With the Premier League starting in frustrating fashion for the Reds last Saturday as Liverpool drew 3-3 with Watford away at Vicarage Road, and after a very successful outing in a tough game against Hoffenheim in Germany, Liverpool return to Anfield for the first time this season, and it is to face notoriously pain in the arse for Liverpool, Crystal Palace.
Liverpool beat Palace 2-1 in the Premier League Asia Trophy back in Pre-Season, but a month later the Eagles will be ready and raring to go against Jurgen Klopp and his Reds. The game is Liverpool’s first 3 o’clock kick-off on the season, let’s hope we get to see some fireworks come Match of the Day.
Still no Philippe Coutinho anywhere near the squad. He’s supposed to be injured with a back problem, but as Chris’ creative genius detailed, he’s probably just spineless. This issue has been talk to death but if he’s willing to sit in the Liverpool reserves and ruin his career to prove a point, then so be it. There’s no room in the squad for somebody who doesn’t want to be there. Klopp is trying to build a team of winners and a team of people who work as a cohesive unit in order to become winners. If Phil wants to disrupt that, then so be it, ta rah.
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He’s probably thinking, “How do I fuck up my career and make millions of people hate me?”
Other than that, Daniel Sturridge is back available, which is good news, let’s just hope he doesn’t fuck his groin again. Nathaniel Clyne will remain out this Saturday, as will Adam Lallana, who is going to be out for a while.
After last week’s embarrassing loss to Huddersfield, Palace will be looking to get themselves back on track, but they’ll have to do it without one of their most important players, Wilfried Zaha, who picked up a knee injury in the 3-0 loss to the Terriers last weekend.
Midfielders, Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur could feature in some way for Palace as they work towards being 100% match fit.
Liverpool: Simon Mignolet, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Alberto Moreno, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Gini Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane
Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Jairo Reidewald, Scott Dann, Stephen Ward, Patrick van Aanholt, Luka Milivojevic, Jason Puncheon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andros Townsend and Christian Benteke
Liverpool: Joel Matip
Shaky last week against Watford, Joel Matip will be Liverpool’s biggest asset against the former Liverpool bigman Christian Benteke, who will lead the Eagles’ front line at Anfield. Whether Joel can stop the Belgian is to be seen, but I am hopeful.
Always seems to be good for a goal against the Reds, Benteke. That lad on the right can do one, too.
Crystal Palace: Ruben Loftus-Cheek
I assume that Loftus-Cheek will be deployed down the right hand side of the Crystal Palace attacking trio. Therefore he’ll go up against Alby Moreno if my predicted line-up is correct, do I have to say anything more?
It’s a complicated one here, with Liverpool probably focusing on getting into the Champions League group stages, we could end up taking our foot off the ball here, but I personally feel like Klopp will guard against that kind of complacency and will have the team psyched up for this weekend’s clash. I reckon we’ll have a 3-1 win for the Reds, with Salah scoring a brace, getting in behind the Palace back three and Jimmy Milner rounding out the scoring with a dodgy pen. Penaltypool is back.
Kick Off: Saturday, August 19
Venue: The Mighty Anfield
Referee: Kevin Friend