WOLVES host runaway league leaders Liverpool on Thursday night. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from the Premier League encounter.
Wolves v Liverpool | Thursday 23rd January 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Here’s an interesting fact for you. If games ended at half-time Wolves would be 19th, yet they currently occupy sixth place in the Premier League. If there’s ever been a team of two halves then it would be the Old Gold.
The Molineux men have gone into the break on the losing side on a mammoth 13 occasions in their 23 outings, a quite incredible statistic given their so far successful season. Their ability to drag results back from the dead is utterly commendable and Nuno Espirito Santo deserves all the credit he gets.
Having said that, Wolves are up against prospective champions Liverpool on Thursday night, with the Reds unbeaten all season, winning all but one league match.
The Old Gold were unfortunate at Liverpool I thought and Jurgen Klopp was happy to give them the respect he thought they deserved by sitting deep and not making the mistake that Manchester City made to play a high line against Wolves.
With little distance between the defence and the midfield, in a low block, it meant that Wolves were suffocated when getting into the final third and they simply couldn’t utilise their key weapon in the acceleration of Adama Traore. It just goes to show how adept Klopp is from a tactical point of view – few teams stop Wolves getting on the scoresheet and he showed a different side to his repertoire in that festive fixture. It’s that ever-so-impressive adaptability that will go a long way to winning their first title in 30 years.
The Reds have been heralded for their sheer relentlessness and it will be interesting to see if they start to take their foot off the gas any time soon, they may not even mean to but heavy fixture congestion over the winter could tell in the next few weeks. Many will think they’re attractively priced here at 7/10 however they rarely obliterate teams on the road.
If you’re keen on backing the Reds on the road it would’ve been a much more profitable process to dutch the 1-0 and 2-1 correct scores. Six of Liverpool's nine wins on the road have come by this scoreline and by halving stakes on those two correct scores you get over 3/1.
The betting angles
However, I think if there’s one side that could cause Liverpool problems it will be Wolves. Following the aforementioned quirks with Wolves’ differences in halves, we can back Liverpool to be leading at half-time and the game to end in a draw at a massive 18/1 (BetVictor) and surely that’s worth a small stake.
It’s also 55/1 (Betfair) on Wolves to win after going into the break losing for those wanting to go one further, of course it’s such a price because Liverpool aren't beaten often, but at that price it’s probably worth a quid given it’s landed in the last three Wolves wins, including one against Manchester City.
I found it tough going in any of the basic markets for this game, initially I wanted to get against a high goal but the lines aren’t as big as I was expecting. Instead, I’ll dip into the player stats market and propose an odds-against shot that can be put together using Coral’s BuildYourBet feature.
With Liverpool likely to dominate the ball, Wolves will have to do quite a bit of defending and that brings me to the tackles market as first port of call. Right back Jonny will have to deal with Mo Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold down his side which means he will have his hands full. He averages 2.5 tackles and has achieved at least two tackles in each of his seven games so him to have 2+ tackles will be the first selection.
Secondly, I’ll throw in Leander Dendoncker to have 1+ tackle. He is likely to play either in central midfielder or the left side of a back three, both position are good for tackles and he’s achieved at least one tackle in each of his last 12 games.
Finally, I’ll add Pedro Neto to attempt 1+ shots in the game. He was unfortunate to have his goal ruled out at Anfield but the youngster is certainly making a positive impression at Molineux and seems to have a lot of belief in himself which is refreshing to see. He’s managed a shot in every game he has started and could find some joy getting between the Liverpool full backs and centre halves.
I’d expect all three players to play, they have done recently. This bet landed in the reverse game and all the stats point it to landing again here.