Wolves vs Liverpool LIVE: Jurgen Klopp makes EIGHT changes following the Reds thumping defeat at the hands of Brighton, as they look to bounce back in their FA Cup third round replay at Molineux
Follow the action with Sportsmail’s live blog covering all of Tuesday’s FA Cup replays.
Wigan XI: Amos, Tilt, Whatmough, Hughes, Darikwa, Power, Naylor, Bennett, Aasgaard, Fletcher, Lang.
Subs: Jones, Nyambe, Edwards, McClean, Magennis, Adeeko, Sharif, Scully, Keane.
Luton XI: Horvath, Burke, Osho, Bree, Bell, Watson, Clark, Campbell, Doughty, Woodrow, Adebyo.
Subs: Isted, Potts, Lockyer, Cornick, Berry, Jerome, Mpanzu, Thorpe, Pettitt.
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Some pre-match reading
Everyone got their oranges? Good. It would not be a half-time team talk without those.
Most of the Premier League’s clubs have played 19 games. That means there are 19 to go and we have a big second half ahead.
Sportsmail asked me to deliver a team talk to each club. There will not be any Neil Warnock effing and blinding. But maybe I’ll go full Mike Bassett: England Manager and throw in words of wisdom from a few literary greats. So with my copy of Roger Hargreaves’s Mr Men by my side, here goes.
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Teams are out and warming up. Supporters are beginning to stream into the ground. Just under 30 minutes until kick-off.
Seven changes for Swansea from the weekend; none Nigel Pearson’s Bristol City.
Bristol City XI: O’Leary, Pring, Vyner, Atkinson, Tanner, Naismith, Scott, Wells, James, Sykes, Semenyo.
Subs: Bentley, Dasilva, Williams, King, Kadji, Bell, Taylor-Clarke.
Swansea XI: Fisher, Wood, Naughton, Cabango, Latibeaudiere, Congreve, Grimes, Sorinola, Cundle, Ntcham, Piroe.
Subs: Benda, Manning, Darling, McFayden, Cooper, Fulton, Allen, Cundle, Cotterill.
There should be plenty on Liverpool’s bench to change the game should they find themselves in trouble tonight. Mohamed Salah, for one. Though, he is not exactly in form.
Neither manager wanted a replay tonight, that is clear in as much as their team selections suggest so.
Across both teams, 15 changes from the sides that were put out over the weekend.
Klopp will be hoping his rather makeshift back four can defend a bit better than the one did on the weekend. He has also called on the rest of the team to aid his defenders, saying they are making the pitch too big when defending. There is air of Klopp’s last days with Borussia Dortmund about that fact – once the pressing system dies in that sense, it is very hard to recover. Not that he would publicly admit as much.
‘We have to be more compact,’ Klopp said.
‘The pitch looks too big when we are defending. You have to go back to basics and from there you can make steps.
‘We have to do some things slightly different and some things the same. All the success in football starts with solid defending and that’s what we have to do again.’
A quite significant number of changes from Klopp from the team that lost at the weekend. Eight in total. Lopetegui makes seven. It is clear where priorities lie.
Wolves: Sa; Lembikisa, Collins, Toti, Jonny; Hodge, Neves, Moutinho; Traore, Ait-Nouri, Jimenez
Liverpool: Kelleher; Milner, Gomez, Konate, Tsimikas; Bajcetic, Thiago, Keita; Elliot, Carvalho, Gakpo.
Something very romantic about Molineux under the floodlights. Innovators, to be fair to the club.
Klopp this week fired back at some of the criticism he’s recently received off the back of his team’s poor performances.
Jurgen Klopp has vowed there will be a summer of change at Anfield – but his departure from Liverpool will not be one of them.
Liverpool face Wolves in an FA Cup third round replay on Tuesday and the tie has assumed huge significance on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Brighton – who await the winners in round four – which Klopp described as the worst of his managerial career.
The German was in the mood to talk yesterday and, in what felt like a significant press conference, Klopp defended himself against criticism he is too loyal to players, insisted his squad are still listening to his message but admitted that Liverpool have lost the element of surprise to their game.
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‘They are one of the best teams in the world,’ Lopetegui said of his side’s opponents yesterday.
‘The quality of players, the coach, his history. I am sure they’re going to come here and look to do a big match.
‘The FA Cup is going to be an important aim for them and we have to fight to overcome them.’
Asked about potential new arrivals this month, the Spaniard remained tight-lipped but admitted that the club were looking around.
‘We will see,’ he said. ‘It’s true we have interest in some players, but when they are here and our players we can talk about them, and not before.’
Jurgen Klopp appears to have calmed down a bit following Saturday’s defeat. Time is a great healer and all that.
Losing a game in the way we lost it is already bad enough, but then facing all of you doesn’t make life better, to be honest! Not because the questions were especially bad or whatever – I understand all the questions, really – but just because directly after something like this, being in a situation [where] you give answers, is really, really difficult – believe me,’ he said.
‘Especially the answers people want to hear. Of course, two days after now, everything looks different. It doesn’t make the game better but obviously the next game is waiting, and that’s the good thing in our life that there’s always the next chance.
‘That’s what we are preparing for. The issues we had in that game were obvious and I explained it already, parts of it at least after, that we try to find a different organisation and that didn’t work out. In the end, it was not executed well enough, definitely, but there might be a reason for it that we didn’t explain it well enough. That’s it.’
When Julen Lopetegui was finally hired by Wolves on November 5, they sat 19th in the Premier League with a measly 10 points from their 14 games to that point. They had only scored eight goals – while they had already lost that many.
Two months on, and the picture is looking a lot rosier for Lopetegui’s side. They are now outside the drop zone on 17 points and their goal tally as swollen somewhat. There is clearly still work to do, but the performances have been much improved. Including away at Liverpool in the first attempted go at this tie.
In a not very surprising development prior to the first tie, Jurgen Klopp called for the abandonment of the Cup replay.
Klopp, who has made little secret of his dismay at the number of games in the English football calendar since his arrival in 2015, said that a solution needed to be found.
‘Yes, I was always [in favour of scrapping replays],’ he said.
‘The lifelines for small clubs cannot be massive problems for clubs who play every three days,’ he added. ‘We cannot solve all the problems by playing more games.
‘I know there is money involved and that’s how it is but you have to find solutions.
‘Nobody wants to kill the smaller clubs; they have exactly the same right for existence as all of us.’
Elsewhere this evening, there are five more FA Cup games taking place.
Boreham Wood, who secured a 1-1 draw at home a week and a half ago, travel to Accrington Stanley looking to repeat last year’s Cup run.
Forest Green host Birmingham City – though this is not a replay with the original tie having been postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch. It will go to a replay if drawn this evening.
Swansea host rivals Bristol City after their 1-1 draw first time around.
While Luton travel to Championship strugglers Wigan after also drawing 1-1 in the original tie.
Chesterfield, who almost produced the shock of the round only to be denied by a last-gasp West Brom equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw, head to the Midlands this evening looking to try and record the upset.
Hello and welcome to tonight’s live coverage of Wolves vs. Liverpool as well as updates from the other FA Cup replays taking place tonight.
Liverpool’s tie with Wolves at the beginning of this month threw up plenty of controversy, including a late disallowed goal that it later emerged VAR was not able to adjudicate upon because the cameras weren’t able to catch it!
As it is, that night finished 2-2 and we are at Molineux this evening where one of these two sides – be it in normal time, extra time or on penalties – will be exiting the FA Cup tonight.
A lot has been written and said about Liverpool’s form this season, with the club ailing some 10 points outside of the top four places and a further 19 back from the summit of the Premier League.
After their latest defeat on Saturday, where they went down 3-0 to Brighton on the south-coast, Jurgen Klopp said he struggled to remember a worse performance. Jordan Henderson also admitted the squad were suffering from a crisis of confidence.
Can they begin to turn it around tonight? Team news in around 30 minutes.
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