Wolves.jpg vs 180px-Liverpool_FC.svg.jpg
Barclays Premier League
Date: Tuesday, 31 January
Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Kenny Dalglish is steering Liverpool in the right direction, but a run of one win in six league games has undermined their top-four challenge
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has a major midfield headache with Jamie O'Hara and Emmanuel Frimpong both injured, while Karl Henry starts a three-game ban.
Serbian Nenad Milijas is expected to deputise, with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake joining Steven Fletcher up front.
Liverpool could recall in-form striker Craig Bellamy after his brief FA Cup substitute appearance.
Charlie Adam and eventual match-winner Dirk Kuyt were also rested but look set to return to the starting line-up.
What a difference a week makes in football. After Liverpool's defeat at Bolton in their last league match Kenny Dalglish was as angry and frustrated as I've seen him since he returned as the Reds' manager, but then equally he was elated and passionate when he witnessed the two Anfield results in the cup competitions. It was the perfect response from his team and one he demanded.
Now they must try and replicate that form on a more consistent level in the Premier League if they are to try and make their target of a top-four finish a more realistic one. A run of just one win in six league games has increased that challenge for the months ahead.
I remember commentating on this exact fixture a little over a year ago, a game that produced Dalglish's first win of his second spell in charge. Fernando Torres scored twice, Raul Meireles once and Christian Poulsen played in midfield in a victory that moved Liverpool up to 11th, but much has changed since then. The progression is there for all to see but by Dalglish's own admission there is still plenty of work to do, and another performance or result like the one he witnessed at the Reebok Stadium would quickly wipe away all the cup euphoria.
This match is just as crucial to Wolves in their battle for survival. Eight Premier League games without a win has left them looking over their shoulder and they will have been using their empty weekend to analyse defensive matters. It's 19 games since they kept a clean sheet and the fact that they have conceded two or more goals in each of their last four matches at home will be an obvious concern.
You won't find a more honest manager than Mick McCarthy and he'll know they need to put some points on the board quickly, especially as they face fellow relegation candidates Queens Park Rangers, West Brom and Blackburn in the next month or so. Talk of his job being in danger seems ridiculous to me given the resources available. There has to be a sense of realism; if he goes on to keep Wolves up again that will be a major achievement. With that, and Liverpool's desire for a top-four finish, it could be a pivotal evening a Molineux.
Wolves have not beaten Liverpool in their last four home meetings (D3, L1). Wolves' last home victory over Liverpool was back in 1981.
Liverpool's 3-0 win at Wolves in this fixture last season was Kenny Dalglish's first triumph since his return as their manager.
The Reds beat Wolves earlier this season but haven't done the double over them since Dalglish was a player. They last achieved it in the 1978/79 season, when Alan Hansen's goal at Molineux secured a 1-0 victory after Liverpool had won 2-0 at Anfield.
Wolves have lost three of their last four home matches in the league (D1, L3).
They have not won any of their last eight league games. They had a similar run of eight without a victory earlier in the season but ended that with a win at home to Wigan.
Mick McCarthy's men have picked up 10 points from losing positions this term - the equal-most with Aston Villa.
Wolves are in the relegation zone but have scored the same number of league goals (25) as seventh-placed Liverpool.
Liverpool have lost their last two away league matches and have failed to win any of their last three in the league - their longest run without a victory so far this season. They have won just one of their last six matches.
The Reds have won more league matches away from home than at Anfield this season - although have earned fewer points on their travels.
Only leaders Manchester City have conceded fewer goals than Liverpool in this season's Premier League.
Craig Bellamy has scored four of Liverpool's last seven league goals and both of the Reds' most recent league wins have included goals from the Welshman.