10 key things to know ahead of Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool

Liverpool make the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday night, with three Premier League wins in a row on offer for the Reds for only the second time this season.

Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool

Premier League (23) | Selhurst Park
February 25, 2023 | 7.45pm (GMT)

Jurgen Klopp‘s men were thumped 5-2 by Real Madrid on Tuesday night, but they must now consign that disastrous Champions League showing to history.

Next up is the weekend trip to Selhurst Park, as Liverpool look to build on their recent victories over Everton and Newcastle.

Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of another big match for the Reds.


1. Palace define mid-table mediocrity

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 18, 2021: Crystal Palace's manager Patrick Vieira during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With all due respect to Palace, they have been one of the Premier League‘s more forgettable teams this season.

They have been the definition of mediocrity, sitting 12th in the table and rarely looking like European challengers or relegation fodder.

Only six wins have come Palace’s way – in the form table over the last nine games, they are in the relegation zone – so Liverpool could be playing them at a good time as they’re yet to win in 2023.

Patrick Vieira appears to be under little pressure, but with some of the attacking quality at his disposal, the Eagles’ campaign has been underwhelming to date.


2. Will Zaha be missing for Eagles?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wilfried Zaha has arguably been Palace’s best player of the last 20 years, racking up 450 appearances, not to mention registering 89 goals and 76 assists.

The Ivorian is questionable for Saturday’s contest, having only returned to training this week after injury.

His absence would act as an undoubted boost for Liverpool, considering he scored in the 1-1 draw at Anfield earlier in the season.

Meanwhile, exciting young left-back Tyrick Mitchell is in contention, while Joel Ward is back in training after an injury absence.

He is unlikely to start, though, with former Liverpool man Nathaniel Clyne continuing at right-back.

Potential Palace XI: Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Doucoure, Lokonga; Olise, Ayew, Schlupp; Mateta.


3. Who’s out for Liverpool?

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 29, 2023: Liverpool's Joe Gomez looks dejected after the FA Cup 4th Round match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the Falmer Stadium. Brighton won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Joe Gomez limped out of the humiliation at the hands of Madrid, and all Klopp said post-match was “we will see,” with checks needed, leaving him in doubt for this fixture.

Ibrahima Konate is back in training for Liverpool, acting as a major boost, with the Frenchman undoubtedly one of the two best centre-backs at the club – but the manager hinted this game may come too soon.

Meanwhile, key duo Thiago and Luis Diaz are still unavailable for Liverpool, while Calvin Ramsay is a long-term absentee.


4. A return to the XI for Keita?

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 14, 2023: Liverpool's Naby Keita during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the Falmer Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gomez’s possible absence could mean that Joel Matip returns to Liverpool’s defence, although vastly improved form is required from him.

Klopp could make changes to his midfield after another hapless showing in midweek, with Naby Keita, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all options.

While Fabinho and Jordan Henderson continue to flounder, it could even be that 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic is rested after playing a lot of football and looking jaded against Madrid.

Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are options to come in to the attack, with rotation likely after the manager acknowledged the team took “some knocks” in the defeat to Real.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Keita, Bajcetic; Salah, Nunez, Jota.


5. Chance to crank up pressure on Newcastle

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 18, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St. James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last weekend’s 2-0 win away to Newcastle was a huge one for Liverpool, putting them within six points of the Magpies with a game in hand.

It is vital that the Reds don’t feel sorry for themselves after the Madrid game and this is a big chance to crank up the heat on Eddie Howe’s team.

Newcastle don’t play in the league this weekend because of the League Cup final and their next league game is at Man City on March 4, meaning Liverpool could be level on points if they beat Palace and then Wolves on Wednesday.

Tottenham are a threat, too, currently sitting fourth – they are seven clear of the Reds having played two games more – but Newcastle are arguably the most consistent of the top-four challengers.


6. Klopp highlights importance of transfers

Speaking to the media on Friday, Klopp made it clear that transfer business is required this summer:

“I don’t say everything that people say around us is wrong, not at all, but most of the things are not right as well.

“We know we have to improve, we know we have to change things, and we will. We cannot do that now, but it’s already clear that we have to do something in the summer.

“But for now, we just have to go through this and fight back.”

You heard him, FSG!


7. Defying the Selhurst Park myth

Fabinho of Liverpool (3rd left) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his teams third goal from penalty spot. Premier league match, Crystal Palace (Image: Andrew Orchard sports photography/Alamy Live News)

For all the talk of Selhurst Park being a bogey ground for Liverpool – the 3-3 draw in 2014 always stands out – they have actually excelled there in recent years.

In fact, the Reds have won on their last eight trips to south London, seven of which came in the league and the other in the FA Cup in 2015.

Last season, Klopp’s side ran out 3-1 winners, thanks to goals from Virgil van Dijk, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabinho (penalty), while in 2020/21, they romped to a 7-0 victory.

Let’s not end the good run now, Reds!


8. Did You Know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates with team-mate Diogo Jota (R) after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jota’s return from injury recently is an obvious boost for Liverpool, with his eye for goal something that has been priceless for the Reds at times.

Curiously, though, the Portuguese now hasn’t scored for the Reds for in almost 11 months, dating back to his equaliser away to Man City last April.

That’s a run of 24 matches without finding the net, and while 13 of those have been as a substitute, it is still a shock statistic.

A return to goalscoring ways is desperately needed.


9. Darren England takes charge

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 14, 2023: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson is shown a yellow card by referee Darren England during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the Falmer Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Darren England will referee Saturday’s game, as he looks to remain focused in a potentially feisty atmosphere.

The only Liverpool match that the 38-year-old has officiated this season is the 3-0 defeat at Brighton, so we don’t have fond memories of him.

In his 11 Premier League outings in 2022/23 to date, England has shown 37 yellow cards and dished out two reds, to Nathaniel Chalobah (Fulham vs. Newcastle) and Joao Cancelo (Man City vs. Fulham).


10. Follow the match with TIA

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 23, 2022: Official yellow Nike match balls during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 6.45pm (GMT), kickoff is at 7.45pm.

TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 7pm, with Sam Millne tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.

Come on you Reds!