LIVERPOOL VS. CRYSTAL PALACE
| Monday, August 15th |
Premier League | Anfield
8PM BST/3PM EST
After an opening week stumble and draw against newly promoted Fulham, Jürgen Klopp’s Reds look to get their Premier League season on track quickly as they return to Anfield for the 2022-23 home opener against a Crystal Palace side that also got less than they would have been hoping for in a week one defeat at home to Arsenal.
Last season, Palace flirted with a top half finish under manager Patrick Vieira—and in fact they were a top half side based on the underlying statistics and expected goal difference—but they face a gauntlet to start this season, following up their opener against Arsenal and week two meeting with Liverpool with games against Aston Vill and Manchester City. It’s a stretch that could easily see Palace heading into September with, at best, a single victory.
Anything they get at Anfield might be considered a bonus, then—especially given that Palace will be without James McArthur, James Tomkins, Nathan Ferguson, and possibly Michael Olise. But then the same could have been said about Fulham heading into the opener, and if the Reds haven’t learned their lesson and take their week two opponents lightly another shock result could easily be on the cards.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Carvalho; Salah, Nuñez, Diaz
Palace aren’t the only ones with injury issues heading into Monday, though, as the Reds will expect to be without centre halves Joël Matip and Ibrahima Konaté, which should mean a start for Joe Gomez alongside Virgil van Dijk. They’re also set to be without Thiago Alcantara in midfield, with the Spanish international likely to miss around four more weeks of action due to a hamstring injury.
Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calvin Ramsay, and Caoimhin Kelleher are also expected to miss out, while Kostas Tsimikas is doubtful—though as things stand, none would likely have been in line to start on Monday.
It’s Thiago’s absence that’s most intriguing from a squad selection standpoint. Many will be hoping to see Harvey Elliott start, and he well might, but the star youngster most typically operates on the right of the midfield where Jordan Henderson lines up and with Thiago ruled out Klopp will likely want to keep Henderson in for consistency. Keïta could be an option for Thiago on the left if he’s ready, but if he isn’t match after starting the season on the sidelines it’s likely new summer signing Fabio Carvalho could get the nod.
Meanwhile, after impressive substitute appearances against first Manchester City in the Community Shield and then Fulham in week on in the league, a start seems due for big money striker signing Darwin Nuñez.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “We have now in the moment definitely too many injuries. A couple of boys are coming back: Naby will be back for Monday and Kostas might be. That’s the situation so it’s about deciding the right thing to do.”
Patrick Vieira: “For ourselves, the team may not be at their best, but it will be a different Liverpool team, too. We’ve improved from the last 10 days of training, maybe it’s the same for them.”
Referee: Paul Tierney; Assistants: Dan Cook and Dan Robathan; Fourth Official: Craig Pawson; VAR: Andre Marriner
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST on Monday. Stick with The Liverpool Offside team to keep yourself up to date with team news and match buildup, live updates, and post-match 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.