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Match Preview: Crystal Palace v. Liverpool, 05.05.14

Team news, ways to watch, and a full preview as Liverpool travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace.

Christopher Lee

Without playing a match yesterday Liverpool lost some ground--Manchester City's win over Everton meant that Manuel Pellegrini's side were once again frontrunners in the title race, moving level on points with Liverpool and nine ahead of goal differential. With two left to play, there's still a chance for Liverpool to move top of the table, but odds are very, very slim that they'd be able to come close to City's goal difference were both sides to win out.

Liverpool can only control themselves, however, and much as we might have our minds on City's visits from Aston Villa and West Ham, focus needs to be placed squarely on the potentially frustrating task at hand tomorrow. Tony Pulis' Crystal Palace have been one of the form Premier League sides in the last few months, stringing together five straight wins through the end of March and most of April to secure survival after many had them tipped for the drop.

Their streak ended last weekend against Manchester City, but they still played their visitors tough, and while a comfortable, breezy win would be preferable, it's far from likely against a side that's been very good at home under Pulis. Against City they went with the impressive Julian Speroni in goal, Joel Ward, Adrian Mariappa, Scott Dann, and Damien Delaney at the back, Jason Puncheon, Mile Jedinak, Joe Ledley, and Yannick Bolasie across the midfield, and Marouane Chamakh and Cameron Jerome up top. Dwight Gayle, Glenn Murray, and Thomas Ince came off the bench, and Kagisho Dikgacoi might feature after an injury forced him to the bench against City.

For Liverpool:

Johnson Skrtel Sakho Flanagan
Allen Coutinho
Sturridge Suarez

We didn't get any sort of confirmation about the availability of Daniel Sturridge in the last few days, which means his fitness could still be up in the air. Jordan Henderson serves the final match of his ban, while Jose Enrique remains Liverpool's only long-term absentee through injury.

If he's fit, Sturridge will likely be the only change to the eleven that faced Chelsea last weekend. Lucas will make way if the striker is available; otherwise we'll see the Brazilian in the midfield along with Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard once again, with Luis Suarez flanked by Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho. Slight chance that Daniel Agger comes into the side for Mamadou Sakho, but Brendan Rodgers has become enough of a creature of habit in his selections that we're not likely to see too much deviation from week to week barring injury.

Liverpool haven't been quite as overwhelming away from Anfield, struggling to maintain dominance in narrow wins at Norwich and West Ham. At Carrow Road they got the early goals but let their foot off the gas, while at Upton Park they struggled with an opponent that was content to shut the match down and play it over the top rather than give them any space in which to operate. That template, like Chelsea's at Anfield last weekend, is likely to be used again tomorrow.

Kickoff is set for 8:00PM BST/3:00PM EST, with Sky Sports 1 carrying coverage in the UK and NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra airing the match live in the US. Our coverage will start with the overnight open thread tonight and carry into the matchday post early tomorrow, which will have team sheets an hour before kickoff. Hope you'll be around to join us--if you haven't already, sign up for an SBNation profile and stick around.

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