The Premier League title race could be on the line when Liverpool take on Crystal Palace on Sunday. It makes this a must-win encounter for Jurgen Klopp and co. as they look to keep up the pressure on the defending champions.
Their opponents Crystal Palace are equally desperate for a win, though for very different reasons. With just 24 points on the board, the Eagles are dawdling on the wrong end of the table. Patrick Vieira’s men have had a mixed record so far this season and haven’t been consistent enough to truly fight for a place in the top half of the league table. They will look to change that with a win over Liverpool this weekend.
Crystal Palace Vs Liverpool Preview
Vieira usually likes to operate with a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-3-3 setup depending on the quality of the opposition. This time around, he could opt for a more conservative 4-3-3 with the three midfielders looking to break Liverpool’s rhythm and build-up play in the middle of the park, whereas the attackers will hope to exploit the pace left behind the opposition’s marauding fullbacks.
Liverpool head coach Klopp should persist with his tried and tested 4-3-3. His quick counter-pressing system has served him really well over the years and there should no exception this time around. However, with a squad slightly lacking in quality, the onus will be on the fullbacks to provide the usual creativity upfront for Roberto Firmino and Co.
Crystal Palace are missing James McArthur and James Tomkins through injuries, while Wilfried Zaha and Cheikhou Kouyate are participating in the Africa Cup of Nations. Vieira could make a few personnel changes from the side that drew with Brighton, as Jean-Philippe Mateta looks to replace Odsonne Edouard upfront.
Liverpool are missing their main attackers in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane due to AFCON. They are joined by Naby Keita (AFCON), Thiago Alcantara (hip), Divock Origi (knee) and Harvey Elliott (match fitness) in the club’s list of absentees heading into this clash.
Crystal Palace: Butland; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Milivojevic, Hughes; Ayew, Mateta, Schlupp
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Jones; Minamino, Firmino, Jota
Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool
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