Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool Predictions, Match Insights and Lineups
Midweek, the Reds crushed Sheffield United 2-0 to sour Chris Wilder’s return to Sheffield United, and frustration in the capital increased as Palace fell to Bournemouth by the same score.
Selhurst Park is currently lacking in Christmas spirit after a depressing home loss to Bournemouth. Roy Hodgson’s team was jeered off the field, and the veteran coach was reportedly the target of a bottle hurled from the bleachers.
After the halftime whistle, Marcos Senesi and Kieffer Moore each scored a header to condemn Palace to their third loss in their previous four games during a terrible winter. Hodgson then blasted away at the “spoiled” Palace supporters, many of whom made their way out of the stadium as soon as Moore’s header went in.
The Eagles, who often lie contentedly in mid-table mediocrity, are sleepwalking towards the danger zone in 14th place in the standings with only one point from their previous four Premier League games. Nevertheless, a nine-point margin still separates them from Everton.
The hosts have not fared well in recent weeks due to a wave of untimely injury issues, but speculation about Hodgson’s future is never-ending, particularly with Steve Cooper seemingly being groomed to succeed him at Nottingham Forest and rumoured to be close to the job.
As Palace look to snap a five-game losing streak at Selhurst Park, where their past three meetings have resulted in losses, Hodgson can only concentrate on his training ground drills for the time being. However, the home supporters will probably travel to Selhurst on Saturday with hope rather than expectation.
In the wake of Paul Heckingbottom’s inevitable resignation, Sheffield United’s Chris Wilder was welcomed back to Bramall Lane, but he faced a true baptism of fire against a title-chasing Liverpool crop. Hodgson may be nearing the end of his second stint at Palace.
The five goals they gave up to Burnley would never happen again, but Liverpool managed to cross the finish line thanks to goals from Dominik Szoboszlai in the second half and Virgil van Dijk, leaving them just two points behind leaders Arsenal as the 15th game of the season approached.
This weekend’s action begins with Liverpool and Palace. A victory for the Reds would vault them to the top for at least a few hours. Arsenal will have a chance to respond at 3pm against Aston Villa, but a shock defeat to Palace puts Jurgen Klopp’s team in danger of falling behind the Lions.
Liverpool, who travel to Selhurst Park looking for a fourth straight victory in all competitions, had a routine victory over Sheffield United, which was the ideal counterbalance to their chaotic 4-3 thumping of Fulham.
The Reds also recorded their first Premier League away clean sheet of the year by holding out the Blades.
Liverpool’s defence similarly avoided damage at Selhurst Park in February, but Palace managed to hold out for a point in a scoreless draw that day and also achieved a 1-1 draw at Anfield last summer, which halted the Eagles’ 10-game losing streak to their esteemed opponents.
Crystal Palace Premier League form:
L W L L D L
Liverpool Premier League form:
W D W D W W
Liverpool form (all competitions):
L W D W W W
Tyrick Mitchell, a left-back, has taken up residence in the Crystal Palace medical bay. He played just 29 minutes against Bournemouth before leaving the game due to a muscle strain, which will probably prevent him from playing on Saturday.
Before the Eagles’ loss to Bournemouth, they received the worst news possible regarding Cheick Doucoure: the Mali midfielder, who has been linked to a move to Liverpool, has indeed torn his Achilles tendon and could miss the remainder of the campaign.
Doucoure and Mitchell have company in the treatment room in the form of Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (thigh), Rob Holding (ankle), Dean Henderson (thigh), and the lively Eberechi Eze (ankle); Nathaniel Clyne, a former Liverpool defender, could take Mitchell’s position.
Regarding the current Liverpool crop, Argentinian striker Alexis Mac Allister lost his life shortly before the hour mark due to a knee injury he sustained during the early going in the team’s victory over Sheffield United.
After the match on Wednesday, Klopp also broke the heartbreaking news that Joel Matip had torn his ACL and would, regrettably, miss the entire season. Alisson Becker, Diogo Jota, Stefan Bajcetic, Thiago Alcantara, Andrew Robertson, and Alisson Becker (thigh), meanwhile, will also not be back for a while.
Ryan Gravenberch should be a straight switch in the engine room, allowing Wataru Endo to stay in the number six position, while Mac Allister is anticipated to watch this game from the sidelines as well.
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Clyne; Richards, Lerma; Olise, Hughes, Ayew; Edouard
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Gravenberch, Endo, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, Diaz