Two teams seeking their first victories of the 2022-23 Premier League season prepare for battle at Anfield on Monday night, as Liverpool play host to Crystal Palace.
The Reds came from behind twice to rescue a 2-2 draw with Fulham on the opening weekend, while Patrick Vieira’s side were no match for Arsenal in a 2-0 loss.
Not often will you see Virgil van Dijk being bullied on a football pitch, but the nightmare-inducing Aleksandar Mitrovic and his Fulham side were unfortunate not to come out on the correct end of the scoreline against a Liverpool team who were simply not at the races.
Mitrovic towered above Trent Alexander-Arnold to head home Fulham’s first Premier League goal of the season before doubling his tally from the penalty spot after being felled by Van Dijk, but Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah found the back of the net to restore parity for Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp did not hold back in a scathing assessment of his side’s performance last weekend, and the age-old question of whether Liverpool would sign a new midfielder inevitably cropped up as Thiago Alcantara entered the treatment room once again.
A return to home comforts provides Liverpool with a prime opportunity to right the wrongs of gameweek one, as it has been 17 months since the Merseyside giants lost a Premier League game at Anfield – winning 13 of their last 14 in front of the Kop.
Furthermore, not since the 2003-04 season have Liverpool lost their first Premier League home game of a new season, and the competition will mark its 30th anniversary on Monday night, so ending a streak of conceding first in each of their last five top-flight matches would be the ideal anniversary gift for Klopp and co.
Never will you see a Premier League manager expressing nostalgia over a previous victory against a particular opponent, and Arsenal travelled to Selhurst Park with every intention of rectifying their mistakes from last season’s 3-0 drubbing at the hands of their former Invincibles captain Vieira.
Unlike that encounter in April, the Gunners ran out 2-0 winners through Gabriel Martinelli’s header and a Marc Guehi own goal, but it could have been a different story had the Eagles’ attackers managed to take a couple of gilt-edged opportunities that fell their way.
Defeat to Arsenal broke a spectacular five-game run of home clean sheets for Palace, whose chances of putting their first three points on the board have hardly improved this week, but there were still some positive signs to take away from the inaugural clash of the season.
The 2017-18 campaign represented the last time that Palace opened a top-flight campaign with back-to-back losses, and Vieira’s side failed to keep a single clean sheet in their last five Premier League away games last term, which spells danger against a fired-up Liverpool.
Recent history does not favour the visitors either, as Liverpool have won 10 Premier League games in a row against Crystal Palace since a 2-1 Anfield defeat in April 2017, prevailing in both fixtures last term by an aggregate score of 6-1.
Liverpool Premier League form:
Crystal Palace Premier League form:
We say: Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace
Anfield is the perfect place for Liverpool to respond to a minor setback, especially against a side who they boast 10 successive wins against, and Vieira’s side should not spring any surprises here.
Even with their treatment room nearing full-capacity, Liverpool still have the defensive nous to record a welcome shutout, and we can only picture the Reds getting back to winning ways on Monday.