Liverpool’s form against Crystal Palace is a curious thing; four consecutive away wins against the Eagles but have lost three of their last four at Anfield. We all know about ‘Crystanbul’, where Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool had their Premier League dream crushed for good after throwing away a 3-0 lead. Palace are a side who have got the better of Liverpool a number of times over the years.
Jurgen Klopp’s first away game takes them to South London – on the back of a crushing 4-0 win over West Ham – to further prove to the Premier League they can be genuine title contenders. While Klopp’s Liverpool have been about goals, goals, goals over the last couple of years, the arrivals of Alisson and Fabinho will give his side a more study look to them.
I’ll never forgive him for Euro 2016, but Roy Hodgson worked wonders to keep Palace up last season, while turning his side into an incredibly resilient outfit. Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins still haven’t lost when starting at centre-back together, and Hodgson will set up extremely defensively so not to be blown away by Liverpool.
They showed they could defend well in their 2-0 win at Fulham, keeping a clean sheet despite the hosts having a number of clear-cut chances. Even Wayne Hennessey played well!
Liverpool should still win this – they look genuinely terrifying going forward – but it won’t be a walkover like against West Ham. Liverpool to win by one goal is my most likely outcome.
A slight variation on my first tip, but one which is a definite possibility. Palace have scored against Liverpool in their last six meetings at Selhurst Park, and with the x-factor of Wilfried Zaha in their side – fresh from signing a new contract with the Eagles – will be out to extend that run.
Despite their fantastic transfer window business, Liverpool still have to convince me that they have totally eradicated the defensive frailties they have become so notorious for. Joe Gomez will be in for a tough match, partnering Virgil Van Dijk in the absence of Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan.
Goalkeeper Alisson will be in for a much busier evening than against West Ham – particularly aerially with the likes of Christian Benteke or Alexander Sørloth on the pitch – and the Zaha element might be enough for Palace to breach his defences.
Liverpool to win and both teams to score is perhaps an even more likely outcome than my first tip.
Following his brace against West Ham, I’m backing Sadio Mane to repeat the trick and score again for Liverpool on Monday. He’s great value to find the net against Palace, and when Liverpool are involved in matches, there are always goals.
They may have weathered Fulham’s storm, but they’re in for a far bigger challenge when Liverpool come to town.
Mane scored against Palace home and away last season, so he has previous against the Eagles. Mane to score is my final tip of this preview.