Premier League Preview – Liverpool
After the debacle on opening day, Palace travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the Premier League, a venue that has been kind to the South London side in recent years.
It has been a difficult week for fans of the Eagles with news that enigmatic winger Wilfried Zaha will be missing for up to four weeks after suffering injury in the defeat to new boys Huddersfield Town.
The absence of Zaha will offer an opportunity to a fringe player or even for an academy player to make the step up. There is no doubt Palace will miss the pace and trickery of the talented Zaha but fans will be just as concerned to see how the new formation fares against a high pressing Liverpool side.
The hosts enter this fixture off the back of a good away win in the Champions League against 1899 Hoffenheim and they will be keen to make up for snatching a draw from the jaws of a win in their opening day trip to Watford.
A trip to Hong Kong in pre-season saw the two sides meet in the Premier League Asia Trophy which the Reds won 2-0 with goals from Dominic Solanki and Divock Origi. Liverpool went on to take the trophy with a 2-1 win over Leicester City in the final.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Wilfried Zaha (knee), Bakary Sako (muscle), Connor Wickham (knee) and Pape Souare (leg) will not feature.
LIVERPOOL – Adam Lallana (thigh) and Adam Bogdan (knee) continue to miss out while Daniel Sturridge (thigh), Philippe Coutinho (back) and Nathaniel Clyne (hamstring) are all doubts.
The last time these two sides met was at Anfield in April. The hosts took the lead courtesy of a stunning free kick by Philippe Countinho but Christian Benteke pegged them back with a fine equaliser. The former Liverpool striker had the last laugh against his old team by scoring a second with less than twenty minutes left to play to ensure the Eagles returned to South London with all three points.
Who Scored man of the match – Christian Beneteke (8.5)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 23/04/2017 Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 29/10/2016 Crystal Palace 2-4 Liverpool
- 06/03/2016 Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
- 08/11/2015 Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 16/05/2015 Liverpool 1-3 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 12/08/2017 Crystal Palace 0-3 Huddersfield Town
- 21/05/2017 Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
- 14/05/2017 Crystal Palace 4-0 Hull City
- 06/05/2017 Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace
- 29/04/2017 Crystal Palace 0-2 Burnley
Last FIVE results for Liverpool;
- 15/08/2017 1899 Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool
- 12/08/2017 Watford 3-3 Liverpool
- 21/05/2017 Liverpool 3-0 Middlesbrough
- 14/05/2017 West Ham United 0-4 Liverpool
- 07/05/2017 Liverpool 0-0 Southampton
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Roberto Firmino 7.89
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek 7.51
- Emre Can 7.44
- Patrick van Aanholt 7.33
I joined the excellent Hari Sethi on the Anfield Index Preview Podcast to discuss all things Palace ahead of the trip to Anfield.
— AnfieldIndex (@AnfieldIndex) August 16, 2017
IN – Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Jairo Riedewald (Ajax), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Manchester United)
OUT – Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
IN – Mohamed Salah (Roma), Dominic Solanki (Chelsea), Andrew Robertson (Hull City)
OUT – Andre Wisdom (Derby County), Ryan Fulton (Hamilton), Lucas Leiva (Lazio), Kevin Stewart (Hull City), Pedro Chirivella (Willem II – loan), Connor Randall (Hearts – loan), Taiwo Awoniyi (Royal Excel Mouscron – loan), Shamal George (Carlisle United – loan), Sheyi Ojo (Fulham – loan)
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – El Mokawloon, Basel, Chelsea, Fiorentina (loan), Roma
The 28 year old Egyptian signed for the Reds in the summer from Roma for a fee that could rise up to around fifty million Euros. The transfer eclipsed the previous club record of £35million that was spent on Andy Carroll in 2011.
Having failed to impress at Chelsea after signing from Basel in 2014, he headed for Serie A with loan spells at Fiorentina and Roma before signing permanently for the latter in 2016. The pacy winger has rarely stayed long at any club having not exceeded fifty appearances for any club he has played for. He represented his country and youth level and to date has 53 full international caps and scored 29 goals.
Final league position – 5th
Last season was effectively a free hit for Liverpool to challenge for a place in the Champions League which they were successful in doing. This season could be very different with the likelihood that they will qualify for the group stage meaning the additional games that will be added to their fixture list may end up hindering any potential title challenge, or even a top four finish. Regardless, this season is very difficult to predict, particularly the top places with most of the usual suspects doing good business in the transfer window. Challenging on several fronts will be a real test this season but the potential loss of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona would be a huge blow.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Scott Taylor’s prediction (see link below) – home win
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 1/3
- Draw – 4/1
- Away – 8/1
- Both teams to score – 8/11