Crystal Palace welcome Liverpool to Selhurst Park on Saturday evening as they contest their FA Cup fifth round match.
Palace have enjoyed a good record at home to Liverpool since their return to the Premier League. Last season, they were able to come from 3-0 down and draw with the Reds, effectively ending their chances of winning their first league title in 24 years. Earlier this season, they defeated Liverpool 3-1 in a game that saw them dominate the visitors. They will be hoping for a similar performance this weekend.
Liverpool have bad memories of Selhurst Park but Colin Pascoe has promised that the team are looking to forget those experiences by winning this game. Since their defeat to Palace, the Reds have looked more like the team of last season and are currently on a great run of form. They defeated Tottenham 3-2 during the week, a game that saw Mario Balotelli score his first league goal for the club. Liverpool are on a high just now and will be desperate to advance to the quarter finals.
Scott Dann could return to action for Palace this weekend provided he can pass a late fitness test. Mile Jedinak will not be back until next week at the earliest however as he is still trying to recover from an ankle injury.
Lucas Leiva is unavailable for the Reds with an injury that will keep him out for four weeks at least. Steven Gerrard could also miss this game and next week’s league game against Southampton with a hamstring injury he picked up against Tottenham, while Raheem Sterling will have to prove his fitness if he is to play any part this weekend.
- Crystal Palace are undefeated against Liverpool in their last two games at Selhurst Park.
- Palace have already defeated the Reds 3-1 this season.
- Alan Pardew was the manager of West Ham in the last FA Cup final that Liverpool won.
- Since their league defeat to Crystal Palace, Liverpool have lost just one of their 13 league games.
- The Reds have kept seven clean sheets in this time.
- Liverpool have won the FA Cup seven times, most recently in 2006.
Crystal Palace – Joe Ledley
Ledley has been one of Palace’s best players this season and has made 21 appearances in the league. He has scored two goals and according to Squawka.com, he has created 18 chances for his team mates although none of these have resulted in assists. The Welshman has completed 583 passes in the league which gives him an 80% passing accuracy, with a third of these passes going forward. Ledley contributes to Palace’s defensive play as well, being involved in an average of five defensive actions in every league game he has been involved in. Most of these have been clearances but he has also made 45 interceptions in defence. He has only made two errors in defence which is great considering how often he has been involved in this area of the pitch. Ledley could have a big part to play against Liverpool.
Liverpool – Emre Can
After sitting out for much of the first half of the season, Can has since become an integral part of Liverpool’s defence and is a player that the fans are quickly beginning to love. He has played in each of their last eight league games and in the FA Cup as well. He has completed 439 passes in the league, meaning he has a passing accuracy of 83%. The German has been successful in 56% of the duels he has been involved in, winning 24 of the 41 headed duels he has fought for. He has also successfully taken on opponents 17 times, giving him a success rate of 74%. Like Ledley, Can has been involved in an average of five defensive actions in every game he has played. He has not made any errors so far, contributing to the five clean sheets Liverpool have kept in his last eight league appearances. In Gerrard’s absence, Can could move into midfield but Palace will still have to find some way of getting past him.
This could be a tough game for both sides. Palace have not been in the best of form and Liverpool have some injuries to key players, however I think the Reds will keep their momentum going and win the game 2-0.