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Liverpool vs. Wolves Preview and Game Thread: No Game Is A Must Win, But...

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I am praying that this man will start for us tomorrow.
I am praying that this man will start for us tomorrow.

Liverpool started the season getting 7 points from the first 3 games. Since then, however, an international break hit and the teams form has dropped, gaining no points from the matches at Stoke and Tottenham. But it's not the end of the world yet. Liverpool are currently in a run of 4 games which they got 0 points last year (Stoke, Tottenham, and Everton away, and Wolves at home). If Liverpool are able to salvage this run of games with 3 points vs. Wolves and 3 at Everton, the losses to Stoke and Tottenham would be much easier to handle.

With Steven Gerrard and Martin Kelly fit to play, and Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel back from suspension, Liverpool are fortunate not to have many injuries. The most notable absentee will, of course, be Daniel Agger. Given the poor form of Jamie Carragher currently, this is far from ideal, but under Dalglish, Liverpool were still able to win many games without Agger last year. Sebastian Coates will be the sole beneficiary of this injury, as he will move from 4th choice CB to 3rd choice. He's looked solid, if unspectacular, so far, with perhaps his biggest error being a bad pass at Brighton. But as he's a 20 year old CB coming from the Uruguayan league and thrown into games at Tottenham and Brighton, I think he's done fine so far and has plenty of room to improve.

The selection for tomorrow's game may be the toughest so far. A back 4 of Kelly - Skrtel - Carragher - Enrique seems a given, as does the selection of Lucas in front of them, but the rest is a mystery. If Gerrard is deemed fit enough to start (which I hope he will be, but realistically doubt), it seems likely he will partner Lucas in the midfield. If not, look for Charlie Adam or Jordan Henderson in this position. Craig Bellamy has been in great form for us, but has stated before that he doesn't feel comfortable playing more than one game a week due to his age and prior injuries. I don't expect him to start, but I can see Stewart Downing, Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez behind Andy Carroll. If Kenny decides to bench Carroll again, Maxi Rodriguez should hopefully take the left wing position with Bellamy or Suarez up front.

Meanwhile, Wolves have had the game start to the season as Liverpool, gaining 7 of 9 points to start, before losing their next 2 games (and winning 2 League Cup games in the process). Steven Fletcher, the Wolves striker, will return from a groin injury for this game to strengthen their attack. Winger Matt Jarvis will likely also provide much of the danger to Liverpool. But despite some threats, Wolves are still a team that will likely be fighting to avoid regulation at the end of the season.

With 38 games for each team in the Premier League, it's very hard to consider one in particular, especially against Wolves, to be a "must win." But this game comes close. The teams currently in third and fourth, Chelsea and Newcastle, have 10 and 9 points respectively. Everton are a spot ahead of us in 7th, with equal points but a game in hand. Tottenham only have 6 points, but also have a game in hand (against Everton). We need to start separating ourselves from the rest of the pack and climbing up the table. It would take some luck to get us back at 4th after this week, but 3 points from this game would go a long way to making sure we are playing in the Champions League next year.

The game starts at 3pm BST or 10AM EST and is on and Fox Deportes in the United States.