Liverpool return to Anfield competitively for the first time since beating Wolves 3-1 on the final day last season. After Liverpool’s poor showing away at Fulham last Saturday, the Anfield faithful will be demanding an instant response from their side. With Manchester City beating Bournemouth yesterday, the reds don’t want to be four or five points behind their fellow title contenders after just 2 games played.
Back in September last year, Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 3-0, with the score line being quite harsh towards the visitors. It was by no means an easy game for Liverpool, and I’d certainly expect a similar affair on Monday night.
Following Thiago Alcantara’s hamstring injury picked up against Fulham, Liverpool have a fresh injury concern to deal with. Cameroonian defender Joel Matip has picked up a groin injury, but it’s not thought to be serious according to Ian Doyle. The 31-year-old centre back is said to still be in contention to be in the squad on Monday night, however it is highly likely that Joe Gomez makes a return to the starting line-up.
On a more positive note, it seems that Naby Keita 7 Kostas Tsimikas will be back in the squad for Liverpool. Following a number of poor performances from both Liverpool’s defence & midfield, it will be interesting to see if Jurgen Klopp makes any changes to his starting eleven.
Crystal Palace will still be missing Jack Butland, Nathan Ferguson, James McCarthur & James Tomkins. Michael Olise could potentially return to the squad having taken part in team training all week following a foot injury, which would be a huge boost for the visitors.
Liverpool 4-3-3: Alisson, Robertson, Virgil, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Keita, Elliott, Diaz, Nunez, Salah
It’s bold from me, and more of a hopeful prediction. I’m not entirely sure if Klopp will make two changes to his midfield so early on. I’m thoroughly expecting captain Jordan Henderson to start, but I’m hoping for something different. Following the poor performance from all three of the midfielders at Craven Cottage, plus Thiago’s injury, I want to see something different. Harvey Elliott offers far more in possession than Jordan Henderson does, whilst Naby Keita can attempt to replace Thiago in that left central midfield spot. If he’s fit then I’m hoping that he starts to prove his doubters exactly what he can do when the team needs him.
Crystal Palace 4-2-3-1: Guita, Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Clyne, Doucoure, Milivojevic, Zaha, Eze, Ayew, Edouard
I don’t see Patrick Vieira making many changes, if any at all to the side that lost 2-0 to Arsenal. I can see Luka Milivojevic coming into the midfield two, and potentially Olise if he’s ready, but I feel that if Olise is part of the squad then he’ll be on the bench.
I think it will be quite a cagey game, but Liverpool should have enough quality within their side to get their first win of the season, especially being at home. Surely, we won’t see a similar Liverpool performance from the draw at Fulham.