Emirates FA Cup Preview - Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers - Liverpool Begin Defence of the FA Cup

7th January 2023

Liverpool begin the defence of their trophy tomorrow night at Anfield. Kick-off against Wolverhampton Wanderers is at 20:00 GMT. Wolverhampton, or simply to their fans, are a familiar opponent to Liverpool from the

Since the Emirates FA Cup third round is the first one in the competition that Premier League teams participate in, it is both sides' first match in the tournament for 2022/23. Liverpool last played Monday night, when they lost a disappointing match to Brentford in London

Wolves last played Wednesday where they managed a 1-1 with in the EPL. The team from the Black Country is struggling mightily in the Premier League. They are currently in a relegation spot at 19th. 

Talking Points for the Third Round of the FA Cup

Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Liverpool lifted their 8th FA Cup back in May . Kostas Tsimikas scored the deciding penalty kick at Wembley over Chelsea to give Jürgen Klopp his first FA Cup. It was certainly the Reds' most significant achievement in the 2021/22 season. 

Now the defence of the Cup begins against a familiar foe. It's a less than 2-hour drive up the M6 from Wolverhampton. We should expect a large contingent of Wolves supporters in the stands at tomorrow night.

The loudest talking point going into this match, from a Liverpool perspective has to be the inclusion of Cody Gakpo. Klopp confirmed that the new Dutch forward will be available for the first time in Liverpool red. We will have to wait until the line-ups come out tomorrow to see if he's a starter. 

We believe he will start on the bench given Liverpool's track record with new signings. Even so, just having him available is a boost for a Liverpool team that needs one.

Virgil van Dijk was removed at halftime of the Reds' to . At the time, there was speculation that he was subbed off because of an injury. As this week went on, that was confirmed. Big Virg will miss a significant amount of time, perhaps up to a month, due to a hamstring injury. 

It is a potentially devastating blow to a Liverpool backline that has had its share of problems even when its best defender has been fit this season. Tomorrow's FA Cup match will allow Klopp to see if he can cobble together a line that will hold.

Can't Take Wolves Lightly

While Wolves are struggling in the Premier League, the FA Cup match gives them a break from trying to climb out of the relegation zone. No doubt new manager, Julen Lopetegui will be using this opportunity to get a better sense of his team.

We've all watched enough football to know you can't expect an easy against desperate teams and that's what the Wolves are. Liverpool will have to use every advantage they have, including 2 extra days of rest and the Anfield crowd to beat Wolverhampton.

Liverpool will know they shouldn't take the Wolves lightly, especially in this competition. The last two meetings in the FA Cup between the Reds and the Wolves have gone to Wolverhampton. The Wolves knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup in 2017 and 2019. 

LFC Globe Verdict

Once again Liverpool find themselves in a situation where they are looking to put Premier League disappointment behind them in a different competition. When the Reds were struggling in the EPL earlier in the season, they found traction in the Champions League.

Hopefully, they will similarly use this FA Cup match. It's hard to say what kind of side Klopp will put on the pitch tomorrow. Will it be full of youth or will he rely on his veterans?  There will be a new centre-half combination, and Jordan Henderson will be available after clearing the concussion protocols. 

You have to think the Reds will want to win this one for many reasons. First, to defend the prestigious FA Cup. Then, to put the Brentford game behind them. And finally, to have something positive to move forward with into .

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