace.

But although that last result was a great disappointment the away win over Tottenham and the earlier victory also away over Chelsea would have given them a particular boost.

The psychological affect

What Wolverhampton really need is for their to be an effect on Liverpool from having lost the chance to go through the season unbeaten.  If one combines this with a strong desire to win the league for the first time in 28 years 246 days then that could see them through. But that is quite a long time for a club that used to pride itself with winning the league virtually every season – but just as Manchester United have since found, once a run like that ends, it is so hard to pick it up again.

Of course playing the cup gives Liverpool the chance to go for the double – something they have only done once (Manchester United and Arsenal have each done it three times).

I suspect their scoring habit of two goals a game away from home however will be too much for Wolverhampton who on average only score one goal a game at home.   0-2 or 1-2 to Liverpool it is.

 

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