Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool FC
|Saturday, November 23rd|
Premier League|Selhurst Park
3pm GMT/10am EST
Liverpool enter this match once more sitting atop the Premier League table. The Reds have an eight point advantage over both of Leicester City and Chelsea, and a nine point advantage over Manchester City. Breathing room exists.
And with City taking on Chelsea this weekend, there’s an opportunity on hand for the Reds to put even more distance between themselves and the two clubs that, on paper, are likely favored to be ones running closest to Liverpool in search of the title come the end of the season. No pressure, of course, but while Liverpool have most certainly earned some room to make some mistakes, it’s not a stretch to believe that this squad would likely have to turn in an Invincibles-esque campaign to beat the likes of City.
Thus far, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have answered that call. They will need to do that again this Saturday against Crystal Palace.
Palace, meanwhile, are in a bit of a rough run of form. Having only won once over their previous five, Roy Hodgson’s men will be very motivated to take anything out of this match. And with Palace part of a big bunch in the middle part of the table, any point will be welcome.
Apart from the Return of the Hodgepodge, former Liverpool central defender Mamadou Sakho is in contention to face his former squad. Lots of interesting story lines to parse in this.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Alexander Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita; Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi
Liverpool’s squad is coming back from the International Break with a few light injury concerns. At his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp delivered the good news that VVD’s injury concerns are all behind him, declaring the Dutchman ‘100%’ fit.
The big injury concerns for Liverpool, then, are Robbo, Joel Matip, and Mohamed Salah. My sense is that given the need for rotation - and the relative success that Klopp’s shown in doing so this season, to this point - we will see some changes in order to allow for as much rest and recuperation as possible ahead of a truly busy December.
My prediction is that the bulk of the changes will happen in midfield, given that both AOC and The Admiral seem healthy and with Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum also being noted as players carrying a slight knock, I would not be surprised to see Hendo moved back to the holding role for this match with the two attack-minded midfielders playing in front. Origi slotting in for Salah in the attack also makes a fair bit of sense given that the Egyptian striker’s injury was re-aggravated in the City match.
Referee: Kevin Friend Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Adrian Holmes Fourth Official: Oliver Langford VAR: Chris Kavanaugh Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis
Kickoff is set for 3PM GMT/10AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.