Crystal Palace and Liverpool meet at Selhurst Park this Saturday with Jurgen Klopp’s side flying high at the top of the Premier League table, but there a number of injury worries for the Reds ahead of their trip to the capital.
Liverpool beat champions Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield before the international break to move eight points clear at the top of the table, and well on course to lifting their first League title since 1990.
But much of that blistering early season form has been built on the fact that, apart from an injury to ‘keeper Alisson back in August, much of their first team squad has remained relatively injury-free.
However, Liverpool face an anxious wait to see if a number of their key players will feature at Selhurst Park as they play a side who last beat them 2-1 at Anfield back in April 2017.
Mohamed Salah suffered a recurrence of a troublesome ankle injury which he picked-up against Leicester in the win against Man City while Andy Robertson is also a doubt with an ankle problem, and to make matters worse, Gini Wijnaldum is ill and may not be fit by Saturday along with longtime absentee Nathaniel Clyne.
Joe Gomez appeared to pick-up a knee injury on international duty though is expected to feature and Joel Matip may also be back in action. Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson pulled out of England’s game in Kosovo on Sunday with a virus, but should have enough time to recover.
The good news for Liverpool, especially ahead of a particularly busy schedule, is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned from his England excursions unscathed, while Naby Kieta is available for selection if needed.
The Eagles have enjoyed a solid start to the season, with some of the gloss taken off only by virtue of having played Man City, Arsenal, Leicester City and Chelsea in their last four games – a run which has seen then take just one point from 12.
Even so, Roy Hodgson’s will be hoping that Selhurst Park might once again be the place where Liverpool’s title dreams come crashing down, just as they did with a 3-3 draw in 2014.
CRYSTAL PALACE TO BEAT LIVERPOOL AT 6.75*
Palace have been superb defensively this season, conceding just five goals all campaign, but the problem is that they have only scored four themselves and with Liverpool’s forward line having the ability to strike at pretty much anytime the Eagles’ rear-guard will have to be on their game.
Much of the home side’s hopes will rest with Wilfried Zaha, who is currently battling a painful foot injury, and Hodgson will hope his star forward is fit to return at the weekend, while the only other doubt for the Eagles is Joel Ward, who is suffering from a groin problem.
Liverpool have dominated this fixture in recent years with 29 Premier League wins to Palace’s 14, while there have been 11 draws between them and the Reds have won the last four League meetings, including a 2-0 victory at Selhurst last August and a thrilling 4-3 encounter at Anfield this January.
Despite this being an obvious test for any side, Liverpool have proven on many occasions so far this season that they are more than capable of coping with the pressure that comes with being title favourites and will travel south without any fear, so a Reds win with BTTS at 2.80* could be worth considering.
Saturday’s other 3pm Premier League Fixtures
Arsenal v Southampton
AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City
Everton v Norwich City
Watford v Burnley
*Odds subject to change
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