Palace vs Liverpool preview - 'This one is special'

Saturday 31st March

The international break is finally over. England have actually performed well for once, but it’s time to focus on something far more important - Crystal Palace vs Liverpool. 

28th Mar 2018

Crystal Palace match preview

This one is special, if only for memories of successive victories at Anfield and - of course - who could forget Crystanbul? More about that in a moment. 

Manchester City have the titled pretty much sewn up, but Jurgen Klopp’s side are battling with Manchester United for second spot, and Tottenham are not too far behind in fourth.

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The second-highest scorers in the league come to Selhurst Park hoping this will be the end of their suffering against Palace, and they are in excellent form, having lost just once in February and March thus far.

Meanwhile, Palace come into this game on the back of a solid victory away at fellow relegation candidates Huddersfield, having previously lost three in a row - albeit to Spurs, United and Chelsea. That good record against Liverpool may well be required here, but it is not a disaster if we fall to defeat.

Crystanbul

What do you mean, you don’t know what I’m talking about? Cast your minds back almost four years, to May 2014. A title-chasing Liverpool were cruising to victory with a three-goal lead, but it wasn’t sufficient for their hopes of overhauling City’s superior goal difference - with just one more game to play.

Damien Delaney and a Dwight Gayle double in a crazy final 11 minutes devastated the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez as Palace pulled it back to 3-3 in a pulsating match.

This one is on TV… what the TV companies would do for a repeat of the excitement that classic game produced!

Haves and have nots

The Premier League is clearly defined into two sections, there is no real mid-table any longer, with eighth placed Leicester theoretically still in danger of relegation - although with 40 points it is extremely unlikely.

Liverpool are in the hunt for the second spot in the league and a Champions League place, whilst Palace are still fighting hard against the drop, with just two points separating us and the relegation zone. Any points here would be a huge bonus, but the run-in is not terrible, certainly in comparison with other teams.

Predicted line-up

There are unlikely to be any changes to Palace’s side after the victory at Huddersfield, with nobody yet fit enough to return from injury, and no new absentees. 

XI: Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp, Townsend, Benteke, Zaha.

Key battle

For all Mo Salah’s superb performances this season, and significant goalscoring prowess, it is probably Wilfried Zaha vs Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren that will be the key battle.

Palace’s most important player, and most viable attacking threat, needs to split that central defence partnership up.

Opposition danger man

You would be a fool to pick anyone other than Salah here. Anyone with 36 goals and 10 assists in all competitions is a force to be reckoned with.

It is going to be extremely difficult for the Eagles’ defence to cope with him, fed by Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, that is an impeccable front-line for Liverpool.

Betting tips and predictions


First goalscorer flutter

Get Salah to score first @ 27/10

Bet with your head

Get Liverpool to win 2-0 @ 15/2

Go with your gut

Get a 1-1 draw @ 17/2

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