Simon Mail previews the FA Cup fourth round tie at Anfield where visitors Wolves could make life difficult for a much-changed Liverpool side...
"The Reds have gone off the boil with only one win in their last seven games and that came against a League Two side. Liverpool could not beat Plymouth here and with a raft of changes to the side expected there is no guarantee the hosts will deliver the win at short odds."
Liverpool v Wolves
Saturday January 28, 12:30
Live on BT Sport 2
It has been a disastrous week for Liverpool after a hugely damaging Premier League defeat and their EFL Cup semi-final exit. Jurgen Klopp's side suffered a shock 3-2 home loss to Swansea last weekend as they slipped ten points behind leaders Chelsea. Their misery was compounded on Wednesday after a 1-0 home defeat to Southampton as they missed out on a place at Wembley in the League Cup final.
Liverpool's form appears to have hit the buffers at just the wrong time with their season threatening to derail. The absence of Sadio Mane, away at the Africa Cup of Nations, has been a big loss with their attack lacking pace and spark. Klopp's team have only beaten Plymouth in 2017 and even this only came in their FA Cup replay after being held at Anfield.
Paul Lambert's side will be eyeing another FA Cup scalp after dumping Premier League Stoke City out in the last round. Goals from Helder Costa and Matt Doherty stunned the Potters and secured Wolves' trip to Anfield. Their win has underlined the progress made under Lambert since replacing Walter Zenga two months ago.
Wolves are still towards the wrong end of the Championship table in 18th spot but there have been several encouraging performances including the recent win over rivals Aston Villa. Guiding the club away from the relegation zone is the initial target but Lambert will know his squad are capable of much better as he looks to revive their fortunes.
Liverpool are obvious favourites but do you really want to be backing them in their current form at 1.341/3? The Reds have gone off the boil with only one win in their last seven games and that came against a League Two side. Liverpool could not beat Plymouth here and with a raft of changes to the side expected there is no guarantee the hosts will deliver the win at short odds.
Wolves are 11.010/1 to pull off a win this weekend and this is certainly not worth dismissing out of hand. The visitors have already knocked out Stoke and are facing Liverpool at a good time. The last two teams to visit Anfield have won and Wolves could take advantage of their understrength opponents. That said, Liverpool will be desperate to avoid another cup exit and there are alternative ways to support the underdogs.
The draw is around the 6.05/1 mark which again may look over-priced considering doubts surrounding Liverpool. Three of the Reds' last seven games have been stalemates including the goalless draw against Plymouth in the last round. Three of the 12 Wolves games under Lambert have also finished level. On balance, laying Liverpool is an option in this market but there is a safer way of supporting the visitors.
Liverpool look difficult to trust at the moment and Wolves are worth backing but there is always the danger that the hosts' class tells. That said, goals have dried up for Klopp's side recently so there is every reason to fancy the visitors to make a game of it. By backing Wolves at 2.0421/20 with a head start this bet wins even if they are beaten by one-goal. Liverpool have failed to defeat their opponents by more than this margin in nine of their last ten matches.
Back Wolves +2 at 2.0421/20
Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster