LIVERPOOL VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
| Sunday, May 23rd |
Premier League | Anfield
4PM GMT/11AM EST
And so it all comes down to this. A miserable season could end with some semblance of joy on Sunday if Liverpool manage to beat Crystal Palace at Anfield. They currently sit in fourth place about Leicester City on goal difference, so there are other permutations that could see them still sneak in without three point, but a victory would be the most effective and preferred option available.
Crystal Palace have nothing to gain, stuck as they are firmly in mid-table. The most they can hope for is a good send off for Roy Hodgson to end his management career. Liverpool, meanwhile, have everything to lose when that whistle blows.
The last time Liverpool and Crystal Palace faced off at Selhurst Park, it was one of the only really great moments of the season. The Reds dismantled the Eagles, winning 7-0. The front three of Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all scored, with the latter two notching braces. Captain Jordan Henderson scored. Takumi Minamino scored. It was six days before Christmas, and Liverpool were top of the league.
And then it all came crashing down.
But as winter melted into spring, the Reds clawed their way out of the mire, and with another good result against Palace, they could end the season on a high note, achieving something no one would have thought possible just a couple months ago.
If that on its own wasn’t enough to have the players up for it, Anfield will also welcome 10,000 Liverpool fans back into the stands to send the players off.
And if there was ever any one club and one place that Roy Hodgson would not want to end his decades-long career, it would against Liverpool at Anfield, playing in front of a crowd of 10,000 eager and hyped up Reds fans.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, R. Williams, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
We’re unlikely to see any surprises in the line up that Klopp puts out on Sunday. The only question mark is around the fitness of Diogo Jota. However, even if he was deemed available, he’d likely start on the bench.
As ever, the Reds are without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Ozan Kabak, Jordan Henderson, Ben Davies and Naby Keita.
Crystal Palace, meanwhile, will be without Eberechi Eze (Achilles), Mamadou Sakho, Nathan Ferguson, James McArthur and Connor Wickham, while Luka Milivojevic, Scott Dann and Tyrick Mitchell are all doubtful.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “It was a strange, intense season, nothing will change that but now we can finish it in a top way. It’s not done yet, it’s football. We’re not even close to a celebration, we just focus on the 95 mins we play.”
Roy Hodgson: “We might not get out of Anfield if we win, might be locked in the dressing room a while. We talk about integrity a lot in the Premier League, and it’s one of the best in the world for that. I don’t know if we can win there, but I know that whatever XI we have, they’ll be busting a gut to win. If Liverpool do win, it’ll be because they’ve played better than us.”
Referee: Andre Marriner. Assistants: Richard West, Scott Ledger. Fourth official: Tony Harrington. VAR: Paul Tierney. Assistant VAR: Eddie Smart.
Kickoff is set for 4PM GMT/11AM 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.