Saturday 19th August 2017
3:00pm Kick off
Liverpool welcome bogey side Crystal Palace to Anfield on Saturday afternoon looking to secure their first win of the 17-18 season and hopefully first of many on home soil.
After the entertaining 3-3 draw with Watford last weekend, Liverpool are now in a position where they cannot afford to drop points, especially at Anfield. Crystal Palace suffered a heavy defeat at home to newly promoted side Huddersfield Town and will be up for the fight against the reds to stop an embarrassing back-to-back defeat.
The six-goal thriller with Watford last Saturday lunch time showed that there has been no improvement from last season and the season before with the Liverpool defence. The red men looked a real threat going forward and had no problem at scoring the goals, but the defence again seemed to panic when the ball come into the box and conceding poor goals that seemed to frustrate the rest of the team.
There was better news for Liverpool in midweek though thanks to a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim in the first leg of the Champions League qualifier tie, Hoffenheim have been unbeaten at home for the past 15 months so to come away with the win was something the team must be proud of.
Liverpool will be looking to come away with nothing but a win on Saturday with big games against Arsenal and an away trip to Manchester City coming up.
While Liverpool can take some positives away from their 3-3 draw with Watford, Crystal Palace supporters has less to be cheerful about as they saw their side slip to a shocker of a result at their first home game of the season against Huddersfield Town.
Huddersfield Town was one of the favourites to be going back down to The Championship, but they earned a comfortable 3-0 win at Selhurst Park to give new Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer plenty to think about ahead of the trip to Anfield.
Frank de Boer will be hoping he can guide the eagles to success on Saturday afternoon to avoid becoming under-pressure early on in the season and to prove to the fans that he’s the right man for the job with big away games to Man City and Man United coming up.
The Injury to their main creator Wilfried Zaha so early in the season was a big blow for De Boer and he will now be praying that Christian Benteke remains fit to help Palace bag the goals.
Crystal Palace has defensive problems of their own with conceding 63 times last season and already having conceded 3 goals by an unfancied Huddersfield might be a blessing for Liverpool’s front 3 to run riot on Saturday afternoon.
It has been a difficult start to the new season for Daniel Sturridge, who could come in for his first appearance this weekend after recovering from an injury he picked up when playing against Bayern Munich in pre-season.
No change on the Coutinho “injury”, though, as he again misses out of the first home game with a back problem. Nathaniel Clyne is also a big doubt as he continues his rehabilitation programme from a back issue.
Jurgen Klopp could stick with the same side for the third match in a row, meaning the likes of Divock Origi, James Milner and new signings Andrew Robertson and Dom Solanke could be forced to watch from the bench.
Crystal Palace will more or less start with former Liverpool forward Christian Benteke and will be hoping to continue his good form when travelling to Anfield which has seen him score five times in three visits.
Zaha will miss out through injury he picked up against Huddersfield Town. Frank de Boer was in attendance to watch Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur run out for the Under-23s side in the week and they may come into his first-time plans on Saturday.
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Matip, Moreno, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can, Mane, Firmino, Salah
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Hennessey, Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Riedewald, Ward, Milvojevic, Puncheon, Van Aanholt, Cabaye, Loftus-Cheek, Benteke
Head to Head
Crystal Palace have won three Premier League games in a row at Anfield and are now aiming to become the first side in history to make it four.
Both teams have scored in each of the last 10 encounters in this fixture in all competitions, averaging 3.9 goals per match, so expect to be fireworks in front of goal.
Liverpool has seen better days at Selhurst Park having won the last 3 games in a row in all competitions down there.
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