Liverpool V Wolverhampton at Anfield : Match Preview

23 September 2011 04:32
Dalglish: Club is bigger than an individual.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's return from injury briefly deflected the spotlight away from striker Andy Carroll but manager Kenny Dalglish knows it is bound to return.

The club's £35million record signing has yet to score in five Barclays Premier League appearances - three of which have been starts - with his only goal so far coming against League One Exeter in the Carling Cup.

Carroll was left on the bench in midweek for the fourth-round tie at Brighton and with Craig Bellamy, Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt combining well together it only prompted more questions about how the England international fits in to Liverpool's pass-and-move approach.

In fairness to Carroll he was one of the nine men who had to play the full 90 minutes in the 4-0 runaround Tottenham gave them at last weekend and probably warranted a rest. And Dalglish put little significance by his decision to rest his record signing, although he now has a selection dilemma for the visit of Wolves.

"Andy is a professional footballer who understands what goes on in football," said the Reds boss. "He worked really hard at Tottenham. It was a bad performance and a bad day for us. "We don't have a team, we have a squad. There will be times when someone will play and others won't.

"Sometimes you'll be lucky and sometimes you'll be unlucky. "But the football club is more important than one individual - including myself. "I'm sure the players realise that. Although there will be a disappointment if you aren't playing, I think there's an understanding as well." Dalglish has to decide whether Gerrard is ready to start after less than 20 minutes' pitch time in midweek.

He will welcome the return to fitness of Martin Kelly though as right-back Glen Johnson is still out with a hamstring strain and Martin Skrtel, out of his depth against Gareth Bale, is likely to take over from Daniel Agger, who has a broken rib, in his more familiar central position.

Meanwhile, Wolves manager Mick McCarthy admits he loves being a footballing giant-killer as his team look to topple Liverpool at Anfield for a second successive season. But McCarthy knows there will have to be a vast improvement on his team's showing in their last league outing against QPR six days ago.

McCarthy is aware Liverpool are a more potent force now than when Stephen Ward's goal earned Wolves a shock 1-0 success on Merseyside last December, but insists he is not envious of the greater resources Dalglish has at his disposal. He said: "I've enjoyed competing against people with far greater resources all through my career as a player and a manager.

"We'll go up there and try to upset the applecart and keep being a thorn in everyone's side if we can. "Winning at Anfield was one of our best results of the season - never mind just away from home. "They slapped us 3-0 in the return so they kind of made up for it.

I'd love to have a similar result to what we had at Anfield but they have been playing well. "It was a difficult game for them at the weekend when they had a couple of players sent off [in Sunday's 4-0 defeat] at Tottenham. "But they have got some fabulous players and started the season superbly." Wolves skipper Roger Johnson and striker Steven Fletcher will both be available to McCarthy after thigh and groin injuries.

Liverpool V Wolverhampton - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.

Source: DSG