Liverpool vs Crystal Palace by Luke
After their poor performances and bad results in January and February, Liverpool improved at least in March and looked better in April, coming from a narrow 1:0 victory last Sunday evening as the Reds won over West Brom away from home thanks to only goal scored by Firmino in additional minutes of the first halftime.
This was their second consecutive win, as they previously won on the road against Stoke, but the side now has an undefeated run of seven matches in Premier League, counting five victories and two draws in the progress. They have also climbed up at the table, now being at third position with two points more than fourth placed Manchester City, as they surely aim to at least stay there and get the direct qualification for the Champions League next season, so a victory here now is a must for them.
Liverpool should be set in 4-3-3 formation with Coutinho and Firmino probably as wingers, plus Origi as central number nine striker. Roberto Firmino back to training sessions, while Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Lucas Leiva have muscular problems and all four remain questionable for this one. Injured are forward Danny Ings (long term one), midfielders Sadio Mane (27/13), Jordan Henderson (24/1), Ovie Ejaria (2/0) and Adam Lallana (27/7).
Crystal Palace improved a lot in previous few weeks, as the side was one of the hottest candidates to relegate at the end of this season, but now, in case they continue with improvement and positive results, they might be able to finish their relegation worries well before the final rounds of Premier League.
In the most recent match, they took only a point in a 2:2 draw against Leicester last Saturday evening, as the team paid the price of entering the match slower than usually since they were 2:0 back in the scoreline after fifty minutes of play, but bounced back thanks to goals from Cabaye and Benteke, being a bit better but without reverting the scoreline completely. The team is now at fifteenth position, which is seven points more than relegating placed Swansea and having in mind that they have played a game less, players of Crystal Palace can already feel pretty satisfied for this season.
Guests will be playing in their typical 4-2-3-1 formation with Benteke as their central striker, plus Zaha, Puncheon and Townsend as offensive midfielders. Loic Remy, James McArthur and Jeffrey Schlupp are all back from injuries ahead of this clash. Injured remain central defender Scott Dann (23/3) and forward Connor Wickham (8/2), with left back Pape Souare (3/0) being unfit. Central back Mamadou Sakho (7/0) can't play against his parent club.
- Liverpool have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 9 matches against Crystal Palace.
Liverpool is now looking for a victory after their back to back defeats and the Reds do remain favorites for this one. However, Crystal Palace is also in a very good form at the moment and I see them having plenty of chances here on the counter attacks. Guests are looking really well at the moment and I see them scoring, but their defensive problems could cost them of points this time.