This Sunday sees an intriguing match up between an in form reds, and an exciting Crystal Palace team. Patrick Vieira’s south London side sit an impressive 11th in the Premier League, with the transition from boring strugglers to an entertaining mid table outfit, ever continuing.
After a draw away to Brighton, the Eagles will be eager to test themselves against Jurgen Klopp’s 2nd placed Liverpool. James McArthur and James Tomkins remain sidelined through injury, and both talisman Wilfred Zaha and Cheikhou Kouyate are away on AFCON duty. Jordan Ayew may well return from injury to make the bench.
Palace will hope to name an unchanged side, with a formidable front three of Eberechi Eze, Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise. The midfield of Jeffrey Schlupp, Will Hughes and Conor Gallagher will look to match Liverpool in midfield, with the same defence deployed to halt the reds attack.
Liverpool will be bouncing back into the capital, after their midweek cup win at Arsenal. Ibrahima Konate will surely start alongside Virgil Van Dijk, with their starting fullbacks providing continuous width. The midfield will see Fabinho flanked by skipper Jordan Henderson, and either Curtis Jones or James Milner. In attack, in form Diogo Jota will be joined once more by Bobby Firmino, and either Kaide Gordon or Taki Minamino.
Palace may well look to outwork Liverpool, in the knowledge of the reds League Cup exertions. Liverpool will once more be hoping that Trent Alexander-Arnold can orchestrate their patterns of attacking play, and overwhelm the Palace rearguard. With upto 8 players still missing (through AFCON & injury), this next game will surely see Klopp put out as strong a line up as possible.
Palace have much to play for, with an inconsistent group above them, meaning the chance of a top half finish is more than feasible. Liverpool need to win, and apply as much pressure to table topping Manchester City. The game will be an entertaining affair, with both hard working and skillful operators throughout each side. The defence and solidity of the visitors may just edge the game, and allow enough assurance to the forwards in what will be a tight affair.
Patrick Viera is the Leagues outstanding young manager, and these occasions will how he can build up his stock further. Liverpool will need to be cautious, and look to overload the ageing Joel Ward. Diogo Jota will be a keen watch on the left of the reds attack, and containing his runs could be pivotal to the home sides chances.
For Palace, Odsonne Edouard is the keen finisher that will look to exploit Liverpool’s high line, and keeping tabs on this impressive striker will take all of Virgil Van Dijk’s attention. If Liverpool can withstand an inevitable early surge by the home side, they should have enough quality and control to take the points.
Player to watch – Trent Alexander-Arnold
Crystal Palace 0 – 2 Liverpool