CRYSTAL PALACE VS LIVERPOOL: PREVIEW
Following the latest embarrassing defeat of this harrowing campaign, Liverpool now turn attentions towards the Premier League. The Reds travel to Crystal Palace hoping to back up successive league victories to truly ignite their top four hopes. Here’s the match preview.
Tuesday night was a chastening experience for all associated with Liverpool Football Club. Back to back league victories had managed to wash the taste of a pitiful 3-0 defeat at Wolves out of our collective mouths.
A rejuvenated Everton under Sean Dyche and a Newcastle side boasting the best defence in the league had been seen off with clean sheets to boot. The sight of Van Dijk, Jota and Firmino returning back to full fitness further boosted confidence among the ranks.
The mood ahead of the visit of Real Madrid was one of quiet optimism that a corner had been finally turned. 15 minutes into the encounter and we were in dreamland. Darwin and Salah had put the Reds 2-0 up against the side that nicked the Champions League trophy off us last May.
Anfield was rocking and all felt right with the world again. We were well and truly back. Then in the blink of an eye, Real pulled themselves level to end a breathless first half. What transpired in the second period was a capitulation of epic proportions.
It laid bare the weaknesses and cracks that had been papered over by the two wins. It was a good old fashioned hiding to go along with the ones we’ve already suffered at the hands of Napoli, Brentford, Brighton and Wolves this season.
Now, Jürgen Klopp must somehow manage to lift the morale of his men to face the task at hand tomorrow. A trip to Selhurst Park is difficult enough, but a trip to Selhurst Park under the lights, straight after a drubbing is an even trickier test.
Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace outfit aren’t in good form themselves though. The Eagles have failed to win any of their eight matches across all competitions since the turn of the year. They last tasted victory on New Year’s Eve when they beat Bournemouth 2-0.
They went close to victory last week but a 96th minute Vitaly Janelt equaliser denied them the precious three points. Palace find themselves in 12th place, six points clear of the drop and five points off the top half of the table. Considering they finished 12th last season, you could say they are right around where they should be.
Patrick Vieira has done an incredible job since taking over from Roy Hodgson. The Frenchman has completely changed the style of play and has put an emphasis on young players with speed and technical ability. Palace are a good side to watch even if they don’t always get the result they deserve.
In the corresponding fixture at Anfield back in August, Wilfried Zaha handed the visitors a first half lead on the counter attack. Darwin Nunez was then sent off on what was his home debut, before Luis Diaz scored a goal of the season contender to equalise second half.
Jürgen Klopp boasts an enviable record against the Londoners. He’s faced Palace on 15 different occasions (all in the Premier League), winning 12 and losing just twice. At Selhurst Park, his record reads 7 wins in 7, with his side scoring 22 goals and conceding just six times.
A 7-0 win in December 2020 remains the club’s biggest away victory in Premier League history. The Reds will be hoping to extend that perfect record tomorrow night. If results elsewhere goes well, victory could take Liverpool up to 6th, just 4 points off 4th placed Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs hosting Chelsea on Sunday.
Thiago Alcantara (hip), Luis Diaz (knee) and Calvin Ramsay (meniscus) remain on the sidelines. Ibrahima Konaté has resumed training following a spell out with a hamstring injury. The manager admitted there were a few knocks from Tuesday night but he didn’t provide any specifics.
For Crystal Palace, Sam Johnstone, Joel Ward and Nathan Ferguson are out injured. Wilfried Zaha has missed the last few games with a hamstring injury but has resumed training this week. A decision on his involvement will be made closer to kickoff.