Fresh from an enthralling 3-2 success over AC Milan in the Champions League, Liverpool return to Premier League action with Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace at Anfield.
Meanwhile, the Eagles travel to Merseyside aiming to keep the momentum going from their hugely impressive 3-0 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
If the two previous meetings between the pair were anything to go by, Liverpool vs. AC Milan was set to serve up a treat for the Anfield faithful on Wednesday night, and both sides delivered during a magnificent European spectacle.
After Fikayo Tomori’s own goal opened the scoring and Mohamed Salah’s penalty was kept out by an inspired Mike Maignan, AC Milan went into half time 2-1 up thanks to strikes from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz, but Salah and Jordan Henderson would propel the Reds to a 3-2 success in front of a jubilant group of supporters.
Starting as they mean to go on in the Champions League, Liverpool also enter this weekend’s game having hit three goals without reply against Leeds United last weekend, although that clash at Elland Road was marred by the horrific injury to breakthrough star Harvey Elliott.
Nevertheless, Liverpool’s tally of 10 points from a possible 12 – as well as a goal difference of +8 – sees them sit level with Chelsea and Manchester United atop the rankings at this early stage, with Merseyside rivals Everton only behind on goal difference.
Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield struggles were well-documented during their torrid spell last term, but victory over Milan stretched their unbeaten streak at home to nine games in all tournaments and they have amassed a 14-game run without defeat in the Premier League – winning five of their last six with five clean sheets to boot
After enjoying remarkable success against Tottenham Hotspur as a player, new Palace boss Patrick Vieira could hardly have dreamed of a better day at the office last weekend, with his Eagles side running out 3-0 winners over their London rivals.
Japhet Tanganga’s 58th-minute sending off did not help Spurs whatsoever, and Palace took advantage, with Wilfried Zaha opening the scoring from the penalty spot after Ben Davies’s handball before Odsonne Edouard’s 10-minute debut saw him bag a brace at Selhurst Park.
The former Celtic man’s dream start to life as an Eagle was one of many success stories on the day, as Zaha’s Tottenham duck was broken at the 13th attempt and Vieira claimed his first Premier League win in charge of Palace, who have risen to 11th in the fledgling standings.
However, Palace travel to Anfield having lost three and drawn one of their last four Premier League away matches – conceding 10 goals over that span – with that run including a 2-0 defeat in this fixture on the final day of the 2020-21 season.
The Eagles’ 2-1 win at Anfield in 2017 was the final home defeat that Liverpool had suffered in the league before embarking on that unparalleled 68-game unbeaten run, and Palace are seeking to avoid a ninth consecutive league defeat to the Reds, with the less said about last year’s 7-0 Selhurst Park humiliation the better.
Liverpool Premier League form:
Liverpool form (all competitions):
Crystal Palace Premier League form:
Crystal Palace form (all competitions):
We say: Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace
Palace should certainly have a more clinical edge on the attacking front going forwards, with Edouard, Zaha and Conor Gallagher all proving themselves as worthy sources of goals under the Vieira revolution.
As impressive as their win over Spurs was, facing an 11-man Liverpool side could prove a step too far for a team who have historically struggled in this fixture, and we expect the Reds to nullify their opponents’ attacking forces during a straightforward success.