SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

Cheick Doucoure of Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have 5 key players injured – including Liverpool midfield target

Liverpool have a number of senior absentees to deal with as they head into the busy festive season, but so too do their opponents this weekend.

Crystal Palace are struggling for form this season and currently sit 14th in the table having picked up just four wins so far in 2023/24.

Roy Hodgson will host his old side at Selhurst Park in Saturday’s early kick-off looking to turn fortunes around, but he will do so without several of his key players.

Cheick Doucoure was linked with a move to Anfield throughout the summer, but the Mali international remained with the Eagles while the Reds pursued Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.

Cheick Doucoure of Crystal Palace

The midfielder won’t be able to show Jurgen Klopp what he is missing in the weekend’s early kick-off, having sustained a serious Achilles injury which is expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.

He has now been joined on the sidelines by right-back Tyrick Mitchell, who suffered a hip injury in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Bournemouth.

More short-term absences include Eberechi Eze and Rob Holding, who are both currently dealing with ankle problems and won’t be available to feature against the Reds.

Like Liverpool, Crystal Palace will also be without one of their goalkeepers for the clash as Dean Henderson continues his recovery from a thigh injury that reoccurred back in September.

Henderson, however, is no longer considered first-choice at Selhurst Park having been leapfrogged by Sam Johnstone in the pecking order.

Also out for Palace is young forward Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who has been ruled out until the new year as he nurses a thigh problem.

Klopp will have to make do without multiple key figures of his own, as Joel Matip, Diogo Jota, Alisson, Andy Robertson, Thiago and Stefan Bajcetic remain out of contention for the trip down south.

December is typically a time in which squads need to be rotated to preserve legs, but both managers will have plenty to navigate in order to do so.

Liverpool put daylight between themselves and Man City with their 2-0 win over Sheffield United and will be looking to keep pressure on leaders Arsenal this weekend, who travel to high-flying Aston Villa in Saturday’s evening kick-off.