KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 16, 2023: Crystal Palace's Michael Olise (C) celebrates after scoring the second goal to level the score at 2-2 in injury time during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Crystal Palace FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Crystal Palace danger man “close to starting” at Anfield – but 7 players still out

Crystal Palace could be handed a boost to their starting XI at Anfield, with winger Michael Olise closing in on his first start since the end of January.

Liverpool’s clash against the Eagles on Sunday was always a must-win considering the stakes in the title race, but two back-to-back disappointments make it season-defining.

Jurgen Klopp was boosted by the return of Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold to the squad on Thursday, while Curtis Jones ended an 11-game run without a start before seeing fatigue strike.

It leaves the Reds with more squad options than they have had in quite some time, but their visitors on Sunday will be without up to seven options.

Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone’s season is over, and centre-backs Marc Guehi, Rob Holding and Chris Richards are unavailable, as too Cheick Doucoure, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Matheus Franca.

Olise, on the other hand, is “close to starting” after his return from a hamstring injury off the bench at Man City last week, with manager Oliver Glasner saying, “he had the whole week training with us.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 16, 2023: Crystal Palace's Michael Olise during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Crystal Palace FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I think Michael can’t win the game alone, but he has a big role, and all the others have a big role,” Glasner told reporters.

“We’ll need a great goalkeeper because Liverpool are a very attacking team, so everybody has a key role and we will show it again that we are competitive as a team.”

Olise, 22, has been plagued by injury this season, but he will be a player Liverpool have to watch closely for however long he is on the pitch at Anfield, he’s Palace game changer.

In the 12 league outings he has managed this campaign, he has scored six times and set up another three.

Klopp’s side have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight across all competitions, and the Eagles will have hope from that, especially when the Reds have conceded first in half of them.

Possible Palace XI: Henderson; Ward, Andersen, Lerma; Munoz, Wharton, Hughes, Mitchell; Olise, Mateta, Eze