Reds face Crystal Palace in Selhurst showdown


In one of their most difficult fixtures so far and with key men missing, Liverpool visit Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace.

The hosts’ start to the season has been somewhat inconsistent on the face of it, sitting in 12th. But with the Eagles just two points adrift of Sheffield United in fifth, there is potentially ambitious scope for Roy Hodgson’s side.

Jordan Ayew, after signing on a permanent deal, has looked a completely different player to the one who joined on loan last year – he only managed one goal in 20 Premier League appearances last season.

And lest we forget the explosive pace of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend who the Reds have seldom dealt with well in previous years.

And with Liverpool missing several key men, including Scotland captain and fullback Andy Robertson, the two wingers interests will certainly be perked.

The Reds have had a nigh-on perfect start to the season, with their draw at Old Trafford the only blemish on their record. If they manage to win or draw, they will become only the fifth side in Premier League history to go unbeaten for 30 matches.

Team news

The Reds are likely to be without the aforementioned Robertson, Mohamed Salah, Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri, with the latter two returning from longer-term injuries. Nathaniel Clyne is out long-term, whilst Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are expected to feature.

Roy Hodgson confirmed that their only two injury risks, Joel Ward and Zaha would be fit for Saturday’s fixture – meaning the Eagles have a clean bill of health.

From the dug-outs

Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace boss, said:

“He will have to fight with the competition of the other two strikers we have and when he gets in the team, he will have to make sure he plays well and either creates chances for us or scores goals which will mean we want to keep him in the team. I am afraid that in the two-and-a-half years I have been here, I have not seen the best of Christian Benteke.

“I believe it is there and I can’t criticise his work rate and his desire to be the best Christian Benteke he can and that comes out – not least when he speaks to the press. The bottom line for me is that I have to see it is in Crystal Palace shirt on the field of play because unfortunately however hard you work in training and however much you try to put your case forward, at the end of the day, when you are the centre-forward you are judged on what you do on a Saturday afternoon.”

Jurgen Klopp added:

“Palace have quality, they have a nice atmosphere. They make it difficult, it is a special place to go 100 per cent.
“They haven’t had a spectacular transfer window but working together longer can improve you as well. A good start. They make it tough for everyone.

“Palace enjoy defending compact; they know they are a proper threat on the counter-attack and that makes it really tough. First one is [Wilfried] Zaha, then [Jordan] Ayew, very difficult to defend.
“We have to find solutions. It will be interesting.”


Palace Wins – 14

Draws – 11

Liverpool Wins – 29


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Sports Journalism student, streamer at LFC Transfer Room, Anfield Agenda. Liverpool fan with a particular interest in Welsh, Youth, and African football.

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