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    Liverpool vs Crystal Palace Match Preview


    Liverpool will be looking to emulate the excellent form they displayed in Germany on Tuesday night when they return to Premier League action against Crystal Palace this weekend.

    The Reds edged closer towards the group stages of the Champions League with a 2-1 victory over Bundesliga fourth-place side Hoffenheim but face another difficult task if they are to beat Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

    The Eagles have won their last three meetings at Anfield, while manager Frank de Boer will be eager to make amends for his side's 3-0 humbling at the hands of Premier League new-boys Huddersfield last weekend.

    Liverpool

    Jurgen Klopp has experienced an eventful opening week to the 2017-18 season, with last Saturday's 3-3 draw against Watford coming just 24 hours after midfield maestro Philippe Coutinho had handed in a written transfer request.

    That was followed three days later with an outstanding away victory over Hoffenheim, who were unbeaten at the Rhein-NecKar-Arena throughout the whole of last season, despite the English side having several key players unavailable due to injury.

    The week then ended with Liverpool turning down a £114 million bid from Barcelona for their Brazilian midfielder, with The Reds adamant that the 25-year-old will not be sold at any price.

    Klopp will surely be grateful when the transfer window finally closes on August 31, amidst all the speculation involving the future Coutinho and the possible arrival of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita.

    Meanwhile, the club's current record signing, Mo Salah, has made an excellent start to the season and appeared to have given The Reds a 3-2 victory over Watford last weekend before Miguel Britos' 93rd minute equalizer.

    Liverpool will need to beat Crystal Palace this weekend to avoid losing further ground on their Premier League rivals at this early stage of the season, with Arsenal, Tottenham and both Manchester clubs all winning their season-openers.

    Klopp's side will need to manage once again without Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne who are all missing through injury, although Daniel Sturridge could make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a thigh problem.

    Crystal Palace

    New Palace boss Frank de Boer suffered a nightmare start to his career in English football last Saturday with a 3-0 home defeat to Huddersfield Town, who were playing their first top-flight game since 1972.

    An own goal from Joel Ward set the visitors on their way, with club-record signing Steve Mounie doubling his side's lead three minutes later before he added a third with 12 minutes remaining.

    A further legacy of the defeat was a knee injury sustained by Wilfried Zaha, which forced the Ivory Coast international to leave the stadium with his right knee in a brace and duly ruled him out of action for a month.

    There are high expectations of Palace this season, with the club ending the 2016-17 campaign in excellent form before they managed to acquire the services of de Boer, who won four consecutive Eredivisie titles as boss of Ajax.

    The Eagles enjoyed a consistent pre-season, in which they recorded two wins and two draws from five matches, although their sole defeat came against Liverpool in Hong Kong with Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi giving The Reds a 2-0 victory.

    Frank de Boer's side have not added significantly to their squad over the course of the summer, although 20-year-old Ajax defender Jairo Riedewald became the club's first permanent signing when he joined last month for an undisclosed fee.

    The Dutch international made his debut for the London side against Huddersfield, along with midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah who have joined on season-long loans from Chelsea and Manchester United respectively.

    Liverpool Team News

    Liverpool will once again be without midfielder Philippe Coutinho due to a back injury, while Adam Lallana is not likely to return to first-team action until October after sustaining a thigh strain.

    Trent Alexander-Arnold, who became only the third Liverpool player to score on his European debut in midweek, is expected to continue at right-back in place of Nathaniel Clyne, who is out with a hamstring injury.

    Daniel Sturridge could make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a thigh injury, while Alberto Moreno, James Milner and new-signing Andrew Robertson will all be vying for the left-back role.

    Danny Ings stepped-up his recovery from a long-term knee injury when he scored in last Saturday's U23s victory over Swansea but is not yet expected to be considered for first-team action.

    Crystal Palace Team News

    The Eagles were dealt a blow following last weekend's loss to Huddersfield when Wilfried Zaha, who completed the match but left the stadium with his right-knee in a brace, was ruled out for a month with a knee injury.

    Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur are also set for a return to first-team action after both midfielders played 45 minutes for the club's U23 side against Burnley on Monday night.

    Pape Souare is nearing a return to the first-team after suffering injuries to both his thigh and jawbone in a road accident nearly a year ago, but the Senegalese defender is not expected to feature this weekend.

    Mali international Bakary Sako has been ruled out with a muscular injury, while Connor Wickham is still not ready to return after sustaining a long-term cruciate ligament injury last November.

    Head-to-head

    Crystal Palace have an outstanding record at Anfield in recent seasons, with three successive league victories including a 2-1 win last April courtesy of two Christian Benteke goals.

    By contrast, the Eagles have lost their last three encounters against Liverpool at Selhurst Park although they famously held The Reds to a 3-3 draw at home in May 2014 before beating them 3-1 in London the following November.

    Liverpool have edged the head-to-head in the Premier League era with eight wins, three draws and five defeats, although both clubs have won four games apiece from 10 matches played in both the FA and League Cups respectively.

    Jurgen Klopp's side also lead the overall head-to-head with 25 wins and 11 draws from 49 previous encounters in all competitions, with the first meeting between the two clubs taking place nearly 80 years ago.

    Score Prediction

    Liverpool 3-1 Crystal Palace
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool vs Crystal Palace Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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