Wolverhampton Wanderers beat tenacious Nottingham Forest last weekend thanks to a penalty from Ruben Neves, and Steve Cooper’s team maintained their newfound defensive resilience at the Amex, drawing 0-0 with Brighton on the South Coast.
Nottingham Forest have now gone eight games without a win in the Premier League, but they have managed to move off the bottom of the table and above Leicester City, who can send Cooper’s team down to 20th place again, with a good result against Leeds United later on Thursday.
Forest fans can take heart from the fact that six of their team’s seven top-flight goals have come at the City Ground this season, but a record of four points from five home games is the poorest in the division so far, and the clouds are slowly lifting for Liverpool.
While their injury woes aren’t going away anytime soon, Liverpool has scored first in their previous two games and held on for three points each time, much to the pleasure of fans who have become accustomed to watching their team concede early this season.
Darwin Nunez put up his best performance in a Liverpool shirt to date, putting a downward header beyond the reach of Lukasz Fabianski in the 22nd minute, but Alisson Becker was forced to save a Jarrod Bowen penalty shortly before the break.
West Ham fought valiantly but ultimately fell 1-0 at Anfield, mirroring Manchester City’s destiny, allowing Liverpool to move up to seventh place.
Nottingham Forest trio Jack Colback (back), Moussa Niakhate (thigh), and Omar Richards (calf) are all expected to miss out again, while Harry Toffolo picked up a hamstring just 17 minutes after coming on against Brighton in midweek and is also out.
Jesse Lingard’s starting spot is likely in jeopardy this week, with either Emmanuel Dennis or ex-Liverpool youngster Taiwo Awoniyi vying for a spot in the attacking line.
As for Liverpool, Jota will not be able to repeat his FA Cup triumph at the City Ground this time, as the Portugal forward has been ruled out of the World Cup due to the calf injury he incurred in the dying minutes against Manchester City.
As a result, Klopp’s options on the left are limited with Luis Diaz still out with a knee injury, while Arthur (thigh), Naby Keita (thigh), Joel Matip (calf) and Ibrahima Konate (muscle) are out of contention too.
The home side is not the favourite to win this context. Their odds stand at 12, while the possibility for the draw is 6.5.
With renewed form coming off from 1-0 victories over Man City and West Ham, the visitor are hot favourites to win this context.
Their odds stand at 1.29, and its hard to see that anyone would be surprised by that!
Maybe playing at home could help Forest a little bit, but even with that, this test against Liverpool is a mighty one!
One would have to be extremely brave to be putting their money on a Nottingham Forest win.
But stranger things have happened in the past!
Never forget, this is the Premier League.