Alan Pardew, another manager who divides opinion, brings his Crystal Palace side to Anfield on the back of a good start to the season, albeit more inconsistent in recent weeks. The Eagles have won two, drawn one, and lost three of their previous six, although they were unlucky not to beat Manchester United last weekend. On Sunday, at 4pm, Klopp’s side are looking to continue with their unbeaten run, and build on the victory over Chelsea last Saturday followed an impressive away win against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Sturridge still out, no return date set. Henderson is likely to return to training soon, but not for this match. Flanagan, Toure and Rossiter will miss the next few weeks; with Gomez and Ings out for the season.
Souare and Wickham are expected to return, but Chamakh is still out for the next couple of weeks; and Appiah is still a long term absentee.
Captain: Sakho, obviously.
Decided to try to predict Klopp’s starting line-up, rather than pick my own, and after resting Lallana, Lucas, Skrtel and Coutinho in Russia, you would expect they will return for the league match this weekend. Without any full-back cover, Clyne and Moreno will start again. Benteke started against Rubin Kazan, and after his goal and contribution against Chelsea, the Belgian will probably start his first league match under Klopp. At Stamford Bridge, Clyne and Moreno had average positions ahead of Lucas and alongside the midfield, indicating not only the high defensive line and counter-press, but also their attacking threat. This will be a must against a counter-attacking Crystal Palace, and pushing high stretches the play and offers space for Coutinho, Firmino and Lallana to open up pockets of space around the penalty area. Lucas will need to cover again, as will Can if the Eagles counter with pace; thankfully, both ‘full-wingers’ have excellent recovery pace, so can also track back if caught out.
According to Who Scored, the only strength Crystal Palace offer is the ability to protect a lead, which is harsh, but suggests if we can come out of the blocks quickly, get an early goal, stop them settling into a deep block, and force them to attack us, we could hammer them. If they stay compact, it might be a difficult afternoon, especially in terms of quality chances. Finally, we probably need to avoid taking a high volume of shots from outside of the area if we get frustrated. Patience might be the order of the day.
- Liverpool won five and lost none of the first seven Premier League meetings with Palace, but The Eagles have won three and lost just one of the last five.
- Crystal Palace have scored three goals in each of their last three Barclays Premier League meetings with Liverpool.
- Dwight Gayle has scored four goals in three Premier League appearances against Liverpool.
- Jordon Mutch has scored three goals in three Premier League appearances against Liverpool.
- Crystal Palace have won nine and lost just four of 13 Premier League away games since Alan Pardew was appointed as boss.
- Liverpool have won just two of their last six Premier League home games (W2 D2 L2).
- Crystal Palace have only scored four goals in their last seven Premier League matches and three of those have been Yohan Cabaye penalties.
- Christian Benteke has scored in the last 15 minutes of the match in three of his last four Premier League appearances for the Reds.
- James Milner has run further than any other player in the Premier League so far this season after 11 matchdays (134.7km).
- Lucas Leiva has made more tackles than any other player so far in 2015-16 (52).
- Source: StatsZone
Rubbish at these, so I’ll take the Mark Lawrenson approach – which is never something I thought I’d say – and go for the winner of all football predictions: 2-1, home win.