After two away games, and two wins, on the trot, Liverpool return to Anfield to continue their fine run of form. But with seven consecutive games unbeaten – five being wins – the Reds are coming up against a gutsy outfit in the form of Crystal Palace.
Granted that Sam Allardyce’s side are Premier League minnows, especially when compared to the likes of Liverpool, but they will travel to Anfield with a battling mindset. Placed 15th in the league table and seven points off the relegation zone, Palace has failed to win three points on just two occasions in their last six matches – a 3-1 loss to Southampton and a 2-2 draw against Leicester City. During that run, they’ve beaten Arsenal and Chelsea.
Jürgen Klopp has drilled in a strong ethos in this Liverpool side, whose attack will be led by influential Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. While Coutinho recently broke a Premier League record to become the most prolific goalscorer from Brazil, Firmino has fired in winners in the Reds’ last two matches against Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion.
At the same time, Divock Origi bolsters the strike force along with Daniel Sturridge, while Joel Matip, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren have been sturdy at the back.
Then there is Simon Mignolet in goal, who has been in sensational form himself, providing crucial saves in both the recent away games. Skipper James Milner too has been ever-reliable for his team.
Despite the threat that Palace brings with them in the upcoming tie, their manager’s personal account at Anfield is in stark red. During his managerial career, Allardyce never managed to lead a team to victory at Anfield in the 13 times he’s travelled to the legendary stadium – picking up three draws and 10 defeats.
In the reverse fixture back in October at Selhurst Park, Liverpool ran away 4-2 winners, with Emre Can, Lovren, Matip and Firmino hitting the net for the Reds.
A lot is at stake for both clubs, as Palace will look to avoid relegation, while Liverpool are close to securing a place in the Champions League. They are currently placed third, with the two Manchester clubs close at their heels.