LIVERPOOL VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
| Saturday, September 18th |
Premier League | Anfield
3PM GMT/10AM EST
Palace come into this match having completely dominated Spurs last time out, winning 3-0 against ten men. Though Japhet Tanganga’s red card did make things a bit easier for them, Palace looked the more likely side even before that game-changing event.
Their new signing, Odsonne Édouard, came off the bench to score two memorable goals. While he could start against Liverpool, manager Patrick Vieira was careful to note that getting integrated into the team is a process — and recognizing Christian Benteke’s work for the first 75 minutes.
Other than Édouard, we know Palace’s threat, with attacks generally coming through Wil Zaha — particularly in the continued absence of Eberechi Eze.
Palace are also without Jeffrey Schlupp up front and Nathan Ferguson in defense, and the creative midfielder Michael Olise might feature.
In his press conference, Vieira noted that Liverpool have “a weakness on their side we can try to exploit,” though he provided no detail as to what that weakness is, simply saying that his side would have to be “brave.”
Crystal Palace will come to Anfield looking to play football, and, as Leeds have shown, often when sides come to attack and to play the game on their own terms, Liverpool’s quality ends up shining through.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Mané
While some might think of Palace as something of a bogey team (likely having to do with the scorelines involved), we have now won eight consecutive games against them dating back to 2017. Though this is a new-look Crystal Palace under Vieira, Liverpool will come into the game wanting to claim the three points.
In terms of team selection, Jürgen Klopp made some rotations against AC MIlan midweek, and concentrated his substitutions on the attacking side of the game. As such, you’d expect Virgil Van Dijk to return to the side, though it might be that we see Joël Matip rested to maintain his fitness.
With Roberto Firmino still returning to fitness, the front three seems likely to be Mo Salah, Diogo Jota, and a rested Sadio Mané (who loves a goal against Palace), but Divock Origi put in a good performance in the Champions League and thus might be rewarded with another start. Klopp does like being able to bring on one of his best front four on off the bench for the final third of the game, and Origi’s form might make that possible with the absence of Firmino.
While Jordan Henderson and Fabinho played a full match against AC Milan, they and the fullbacks might well be asked to go again with the EFL Cup game midweek offering a chance for rotation on a larger scale; either way, Klopp does have options in midfield, and plenty of players will be eager for minutes.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “A decent team with a proper football-playing idea, it’s a change and they will do well. But we have to do well as well.”
Patrick Vieira: “Going to Anfield is going to be really challenging. There is no fear, just excitement for us to play against one of the best sides in Europe. We know it’s going to be challenging and difficult but we’re looking forward to the game.”
Referee: Andy Madley Assistants: Adrian Holmes, Eddie Smart Fourth official: Geoff Eltringham VAR: Andre Marriner Assistant VAR: Simon Long
Kickoff is set for 3PM GMT/10AM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.