How Liverpool should line up against Crystal Palace

Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino celebrate against Crystal Palace.
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Liverpool continue their start to the 2017/18 Premier League campaign with a visit from Crystal Palace, here’s how Jack Hallows thinks they should line up. 

Formation: 4-3-3

Palace are always a thorn in our side, so for me, we go balls-to-the-wall attack in our 4-3-3 and just look to put as many goals past them as possible.

Their defence looked static and slow against Huddersfield last weekend as they struggled to adapt to Frank de Boer’s 3-5-2 system and with Wilfried Zaha likely missing through injury, we should be looking to hit them where it hurts.

Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet

Even putting just how good he was against Hoffenheim aside, I don’t expect to see Klopp chop and change his goalkeepers for this fixture.

It’s likely that Karius will start seeing more action once the domestic cup competitions begin, while Ward unfortunately doesn’t look as if he’ll get much of a look in at all this season.

For me, it’s Mignolet all day.

Back four: Joe Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Robertson

The biggest changes from the Hoffenheim line up for me would come in defence.

As much as I rate Trent Alexander-Arnold and was highly impressed by his performance against Hoffenheim, asking him to play four games in 10 days may be too much and I’d rather see him nailed on to start against the German side again on Tuesday.

Some have called for Lovren out, Klavan in but Lovren on his day is a far better header of the ball and with Palace boasting Benteke up front, the Croatian’s aggression is going to be needed.

The other change I personally would make would be to drop Moreno for Robertson but with Klopp’s comments about the Scotsman not yet being up to speed with how the Reds play football, I’m not sure we’ll see him feature. I can live in hope, though.

Midfield trio: Emre Can, James Milner, Marko Grujić

Jordan Henderson looked to be carrying some kind of knock against Hoffenheim on Tuesday and Gini Wijnaldum just looked terrible, so for me, there’s got to be two changes in midfield.

Grujić seems to be superb at getting under Crystal Palace’s skin and for me should be given a chance to start in the Reds midfield alongside James Milner. While a trio of Milner, Can, Grujić doesn’t exactly scream ‘creative force,’ neither does a trio of Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum and realistically, they’re probably the only two options at the moment with Lallana and Coutinho both injured.

The added physicality of Grujić alongside Can will be welcome, while Milner provides another experienced, level-headed body in the midfield – just don’t let him anywhere near the set pieces.

Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge, Ryan Kent

Mané was absent from training yesterday as he was afforded another day of recovery after two high intensity games, while Firmino looked to be nursing a wrist injury of sorts – unless he was just channeling his inner Luis Suarez.

If both players are in need of a rest – which they very much could be ahead of the second leg against Hoffenheim on Wednesday night – then the confirmed as fit again Daniel Sturridge should step in alongside Ryan Kent.

Sturridge has a penchant for being a flat track bully and looked sharp in pre-season, while Kent is really the only other wide option Klopp has got unless he plays Solanke/Origi out of position and for me, Origi gets nowhere near our starting XI and Solanke has to play through the middle.

How would you line the Reds up for this fixture? Let us know in the comments below!


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