Looking ahead as the Reds host Crystal Palace

Liverpool

At 16:30 GMT on Sunday afternoon, Liverpool welcome Sam Allardyce’s Crystal Palace to Anfield. Both sides will come into this match hoping to continue their respective good runs of form, with both on course for a strong end to the season.

Crystal Palace have picked up 16 points from their last seven matches, with terrific victories over Chelsea and Arsenal included in that mix. The Eagles have been an absolute handful these past couple of months and will be hoping to cause another major upset on Sunday.

In addition to the great form of his side, Sam Allardyce has to look no further than Palace’s recent record against Liverpool for some reassurance. In their last six meetings, Palace have won three and drawn one; it might be slight but they have held the upper hand.

Toss Christian Benteke’s love affair of playing against Liverpool at Anfield into the mix and there is definitely a path to victory for the Londoners. The Big Belgian has scored three goals in his previous two trips to Anfield as an opposition player. The added bonus of getting one over his former side will surely give him extra motivation as well.

With that being said however, there is one fact that is as troubling for Palace as it is reassuring for The Reds. That’s the fact that their form picked up instantaneously with the introduction of Mamadou Sakho into the team.
The Frenchman is ruled out for Sunday’s encounter, with Liverpool being his parent club. Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful that the loss of Sakho turns out to be a devastating one for the Palace defence and gives his side a real platform to attack from.

While the men in red will be enjoying the rock knocked out of the opposition defence, they certainly have their own absentees to deal with. The injury list just keeps getting longer as Klavan, Lucas, and Matip are now major doubts for this match. Leaving Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren as the only first team central defenders available.

Jordan Henderson still doesn’t look to be returning any time soon but his compatriot Adam Lallana has miraculously put himself into contention for this weekend. Jurgen Klopp even suggesting in his pre-match press conference that if you’re training with the squad you put yourself into contention to play.

The Englishman would be a very welcomed re-addition to the side. Giving Klopp the option to field a midfield three of Can, Lallana, and Wijnaldum again.

Up front it’s as we were, unless Coutinho is dropped into the midfield or Daniel Sturridge is thrown in into the line-up; we should see the Brazilian duo of Firmino and Coutinho either side of Divock Origi.

The Reds will certainly have to field a makeshift side on Sunday, and they are coming up against a terrible side to have to do that for. And similarly to the trip to Stoke a fortnight ago, if they are able to grab all three points in spite of the setbacks, they put themselves in incredible stead to finish in the top four.