Nowhere to hide for Rafa if he can't keep the Wolves from the door
Similarly to Chelsea, Liverpool face one of the pre-season relegation favourites who are on great run while the Reds themselves are in terrible shape but are 1/4 to get back on track against 9/1 shots Wolves.
Rafa Benitez will be deeply aware that his side have won just four of their last 17 games in all competitions and in a game that would usually look like a guaranteed three points is now looking a potential banana skin as Wolves have won three of their last four with the defeat coming away at Old Trafford when fielding their second team.
Anfield is no longer the fortress that Liverpool had turned it in to as since their victory against Man Utd there, Liverpool have drawn with Birmingham and Man City then lost to Fiorentina and Arsenal with a narrow win against Wigan their only 3 pointer and they put in their worst performance of the season against struggling Portsmouth last week going down 2-0 which is worrying. Very worrying.
Wolves have absolutely nothing to lose and Mick McCarthy should be confident that his side can at least draw at 7/2. Kevin Doyle is in rude health with two in his last two and is 9/1 to net first with strike partner Sylvain Ebanks-Blake 10/1 while Nenad Milijas netted first last week and is 14/1 to do so again.
Liverpool have their shiniest jewel back in the shape of Fernando Torres who is 5/2 to open the scoring with Steven Gerrard and David N'Gog both 4/1 and Dirk Kuyt 9/2 while the home crowd will be hoping to get a proper glimpse of Alberto Aquilani and the Italian is 10/1 to instantly endear himself to the Kop with the opening goal.
Barring their win away at Tottenham in what turns out could be the result of a Robbie Keane led party, Wolves have a terrible away record and a draw probably is the best they can hope for but they will go down fighting and a Liverpool win by 1-0 at 5/1, 2-0 at 4/1 or 2-1 at 13/2 all look reasonable and the away side will be confident of at least scoring due to the Reds' suspect defence.
The prices for an away win do look on the large side with 1-0 at 20/1 and 2-0 at 66/1 with the former being worth a fiver of anyone's money as if Liverpool perform like last week then they could lose by any number of goals and 1-1 at 8/1 also looks on the large side.
Wolves have scored a staggering 71% of their goals after half time so may not come in to the game until late and this could reward backers of Wolves to come from behind and draw at 14/1 or even win at 25/1 while the second half to be the highest scoring at 19/20 looks a great bet.
Nothing short of a convincing win will temporarily appease the Anfield faithful but ploughing in to the home sides at long odds on could be a way to the poor house and assuming McCarthy fields a full strength team I can't resist a nibble on 2-0 Wolves at 66/1 and Liverpool know all about shock results so we could see another one on Boxing Day.
Those looking for a more certain bet should get involved in the second half having more goals at 19/20 with 1-0 Liverpool at 5/1 looking in the right area.
Win or lose this is one of the more uncomfortable Christmas' that Rafa Benitez has faced and if he loses this game then he may be getting handed a P45 as a belated present.
Second half the highest scoring half - 19/20
Wolves to win 2-0 - 66/1