Crystal Palace versus Liverpool has become an increasingly intoxicating affair over the past few years.
There was ‘Crystanbul‘, the party poopers of Steven Gerrard’s Anfield farewell and Jurgen Klopp’s first-ever defeat as Liverpool manager.
Even last season chucked up another exhilarating contest as Roy Hodgson’s side looked to disrupt Liverpool’s title charge against Manchester City. The two teams played out an enthralling 4-3 affair that saw Liverpool run out narrow winners.
The European champion’s irreplaceable front-three were all on the score sheet as Klopp’s team twice had to fight back to gain a crucial three points on their way to a club-record tally of 97 points for the 2018/19 season.
This Saturday’s 3 pm afternoon kick-off also has that extra edge as it is another occasion where the Reds will come up against former manager Roy Hodgson who was in charge for a torrid 20 league game period from June 2010 to January 2011.
Liverpool survived a serious scare that afternoon back in January after starting the match poorly – taking far too long to react to the Eagles undeniable attacking threat. The visitors caught the Reds on the break after Andros Townsend tucked home a fine move to give Hodgson’s team an unlikely lead.
After clawing back to a 2-1 lead, Liverpool remarkably conceded another soft goal after James Tomkins caught Klopp’s team napping from a rare corner to level the scoring. Mane and Salah punished Palace later on with two late goals before Max Meyer scored an injury-time consolation strike.
It was the only time since Liverpool beat Manchester City 4-3 in January 2018 that Klopp’s team leaked three goals at Anfield in the league.
Crystal Palace have proved an impressive force under Hodgson claiming some big scalps with huge victories over Manchester United, City, Leicester and Arsenal over the past 12 months so they are not to be taken lightly.
Despite Liverpool winning the previous four league meetings over the Londoners, they have given many a scare in their recent clashes. If you date back to the club’s return to the Premier League in 2013 there has only been one comfortable victory from 13 league clashes for the Reds against Palace when Brendan Rodgers got the better of Ian Holloway in a 3-1 victory back in September 2013.
Injuries to Andrew Robertson and Mohamed Salah will also hinder the Reds when they travel to the capital on Saturday.
However, the club’s status as runaway league leaders and still the only unbeaten team left in the country should give Kopites belief that Klopp’s team will still comfortably get the job done at the weekend to potentially extend their eight-point lead at the Premier League summit