Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool: 10 key things to know as Reds eye top spot

Crystal Palace are up next for the Reds in their third game in seven days, and Jurgen Klopp‘s side can put themselves on top of the pile with a win.

Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool

Premier League (16) | Selhurst Park
December 9, 2023 | 12.30pm (GMT)

Liverpool are beginning to look like serious title contenders having picked up seven crucial points since the international break, placing themselves handily in the Premier League table in the process.

It was a dull 0-0 draw in the last visit to face the Eagles, but the Reds will be keen to maintain their recent momentum and put themselves in good shape heading into next weekend’s clash with Man United.

Here are the 10 main things you need to know ahead of Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool.


1. Macca to miss out

Klopp revealed in his pre-match press conference that Alexis Mac Allister‘s isn’t expected to be available for Crystal Palace.

The midfielder sustained a wound during the 2-0 win at Bramall Lane that ended his evening prematurely, having also been withdrawn early at home to Fulham three days earlier.

Alisson is progressing well with his hamstring injury and has resumed training, but his return is more likely to come during Man United‘s visit next weekend.


2. Hosts’ fitness troubles

While the Reds are without at least six key senior players, the Eagles have injury issues of their own to contend with.

Summer target Cheick Doucoure is among five Crystal Palace players set to miss out this weekend, with fellow midfielder Eberechi Eze also sidelined with an ankle problem.

During his pre-match press conference, Roy Hodgson admitted that he also had to be “very, very careful” with winger Michael Olise.


3. Opportunity to go top

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds will get the chance to look down on the rest – at least temporarily – should they pick up all three points on Saturday afternoon.

Liverpool can leapfrog Arsenal into first place with a win against Crystal Palace, with the Gunners set to face high-flying Aston Villa in a tricky clash later in the day.

Man City‘s dropped points in four consecutive fixtures have seen them fall off the pace and blow the title race wide open, making things very interesting in the hectic December schedule.


4. Changes expected

Saturday is Liverpool’s third game in seven days, meaning the manager will be required to shuffle the pack if he is to maintain freshness throughout his squad.

Curtis Jones hasn’t started since the 1-1 draw at Man City and will be keen to get back into the XI, while Cody Gakpo has impressed in recent weeks and applied pressure on both Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez in the front three.

Liverpool lineup vs. Crystal Palace – 3 more changes & decisions up front


5. Roy’s last game?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 19, 2019: Crystal Palace's manager Roy Hodgson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Former Liverpool boss Hodgson will be in the opposite dugout on Saturday, but the 76-year-old finds himself under pressure at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles boss labelled his own supporters as “spoiled” after his side fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth in midweek, leaving them with just one win from their last eight fixtures.

Having come out of retirement to take the reigns at Crystal Palace, it is likely to be the last managerial job of his lengthy career and defeat could spell the end of the road given recent form.


6. Good record for the boss

No team have been on the receiving end of more Klopp wins than Crystal Palace, with the Liverpool boss racking up 12 wins against the Eagles.

Only West Ham have suffered the same amount of defeats, but they could be overtaken on that front should the Reds get the job done this weekend.


7. Mo on the brink of history

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 25, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Liverpool FC and FC Toulouse. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The wait for Mohamed Salah‘s 200th Liverpool goal was extended when he was substituted in Wednesday night’s win over Sheffield United.

It means the trip to Selhurst Park represents his next chance to chalk up a double century, and the Egyptian will be growing hungrier to hit the milestone with each passing opportunity.

Perhaps he’s saving himself for Man United next weekend!


8. Goals galore

Liverpool are having no trouble scoring at the moment, with no side keeping a clean sheet against Klopp’s side in the last 32 outings.

The 0-0 draw away at Chelsea back in April was the last time the Reds failed to get a goal in all competitions, not a bad habit to get into!


9. Referee watch

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Referee Andy Madley during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that the officials for the fixture have little controversy surrounding them when it comes to past Liverpool fixtures.

Andy Madley will take charge of his 12th Liverpool contest, assisted from the touchlines by Harry Lennard and Nick Hopton while Tom Bramall acts as fourth official.

John Brooks will be supported by Adam Nunn from the VAR room at Stockley Park.


10. Follow along with us!

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 25, 2023: A general view before the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As always, This Is Anfield are here on a matchday to provide you with by-the-minute updates from Selhurst Park as the Reds hunt for another vital three points.

Our liveblog will be available on our website from 11.45am (GMT) ahead of kick-off in the dreaded 12.30pm slot.

Three points please, gentlemen!