Crystal Palace manager Frank De Boer’s start in England couldn’t get any tougher as they visit Anfield next after a shocking defeat to Premier League new boys Huddersfield Town last week. Although Palace had managed a win at the venue under Sam Allardyce last season, things are expected to be different this time.
Predicted 4-3-3 Crystal Palace Line-up vs Liverpool
Wayne Hennessey is expected to start under the bar once again. The Welsh goalkeeper doesn’t seem to have improved from last season. He ended up conceding 46 goals last term from 29 games and has already let in three times in the opening game against the Terriers.
Frank De Boer had got it all wrong in his first game of the season itself as his three-man defence crumbled like a house of cards against the newly promoted side, who were nowhere near the quality on paper as Palace. The Dutch gaffer’s appointment hasn’t gone down well among the fans and critics and his opening day result only strengthens their apprehensions.
Palace’s back three featured 20-year-old Jairo Riedewald and 19-year-old Timothy Fosu-Mensah starting alongside the experienced Scott Dann. And this has been their biggest problem going into a game in the Premier League. Every club fielding a three-man defence and executing it well has had three brilliant centre halves to absorb pressure throughout the game. Starting two inexperienced players with such a humungous task on their hands was a huge mistake.
We expect De Boer to fall back to a safe four-man back line with James Tomkins and Dann taking the central defence while Patrick van Aanholt and Joel Ward on the defensive flanks.
The two-man midfield is expected to be Luka Milivojevic and Jason Puncheon. In the duo, Palace have very disciplined and potential options in the midfield and if De Boer can use them effectively, as his predecessor Sam Allardyce did, Palace can fetch positive results and fast.
Puncheon has played in the number 10 position too, last season and could take the attacking midfield with Ruben Loftus-Cheek sitting deep with Milivojevic in the midfield.
Palace could see the return of James McArthur in the midfield, who didn’t take part in their last game loss as he was lacking match fitness. A similar case is with Yohan Cabaye, whose return would give the much-needed stability to the side in the attacking third.
The three-man attack should comprise of Lee Chung Young, Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend. The idea of playing Loftus-Cheek in the attacking third as a playmaker alongside Zaha was one of the worst ideas ever as it failed to bring out the best from either of them. And now with Zaha out for a month, things become more complicated for Boer.
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