25 min: Wolves are really lacking a presence up front – fair to day that Jimenez is being missed at the moment.
23 min: A lovely turn from Firmino in the box but he can’t find Mané with his pass.
22 min: A bit of 80s Wimbledon vintage from Liverpool: Van Dijk pings a long ball onto the head of Mané. He nods down to Salah, who connects well with his volley but it’s straight at Patricio.
20 min: Jota does well to hold up the ball in the Liverpool area but the visitors are struggling to get numbers forward.
19 min: A Wolves attack founders and Salah slaloms away with defenders trying to keep pace. He squares to Firmino, who cuts inside but his effort is deflected into the grateful hands of Rui Patricio.
17 min: Firmino seems to be playing a little deeper than usual with Salah and Mane narrower and further forward than usual.
15 min: Salah pressures Vinagre into conceding a corner. It’s taken quickly and drops very nicely to Wijnaldum, but the Dutch midfielder hammers his effort well over the bar. Decent chance that.
14 min: Vinagre gets in the way of Lallana’s cross as he and Salah look to create something down the right again.
12 min: Salah gets in behind after a one-two with Lallana and Wolves bodies are flung in the way as he skitters across and attempts to shoot. The flag is up anyway and Wolves get the chance to clear.
10 min: Already there’s that sense that it’s not if but when for Liverpool. Though in fairness that Salah chance is all they really have to show for the opening 10 minutes.
7 min: Neto gets his foot on the ball for the first time and looks to run past Gomez. The defender gets across but can only concede a corner …
5 min: Alexander-Arnold’s ball forward is nodded away by Coady, who came through at Anfield before heading off in search of first-team football.
4 min: It should be 1-0! Alexander-Arnold is fed by Lallana on the right. He has oceans of space and crosses low to Salah, who diverts the ball over the bar from close range.
2 min: Salah gets some space on the left of the Wolves box and dinks a cross towards the back post. Alexander-Arnold, thundering in, makes a decent contact but it’s straight into the nearest defender. Confident start from the home side, though, as you’d expect.
1 min: “Champions of the world!” sing the home fans as the Liverpool back four stroke the ball between them.
PEEP! Off we go then, Wolves kicking towards the Kop in the firs half. By the by, the visitors have had to make a late change on the bench: Cutrone is ill so 21-year-old Danish defender Oskar Buur is among the subs in his stead.
Click-clack, click-clack … the players are in the tunnel, Liverpool with their new golden World Club Champions badge proudly on their chests.
Here’s some pre-match managerial thoughts on the lineups:
Jurgen Klopp: “We thought about changes but it was not really possible. Shaq would have started but he was not available.”
Nuno on the four changes he has made: “No matter who is inside the pitch we are always confident we can compete with the best.”
History is against an upset this afternoon:
Some pre-match reading:
And, nothing to do with this game, but I want also to draw your attention to David Hills’s brilliant alternative sports awards:
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Salah, Firmino, Mane. Subs: Adrian, Milner, Keita, Origi, Jones, Elliott, Williams.
Wolves: Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Kilman; Jonny, Neves, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Vinagre; Jota, Neto. Subs: Ruddy, Doherty, Jimenez, Cutrone, Saiss, Traore, Otasowie.
So it looks like four changes and 3-5-2 for Wolves.
Hello all. And welcome to coverage of an awkward junction on Liverpool’s not-particularly-busy four-lane motorway to the title. But such is Liverpool’s lead now at the top of the table that the championship almost isn’t the issue any more.
Can Jurgen Klopp’s side can they go through the season unbeaten? Can they set a record points tally? And, this afternoon, can Wolves take a step towards crashing the Champions League party?
Kick off is 4.30pm GMT and the team news is so close you can almost touch it.