Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace: 10 key things to know as Reds look to respond

Liverpool host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, with victory essential after two bitterly disappointing games in succession.

Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace

Premier League (32) | Anfield
April 14, 2024 | 2pm (BST)

The Reds lost 3-0 at home to Atalanta in midweek in a result that shocked many, both in terms of the outcome and the lethargy on show.

Last Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Man United means title destiny is now out of Liverpool’s hands, and a resounding win is needed against Palace to stop the rot.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the match.


1. Simply a must-win for Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2024: Liverpool players form a pre-match huddle before the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanta at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There was understandable negativity after the United game, given the sloppy nature of the draw, and further criticism has rightly followed in midweek.

The defeat to Atalanta was a concerning one, with players looking tired and disorganised, and Sunday’s clash with Palace now feels even bigger.

Liverpool are still in a wonderful position, however, which can be easily forgotten, only trailing Arsenal on goal difference.

The visit of Palace has to end in a win, with a slip-up at Anfield feeling disastrous in the grand scheme of things.

Frankly, Jurgen Klopp‘s men should have more than enough to win.


2. Palace not completely out of relegation danger

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)

There have been battles going on at the top and bottom of the table all season long, but Palace have had a fairly forgettable campaign.

They are not yet an absolute certainty to stay up, admittedly, even though they are 14th in the table and five points clear of the drop zone.

Roy Hodgson has been replaced by the younger and more exciting Oliver Glasner, arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt, but he has only won one of his first six games in charge.

The fact that Palace don’t have an enormous amount to play for hopefully means they have one eye on the beach!


3. Who’s missing for Liverpool?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 4, 2024: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker looks dejected as his mistake leads to Arsenal's second goal during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

No new injuries were picked up against Atalanta, which was a rare positive to take from the game.

Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota all continue to make progress in their respective recoveries, and they could make the squad this weekend.

Jota came on late in the day on Thursday, but he is likely to be on the bench once more, and the same applies to Trent, who hasn’t played since February.

Joel Matip, Thiago and Ben Doak are all still missing.


4. How many changes to Reds XI?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 4, 2024: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp made six changes against Atalanta, which ultimately backfired, and big alterations will surely be made on Sunday.

Conor Bradley and Andy Robertson are likely to return at full-back – Joe Gomez‘s shot may have done enough to see him dropped! – while Jarell Quansah could come in for Ibrahima Konate.

Dominik Szoboszlai is expected to return, possibly in place of the rusty-looking Curtis Jones who Klopp conceded felt the intensity after his first start since February 17, and Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz must start, too.

Potential Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister; Salah, Diaz, Nunez


5. How will Palace line up?

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)

Unlike Liverpool, Palace have had the luxury of being able to train without a match all week, and they could line up similarly to the 4-2 loss at home to Man City.

Glasner is likely to go with a 3-4-3 formation, using Daniel Munoz and Tyrick Mitchell as wing-backs, while key man Michael Olise could make his first start since the end of January.

The Frenchman has been linked with a move to Liverpool and will be one to watch at Anfield, with Glasner saying he is “close to starting” after a full week of training.

Influential centre-back Marc Guehi is out, however, joining the likes of Sam Johnstone, Cheick Doucoure, Matheus Franca and Rob Holding on the sidelines.

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


6. “We will show a reaction, I can promise”

Speaking to the media on Friday, Klopp explained why he replaced Jones at half-time against Atalanta, citing fatigue as the key reason, as he promised a response:

“You saw Curtis, who was for most of the season the fittest player, press for 90 minutes like crazy, [Thursday] after 20 minutes he was 100 percent surprised, I was surprised as well.

“Oh look, he feels the intensity already. That is why we made the change at half-time. We don’t have to force it.


“This must feel bad and it does, so let the boys take it home, sleep on it and then come together and recover and go from there.

“On Saturday we will start preparing for Crystal Palace. We have to show a reaction, definitely, 100 percent clear, but I cannot plan the reaction [straight] after the game…But we will show a reaction, I can promise.”

Jones has certainly looked off the pace in the last two matches and it would be a surprise if he started this weekend, especially after Klopp’s comments.


7. The Crystal Palace ‘bogey team’ myth

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When you think of Palace, it’s hard not to hark back to that grim 3-3 draw back in 2014, playing a part in Liverpool throwing away the league title.

For that reason, the Eagles have often been seen as a bogey team for the Reds – they also won 4-3 in an FA Cup semi-final back in 1990 – but the statistics suggest otherwise.

Liverpool haven’t actually lost to Palace in their last 14 meetings home and away, winning 12 of those encounters.

The Eagles’ last win at Anfield came in November 2015, shortly after Klopp’s reign started, when he said he felt “alone” after fans left early.

We really need another win added to the list on Sunday.


8. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 28, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-2. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have been ravaged by injuries this season and the lack of availability is summed up by one statistic.

In their 31 Premier League games, only Virgil van Dijk (29) has managed to start more than 25 matches, with so many key figures well below that amount.

Salah (23), Alisson (21), Alexander-Arnold (19), Konate (15) and Jota (13) are just some of the examples of players who have missed big chunks of action.

In comparison, Arsenal quartet William Saliba (31), Declan Rice (30), Martin Odegaard (28) and Bukayo Saka (29) have only failed to start just six league games combined.


9. Chris Kavanagh in charge

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, February 10, 2022: Liverpool's Manager Jurgen Klopp is spoken to by referee Chris Kavanagh during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chris Kavanagh has been confirmed as the referee for Sunday’s match, with Klopp saying he wasn’t at the “level of the game” in the League Cup final win over Chelsea.

The 38-year-old has refereed four Premier League games involving Liverpool this season, starting with the 3-1 win at home to West Ham in September.

Then there was the 3-0 home victory over Nottingham Forest, followed by the 1-1 draws with Man City and Arsenal at Anfield and in north London respectively.

Simon Bennett and Dan Robathan are the assistant referees, and Keith Stroud is the fourth official – Michael Oliver is on VAR duty on Sunday and will be assisted by Stuart Burt.


10. Follow the match with TIA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 1pm (BST), with kickoff at 2pm.

Harry McMullen is on TIA matchday live blog duty from 1.15pm, keeping you up to date and hopefully faring better than when he reported on the draw with United.

Come on you Reds!