Liverpool must keep their title hopes alive with a testing trip to take on Crystal Palace and their stingy backline. Here is a preview.
Crystal Palace and Liverpool will be renewing acquaintances for a fixture that always promises drama and excitement. It was a nil-nil stalemate the last time they faced off in the South of London in February 2023, and the Reds are now unbeaten in their previous six games with Palace, winning four and drawing the last two.
Furthermore, Liverpool’s last eight Premier League away games against Crystal Palace read an aggregate score of 22-6. This is very much a defence vs attack encounter, with one side looking to be rigid and the other attempting to break them down with a blistering array of goalscoring talent.
The Glaziers were dwindling towards mediocrity last term until Roy Hodgson sensationally returned from retirement to stir his beloved club to an exciting end to the campaign. They have lots to look forward to in 2023/24.
Crystal Palace beat Sheffield United in the opening game of the season through Odsonne Edouard’s goal, but Arsenal were able to get a slim victory at Selhurst Park on Matchday 2. A draw and a win against Brentford and Wolves set them off to a good start in the first four games.
Nevertheless, Aston Villa’s quickfire goals turned a defeat into a 3-1 win, but Palace steadied the ship somewhat with three consecutive clean sheets in the following games, which included scoreless draws at home to Fulham either side of a 1-0 win at Manchester United.
The other side of the October international break has not been kind to the Eagles, as a 4-0 thrashing at Newcastle was followed by another 2-1 loss to Tottenham. Yet, Hodgson’s men will look to bounce back before the hosting of Liverpool quickly.
Pertinently, Palace have a reasonably decent record at home, where they are tough to break down and will look to frustrate the Reds. The attacking depth available to Jurgen Klopp is simply incredible, and the hosts must be at their best to make it a frustrating evening for Liverpool.
The Merseysiders have been on a particularly spectacular run of performances this term and are now tipped to make a charge for the Premier League title.
Last season may have been disrupted by the many changes to the playing squad, but the Reds are back to their best after finishing out of the top four spots in 2022/23.
An opening draw against Chelsea pointed little in the way of a direction, but Liverpool were rewarded with maximum points in the next game when Bournemouth came visiting. They got another win on the board in incredible circumstances after conceding a goal and having a man sent off, yet Darwin Nunez struck twice late in the second half to turn the game on its head.
Although Aston Villa were dispatched 3-0, Liverpool displayed an appetite for thriving in chaos as they also beat Wolves after going behind early in the first period. The Reds saw off West Ham at Anfield. Still, the trip to the Tottenham Stadium led to one of the most significant talking points concerning officiation in the Premier League this season.
The Liverpudlians had two players sent off but also saw a legitimate goal ruled out for offside as they finally lost with the last kick of the game through Joel Matip’s own goal.
After playing out an eventful 2-2 draw against Brighton, they returned to winning ways in the league with a 2-0 victory in the Merseyside Derby thanks to Mohamed Salah’s brace.
Amidst a decent run of fixtures in the early weeks of winter, Liverpool will look to keep their momentum going, and a win at Crystal Palace will be par for the course.
The Reds have a history of cracking games against Crystal Palace, and given their resilient form this season, it won’t be surprising to see them come out of the blocks in South London.
This Premier League game is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 9 December, with kick-off set for 1:30 PM UK time. Tickets for the match are already on sale, but season ticket holders will be fine getting into the venue.
However, given that Selhurst Park can accommodate just over 25,000 people, many more fans will be desperate to watch this match as it is rarely ever a dull affair when Liverpool comes to town.
Hence, Crystal Palace vs Liverpool tickets will be highly sought after, but supporters may be lucky to buy their tickets for this match on a ticket resale site.
The home side has up to five first-team players recovering from injury, with Nathan Ferguson, Dean Henderson, Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze and James Tomkins all in the treatment room.
Meanwhile, young Brazilian forward Matheus Franca has finally made his Crystal Palace debut following an injury lay-off at the start of the season.
For Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic are out injured alongside youngster Ben Doak. Although the first two are expectedly close to making their returns, Jurgen Klopp will have to make do without his influential left-back after Andy Robertson underwent surgery on his shoulder.
The options at Roy Hodgson’s disposal dictate that there are few changes he can make to rotate an otherwise settled team backed up majorly by youngsters in reserve.
Will Hughes would continue to feature in midfield during the continued absence of Eberechi Eze.
Crystal Palace: Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Lerma, Doucoure, Hughes; Ayew, Edouard, Schlupp
Ryan Gravenberch has been in sparkling form in the red shirt of Liverpool and he will likely continue his role alongside fellow summer signings Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister in midfield.
The back five picks itself with Kostas Tsimikas replacing Robertson to join the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Trent Alexander-Arnold in the defence protecting Alisson Becker’s goal. The forward line is where there are question marks as two of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez are set to join Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Gravenberch; Salah, Nunez, Diaz
Liverpool are back to the title-chasing best, which spells danger for modest opponents such as Palace. The visitors will be hunting down the points that keep them in the top four while the Eagles must kick on from the indifferencies of last season.
Hodgson’s side must, therefore, be at their usual standards of solidity and maintaining team shape, while Klopp’s side will be looking to make this a goal-fest for their attackers.
Crystal Palace 0-3 Liverpool