Venue – Selhurst Park, London
Referee – Kevin Friend
Date & Time – Saturday, November 23rd @ 15:00
Current Odds – Crystal Palace 6/1, Draw 7/2, Liverpool 2/5
While Selhurst Park has been a happy hunting ground in the last couple of years for Liverpool, fans only need to think back as far as 2014 to remember how dreams can be ruined in South London. Don’t take anything for granted until the points have been well-and-truly won.
Crystal Palace Form
After a decent start to the 2019/20 campaign, Crystal Palace have now gone four games without a league win, slipping to 12th in the process. However, with only four points separating 5th place from 16th, Roy Hodgson knows another couple of victories will get his side right back up into the top half of the table, possibly pushing for a top-six finish.
Form? Liverpool have lost just one of their last 51 Premier League fixtures, drawing 7 and winning the other 43 games. It’s simply unheard of in English football. The Reds have won six on the trot in all competitions since drawing 1-1 with United at Old Trafford in October.
Just before the international break, Jurgen Klopp’s Redmen beat Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield to take a 9-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side at the top of the table. They are 8 points clear of Leicester City and Chelsea.
Crystal Palace Team News
Joel Ward is a major doubt for Saturday’s game after picking up a recent groin injury. Wilfried Zaha is nursing an ankle problem but I expect him to make Palace’s starting eleven for this game.
Crystal Palace have no players suspended for this game.
Roy Hodgson has been deploying his team in a 4-5-1 shape in recent weeks with the hope of congesting the midfield more and not allowing teams to play through them so easily. With the pace of Townsend and Zaha on the wings, that is how Palace attempt to get support up to Jordan Ayew in attack.
Former Reds defender Martin Kelly is likely to feature at right-back in place of the injured Joel Ward.
Liverpool Team News
Mohamed Salah, Joel Matip and Nathaniel Clyne are all out of this game through injury. Salah and Matip should be fit to return to action in the next couple of weeks. Clyne is out until February at least.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Andrew Robertson are all expected to be available for selection this weekend.
I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be given a start at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Gini Wijnaldum played a lot of football over this break, culminating in his hat-trick scoring performance on Tuesday night in the Netherlands’ 5-0 win over Holland. Wijnaldum could be on the bench for some recovery time on Saturday giving Oxlade-Chamberlain the chance to show what he can do in his place.
Divock Origi should replace Salah up front with Sadio Mané switching to the right, allowing Origi to play on the left.
Crystal Palace XI (4-5-1) – Guaita; Kelly, Tomkins, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Townsend, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha; Ayew
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mané, Firmino, Origi
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool have won the last four Premier League clashes between the two sides with Palace’s last victory against The Reds coming at Anfield in April 2017.
The last time Crystal Palace beat Liverpool at Selhurst Park was a 3-1 win in November 2014. Rickie Lambert gave Liverpool an early lead but goals from Dwight Gayle, Joe Ledley and Mile Jedinak gave The Eagles all three points.
Last season, Liverpool won 2-0 at Palace with goals from James Milner (penalty) and Sadio Mané.
Crystal Palace 1 – 3 Liverpool
It’s always a little bit hard to predict how teams will fare when returning to action after an international break. Liverpool only managed a sluggish 1-1 draw at Old Trafford after the October break. It’s important The Reds hit the ground running again domestically as they can build on that fantastic 3-1 win over Manchester City last time out.
Palace are without a win in four and I expect Liverpool to take all three points on Saturday.