Liverpool face a much improved Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday afternoon in which will now be another ‘Cup Final for us as we challenge for a Champions League spot.
It is very much the same as previous weeks where we play an unfashionable team whilst having to contend with numerous injuries. This could again force Jurgen Klopp into a major squad reshuffle.
- Numerous injury worries for Klopp.
- Crystal Palace will be without on-loan defender Mamadou Sakho, who is ineligible to face his parent club.
- Only two sides are in better current form than Crystal Palace – one of them is Liverpool.
- Both have won five of their last seven games.
- Palace have won their last two visits to Anfield.
- Sam Allardyce has never won a league match at the famous stadium in 13 previous attempts.
- Christian Benteke particularly keen to impress on his first return since he was sold by Jurgen Klopp last August.
Again we will see the effects of having a very small first-team squad, with Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan being added to the list. Potentially the only two centre-backs we’ll have available will be Dejan Lovren and youngster Joe Gomez.
Midfield injuries continue as Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana are all definitely sidelined. Throw into the mix Lucas Leiva’s potential injury. Klopp will have to reshuffle his midfield with Emre Can the most likely to play in the holding midfielder role.
This is now when Klopp earns his money, what will he do? How will he regroup his troops to ensure there is creativity in the midfield whilst having enough guile to hold off Palaces midfield.
- This could see potentially see Trent Alexander-Arnold making another appearance in the Premier League with Georginio Wijnaldum making the midfield three.
- Another option for Klopp could be to add Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic instead of Alexander-Arnold. This would provide more steel in the centre of the park to battle with Crystal Palaces tough midfield.
- James Milner could also start in midfield, but this would leave a gap at left-back, which could be filled by either Nathaniel Clyne or Alberto Moreno. Should Clyne play at left-back, then Alexander-Arnold would play at right back,
- Putting Philippe Coutinho into the midfield three would add the much needed creativity that is lacking with Lallana out the side. The next question is who would replace him in the front three? Daniel Sturridge or Ben Woodburn could partner Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi up front. My personal choice would be Harry Wilson. He’s been tearing the U23’s apart this season and is ready to make the jump. Would he be given the chance?
It’s going to be an interesting encounter, my team selection would be;
Mignolet; Milner, Gomez, Lovren, Clyne; Coutinho, Can, Wijnaldum; Wilson, Firmino, Origi.