LFC supporters started streaming toward the exits early, and they are clearly disapoointed with a lackluster performance from their club.
90′, Wolves 1-0: Officials indicate four minutes of extra time.
87′, Wolves 1-0: Anfield just exploded as it looked like Martin Skrtel had tied things after a free kick from Gerrard, but Skrtel was offside.
84′, Wolves 1-0: Steven Gerrard tries to find Fernando Torres in front of the keeper, but overshoots him by a few yards, resulting in another lost opportunity for Liverpool.
81′, Wolves 1-0: Ryan Babel brings it into the box, then looks for Joe Cole a few yards from the penalty dot, but instead finds a wide-open Wolves defender, and we’re headed back the other way.
73′, Wolves 1-0: More of the same for Liverpool offensively. That, of course, means more nothing.
Hodgson turns to the bench again, this time favoring Joe Cole for Raul Meireles. Will have to see if that makes any difference offensively.
Hodgson’s also gone to Fabio Aurelio for Paul Konchesky. Anfield seems to like that move. Konchesky’s mother likely doesn’t. Will have to check in on Facebook a bit later.
62′, Wolves 1-0: Roy Hodgson goes to his bench first. Ryan Babel is on to replace David Ngog.
56′, Wolves 1-0: Sotirios Kyrgiakos went up to try and head a ball, but mistimed his jump. Then, in his attempt to clear, he kicked it right to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. All the while, Stephen Ward was able to slip through the defense, and Ebanks-Blake offered up a perfect pass, and Ward was able to sneak it by Reina in the lower-left corner to give Wolves a 1-0 lead.
55′, 0-0: Nice diving save from Pepe Reinia keeps it scoreless as the teams continue to trade possession.
52′, 0-0: Gotta wonder what Roy Hodgson said at the half, but it seems to be working at least early on in the second half.
The LFC attack seems to be a little more pronounced, as evidenced by their most recent scoring bid.
Glen Johnson used some fancy footwork to get a centering pass to Ngog, but he was unable to get a solid shot off.
Hafltime 0-0: More guest analysis from Kevin Koczwara at TheSoccerGuys.com.
“Mick McCarthy has his Wolves side working hard on the ball and forcing Liverpool to play over the top of his defense, which isn?t working out well for Liverpool. Roy Hodgson needs to find another way through the Wolverhampton defense. His punt-and-pray tactic just doesn?t cut it.
McCarthy has his team pressing high and forcing Lucas to pass back to Pepe Reina in goal to clear the ball. McCarthy knows Hodgson isn?t willing to play players with any pace or width. Hodgson would rather settle for a mixture of players playing out of position and who don?t look comfortable.
By pressing Lucas, McCarthy has eliminated Liverpool?s ability to play through the midfield and out of the back. He knows his team can win the ball in the air. Gerrard has almost become obsolete in the build up because of the high pressure.
By doing this, McCarthy has eliminated the threat in wide spaces from Glen Johnson and Paul Konchesky. McCarthy knows Liverpool has no width without its marauding full backs pushing forward. Dirk Kuyt is a right-footed striker playing on the left side of the midfield. He wants to move more central into a more comfortable position. Raul Meireles is a box-to-box central midfielder (don?t know how many more times I can say that), and by putting him out wide, Hodgson has lost all the width on the right. He has put a player in an unfamiliar role he struggles with. Meireles is struggling to get into the game, and his passes and movement have been off.
For Liverpool to push ahead and get three vital points from the match, Hodgson will need to adapt. He may have to remove Ngog and put in Joe Cole to create in the midfield and help Torres get more space. Torres hasn?t seen nearly enough of the ball in space where he can run at defenders. Ngog has had the better of the chances in the central striker position, but his touch and creativity has let him down.”
39′, 0-0: Liverpool starting to tilt the pitch some, with a stronger offensive attack than the team has shown for really the whole match. Ngog’s strong boot finds a Wolves player in front, but the chances are slowly starting to mount for LFC.
Of course, no one would say that the Reds have taken this game over at all, but things look a little more promising now than they did early on.
34′, 0-0: Ngog is able to rifle a shot from outside the box, but it’s right at Hennessey, who grabs it casually for the easy save.
32′, 0-0: Wolves’ George Elokobi picks up a card for a foul on Lucas, who had Elokobi. Some protest from him, but they play on.
26′, 0-0: For a team literally at the bottom of the table, the Wanderers continue to gain possession, and in fact, they’re probably controlling that battle at the moment. They’ve got some quality looks and seem to be dictating the pace for now.
20′, 0-0: Steven Gerrard is making his presence back in the lineup felt early on. He made an agressive play defensively early on, and he just gave Liverpool another decent chance.
Coming down the right side, Gerrard tried to set up David Ngog with a long cross through the box, but the two are unable to connect, resulting in an LFC corner. They’re unable to connect, and Wolves are also unsuccessful in a corner attempt of their own thereafter.
15′, 0-0: Liverpool isn’t necessarily struggling with Wolves at the moment, but the Reds are allowing a bit of possession to the Wanderers.
Meireles has a collision with a Wanderer defensive player, but he seems to be OK as he is back up after a brief moment on the pitch.
10′, 0-0: By far, the best opportunity of the match early on belongs to Liverpool.
A misplay by ther Wolverhampton defense led to a golden opportunity for Raul Meireles, but Wayne Hennessey was able to make a nice stop to keep this match scoreless.
On the other hand, Wolves are awarded the corner kick, and it actually results in a near miss. The Wanderes had a chance for a shot on goal at pretty much point blank, but Pepe Reina may have been able to get a hand on it. Either way, the ball narrowly missed the crossbar and came to rest over the net.
4′, 0-0: Nice moment at Anfield prior to kickoff as Liverpool recognized the passing of two former Reds in Bill Jones and Avi Cohen.
The two sides have exchanged possessions early on, with no real favor in momentum for either side.
3 p.m.: Here’s how the two sides will start Wednesday’s fixture at Anfield, set to kick in just moments.
Pepe Reina (G)
Martin Skrtel (D)
Sotirios Kyrgiakos (D)
Paul Konchesky (D)
Glen Johnson (D)
Steven Gerrard (M)
Dirk Kuyt (M)
Raul Meireles (M)
David Ngog (F)
Fernando Torres (F)
Wayne Hennessey (G)
Christophe Berra (D)
Richard Stearman (D)
George Elokobi (D)
ROnald ZUbar (D)
Stephen Ward (M)
Kevin Foley (M)
Nenad Milijas (M)
Matthew Jarvis (M)
Stephen Hunt (M)
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (F)
Here is some guest analysis on those sides from Kevin Koczwara of The Soccer Guys.
“Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard return Wednesday for Liverpool?s match with Wolves. Both players are a major boost for Roy Hodgson?s team. The weather provided them with a perfect amount of time to recover after the last two games were called off because of snow and the cold. The congested schedule this week would have really hampered Gerrard’s and Torres’ bodies and forced them to miss time, probably.
Roy Hodgson will put out a 4-4-2 with David Ngog playing alongside Torres. Ngog may push out wide and let Kuyt and Gerrard fill the space behind Torres. Raul Meireles will push out wide to one side — not his natural position — with Lucas and Gerrard in the middle. Hodgson could play a 4-3-3 with a diamond in the midfield and Gerrard sitting in front of Lucas and Meireles. It would be nice to see Ngog playing centrally with Torres and Kuyt running into space behind him from wide positions.
For Liverpool to be successful, Glen Johnson and Paul Konchesky need to provide the width in the attack while backtracking into defense. Matthew Jarvis will pose the biggest threat on a flank, and Stephen Hunt will be Wolves’ outlet man moving forward. Gerrard should be able to expose Kevin Foley, a traditional defender, as he pushes into the midfield for Mick McCarthy.
Look for Hodgson to use Joe Cole off the bench if Liverpool?s midfield lacks creativity and can?t break down McCarthy?s tough tackling side. Fabio Aurelio could be Hodgson?s best option off the bench if Jarvis gives Konchesky a hard time on the left. Aurelio could come on as a wing back and give Liverpool a quality winger and a player who can track back and defend. Aurelio is one of the best set piece takers on Liverpool, and he can deliver great crosses into the box with his left foot.”
8 a.m.: It’s been awhile since the Reds have taken the field, but they’ll try and continue their march up the table on Wednesday when Wolverhampton comes to Anfield.
LFC’s two previously scheduled matches with Fulham and Blackpool were both postponed due to weather. So now, the Reds get what appears to be a highly favorable matchup with the lowly Wanderers.
The tilt likely will feature the long-awaited return of captain Steven Gerrard from a hamstring injury. He was set to play last week, but the weather postponements held off his return, giving him even more time to ready himself.
Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m., so be sure to check back then for more updates.