Preview: Crystal Palace v Liverpool

Can Crystal Palace halt Liverpool’s seven-game unbeaten run when they welcome the Reds to Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Saturday?

Premier League
30 October 2016
Match Day 10
Kick-off: 00H30 HKT
Venue: Selhurst Park

Referee: A. Marriner
Assistants: S. Beck, A. Garratt
Fourth official: P. Tierney

Head-to-head summary:

Crystal Palace 34 9 7 18
Liverpool 34 18 7 9

Previous encounter:

Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool 06/03/16 (Premier League)

Crystal Palace goalscorers: J. Ledley (48′)
Liverpool goalscorers: R. Firmino (72′), C. Benteke (PG 90+6′)

Players to watch:

The weekend is getting close! ??? #LFC – – – #Smile #Cameraman! #Training #Work #CRYLIV

A photo posted by Liverpool Football Club (@liverpoolfc) on

Christian Benteke will be eager to add to his three goals this weekend and will need no motivation to find the back of the net against his former club. The Belgian striker has been somewhat inconsistent at Palace but has been backed to cause Liverpool all sorts of problems at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who has struggled this term, will want to prove his worth in the Premier League after his two goals saw the Reds eliminate Tottenham 2-1 in their midweek English Football League cup tie.

Divock Origi is another who impressed in that tie, but it remains to be seen if he did enough to secure a starting berth.

Team form and manager quotes:

Crystal Palace’s inconsistency means they come into this match in 11th place with just three wins from their nine matches played thus far.

They last beat win-less Sunderland 3-2 away from home in September ahead of a 1-1 draw with Everton and two losses, 1-0 to West Ham, and 3-1 to Leicester City.

In the lead up to this match, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew, who has recently bemoaned his side’s inability to stop other sides from scoring, said: “Clean sheets are a concern for all managers. We need a little more concentration to get us over the line.

“They [Liverpool] play high intensity and they’re quick to the ball, and that’s driven by the manager, but [Brendan] Rodgers’ team wasn’t too dissimilar.

“Liverpool will be looking for consistency now and if you catch them on the wrong day they can be very difficult.

“The way the league is panning out, you have to put Liverpool in contention for the title.”

He also touted Christian Benteke to impress against his former employers.

He added: “When you don’t think you have had the opportunities you deserve, you are bound to have a bit more of a spring in your step for the game.

“I would have if I was him and I expect him to be more charged than normal. When I played against my old club West Ham a couple of weeks ago the game meant a little bit more to me, and that is just a natural human reaction. I am sure that will be the same for him.”

Liverpool under manager Jurgen Klopp have been in revived form this season and currently occupy third place in the Premier League standings, on 20 points, level with leader Manchester City and second placed Arsenal.

They are unbeaten in seven league encounters, and come into this match on the back of a 2-1 win over West Brom where they dominated much of the tie, despite conceding, and that EFL success over Spurs.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also added some thoughts on the club’s former striker. He said: “What a player. We know him best because we had him all the time in training.

“In all moments he showed his quality in the areas where he’s really strong. He’s not only good at heading but he’s especially good at heading.

“He also has good technical skills. He’s a wonderful player who is now at Crystal Palace.”

While on the weekend’s opponents, he added: “You always have a difficult opponent to play, you need your full concentration and that’s what we try to do.”

Team news:

Crystal Palace captain Scott Dann has recovered from a hamstring injury and could start against Liverpool while Jason Puncheon is a doubt with the calf injury.

While Jordan Henderson returns to contention after missing the Spurs game with a ban, James Milner is expected to miss out with a virus.

Klopp is also expected to reselect his first choice side after making 11 changes for Liverpool’s EFL Cup defeat of Tottenham in midweek.