Liverpool welcome Crystal Palace to Merseyside on Saturday afternoon, as the Reds look to win their first match at Anfield in 2017/18.
Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace
Saturday, August 19, 2017 — 3pm (BST)
The level of fume that surrounded Watford‘s last-gasp equaliser last weekend was almost unrivalled, as Liverpool’s defensive ineptitude again cost them points.
Although it was a disappointing way to start the campaign, they didn’t actually lose the game and some of the attacking play was superb.
Tuesday’s 2-1 win in Hoffenheim has helped lift the mood significantly, especially after Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s starring role, and the Reds now have one foot in the Champions League knockout stages.
This weekend sees arguably Liverpool’s biggest current bogey team visiting, with Palace heaping so much misery on us all in recent years.
The Eagles have won on their last three trips to Anfield, with last season’s Christian Benteke-inspired 2-1 win in April threatening to derail the Reds’ top-four hopes.
All is not well for Frank de Boer and his side, however, following their 3-0 defeat at home to newly-promoted Huddersfield Town, so Liverpool have to fancy their chances.
With rivals already starting strongly, ground cannot afford to be lost at the top of the table – this is a must-win game for Jurgen Klopp and his players.
Last meeting: Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
Philippe Coutinho is still unavailable with a back injury, although just how believable that is, considering the current situation, is up for debate.
Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne are both definitely missing with respective thigh and back problems, meaning Alexander-Arnold is likely to start at right-back again. More of the same would be much appreciated.
Daniel Sturridge has given Liverpool a potential boost, though, with Klopp confirming he expects the striker to be fit for the clash with Palace.
It would be a surprise if major changes to the starting lineup were made against the Eagles, with Klopp picking the same side for the opening two games and his options pretty limited.
Luka Milivojevic is suspended for the visitors, which is a blow for them, while key man Wilfried Zaha is out for a month, which is a huge relief for Dejan Lovren.
Liverpool – Last five results
Won 2-1 vs. Hoffenheim
Drew 3-3 vs. Watford
Won 3-1 vs. Athletic Bilbao (pre season)
Drew 1-1 vs. Atletico Madrid (pre season)
Won 3-0 vs. Bayern Munich (pre season)
Crystal Palace – Last five results
Lost 3-0 vs. Huddersfield
Drew 1-1 vs. Schalke (pre season)
Drew 1-1 vs. Metz (pre season)
Won 2-0 vs. West Brom (pre season)
Lost 2-0 vs. Liverpool (pre season)
In Thursday’s press conference, Klopp spoke about Robertson’s chances of featuring on Saturday, saying he is still adjusting to his new surroundings:
“He is in a good moment,” he said.
“His development so far is really good. He has adapted well and is a really, really good player. It is how it is, though, with a specialist left full-back. You can play but you can also not be in the squad.
“He is in a really good way and everything is fine from my side. He came in late and has to adapt to our style of play and all that stuff, but everything is ok.
“We will see (about Robertson featuring at the weekend). We came back yesterday and had a little session, and it was an intense game in Hoffenheim so we have one or two little things with players which we have to see.”
TV & Live Blog Info
Unlike so many Liverpool matches, Saturday’s game is not televised in the UK, due to it being a 3pm (BST) kick-off.
Never fear, though, we will be here with our matchday live blog from 2:15pm, with Henry Jackson in the seat for the afternoon action.