Bar raised as Reds continue pre-season in Hong Kong – Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace Preview

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After their opening two pre-season friendlies on home soil, Liverpool take on Crystal Palace in their first of two games in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – 1.30pm (BST)
Hong Kong Stadium
Premier League Asia Trophy

The Reds have beaten Tranmere Rovers and drawn with Wigan Athletic so far this pre-season, as Jurgen Klopp oversees a busy summer schedule designed to build fitness and fluency.

After their domestic jaunt, Klopp has taken a 25-man squad out to the Far East to take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy for the first time in a decade.

Back in 2007, Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool finished second, losing to Portsmouth in a penalty shootout in the final at the Hong Kong Stadium, having vanquished South China AA in the semi-finals.

Returning to the same venue for a clash with Palace on Wednesday afternoon, the Reds will be hoping to build on their strong start to pre-season so far—though Klopp has already expressed concerns over the weather.

So what can he expect from his side as they kick off the showcase tournament in Hong Kong?

 

Who is Available For Liverpool?

HONG KONG, CHINA - Monday, July 17, 2017: Liverpool players arrive at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong, ahead of the Premier League Asia Trophy 2017. (Pic by FA Premier League/Pool/Propaganda)

Nathaniel Clyne is ruled out due to injury, while Kevin Stewart has left the camp to join Hull City.

Goalkeepers: Mignolet, Karius, Ward

Defenders: Matip, Lovren, Klavan, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Milner, Moreno, Flanagan

Midfielders: Henderson, Lallana, Wijnaldum, Grujic, Woodburn

Forwards: Firmino, Salah, Coutinho, Sturridge, Origi, Solanke, Kent

 

Crystal Palace

HONG KONG, CHINA - Monday, July 17, 2017: The Crystal Palace team arrive at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, ahead of the Premier League Asia Trophy 2017. (Pic by FA Premier League/Pool/Propaganda)

Palace represent Liverpool’s first top-flight opposition of the summer, and after a reshuffle at Selhurst Park, they could head out at the Hong Kong Stadium a much-changed outfit.

Most prominently, Sam Allardyce has gone, with Frank de Boer taking the ex-England manager’s place in the dugout, finally making the move to England after regularly flirting with a switch.

So far, De Boer has only brought in one new player in the shape of Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who arrived on loan and is in the squad in Hong Kong.

Ajax centre-back Jairo Riedewald is also set to sign in an £8 million deal, with the 20-year-old expected to fly out this week.

Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has returned to Marseille after just one season in the Premier League, while Mathieu Flamini, Joe Ledley and Fraizer Campbell were among those released on July 1.

De Boer has already revealed his intention to build around Wilfried Zaha, but it remains to be seen who else takes a focal role—though former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke is likely to be a key man.

 

Last Time vs. the Eagles

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 23, 2017: Liverpool's Divock Origi, Emre Can, Dejan Lovren and Lucas Leiva look dejected as Crystal Palace score the winning second goal during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool 1-2 Crystal PalacePremier League – April 23, 2017

Allardyce was still in charge when Palace headed to Anfield in April, as the Reds continued their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

The Eagles have long been a thorn in Liverpool’s side, and it was no different on Merseyside three months ago, as Allardyce masterminded a 2-1 victory away from home.

Philippe Coutinho had opened the scoring with an excellent free-kick, but goals either side of half-time from Benteke saw the Reds’ shambolic defence undermine them once again.

Liverpool eventually ended the season in fourth, while Palace finished 14th, but that afternoon served as a major setback for Klopp’s side.

Otherwise, the defeat was notable for the on-loan Mamadou Sakho’s controversial touchline celebration and the inclusion of 17-year-old academy striker Rhian Brewster on Klopp’s substitutes’ bench.

 

Is the Game on TV?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 17, 2015: A television camera during the Premier League match between Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Unlike the Reds’ previous friendlies, Liverpool’s clash with Palace will be shown live on Sky Sports 1, with coverage starting at 1pm (BST). Kickoff is at 1.30pm.

This is Anfield will once again be covering the action with our live blog, with updates from 12.45pm onwards.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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