Crystal Palace vs Liverpool – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 25th February 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Liverpool’s visit to Selhurst Park. Palace are winless in 7, whereas Liverpool have won 6 of their last 10 PL games. Away win? Read on with our Crystal Palace vs Liverpool prediction.
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Match Preview
Crystal Palace enter this game with problems. The club have not won in the previous seven league matches, including losses to Spurs, Chelsea, and Man United. However, their last two games have been 1-1 draws with rivals Brighton and Brentford. These represent good results against two teams in form. Five of Palace’s last six league games have seen two goals or fewer scored. They have only scored four in their previous seven, so they won’t expect to register many goals at home to Liverpool.
Palace’s home form has been slightly better than their away form. They have won four of twelve (33 per cent) at Selhurst Park and accrued 16 points. However, they have not won at home for five matches. The Spurs game and the Fulham fixture were 4-0 and 3-0 London derby hammerings, respectively. Sitting in 12th place with 26 points from 23 games, they are averaging just over a point a game. They are realistically 10-12 points from safety.
Liverpool come into the game having improved their league form somewhat. After a run in which they only gained one point from four games, the Merseyside club have won the last two – 2-0 victories over rivals Everton and Newcastle. Indeed, the game at St James’ Park at the weekend was notable for Magpies goalkeeper Nick Pope getting sent off, meaning he misses the Carabao Cup Final this weekend. Liverpool have won their last eight away matches against Palace, scoring at least two goals in all those games, so the signs are good.
What could have been better was Liverpool’s midweek result. After flying out of the blocks at Anfield and taking a 2-0 lead against Real Madrid in the Champions League, Liverpool subsequently lost 5-2 to mark their worst-ever European home defeat. Braces from Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema played their part in this win, and it remains to be seen how Liverpool will respond. Sitting in eighth with 35 points after 22 games is poor for Liverpool, as is the fact that they have only won three of their eleven away games this season, picking up 11 points.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Ferguson, Mitchell, Ward, Zaha
Will Not Play: Johnstone, Tomkins
Might Not Play: Gomez
Will Not Play: Konate, Thiago, Melo, Diaz
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Lineups (Predicted)
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita; Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Clyne; Lokonga, Doucoure, Schlupp; Ayew, Mateta, Olise
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold; Bajcetic, Fabinho, Elliott; Gakpo, Jota, Salah
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Analysis
The contest in the middle of the pitch should be intriguing here. Liverpool tend to keep the ball – indeed, they have averaged 60 per cent possession this season. Palace are much further down the list with only 45 per cent. Therefore, it is clear what the pattern of the game will be; Liverpool will look to get on the ball in midfield and set the tempo with the likes of Bajcetic and Fabinho. We have tipped Elliott to play, but Henderson could too. This three-player combination must try to pass around Doucoure, Lokonga, and Schlupp to drag the Palace players out of position and find gaps where Liverpool can find the front players.
Palace’s midfielders and attackers must close down spaces and keep Liverpool from getting into their groove. Palace had been playing reasonably good football under coach Patrick Vieira but, in recent weeks, have reverted to their safety-first approach. We see them playing in a low block, attempting to win the ball in the two deeper thirds, and hitting Liverpool on transitions. They may miss the outlet that is Zaha, but it is vital that players such as Olise and Eze can use their dribbling to carry the ball and relieve pressure. We still expect Liverpool to dominate possession and Palace to soak up pressure.
Liverpool’s Hammering By Real Madrid And Their Potential Response
The Real Madrid defeat in midweek was the latest in a long line of calamities that have befallen Liverpool this season. However, Liverpool can feel aggrieved. Real Madrid’s xG stat was 1.78. For them to score five goals was very harsh on Liverpool and highlights the ruthlessness and clinical nature of the finishing from La Liga’s champions. Nevertheless, Liverpool are likely out of the competition and will turn their thoughts to the league as the only competition in which they are still participating. They must try to pick up points to catch the likes of Spurs and Newcastle in the fight for that fourth place.
Liverpool must get the ball to their wide and forward players at every opportunity. We have backed Jota to start, but whichever two of Jota, Nunez, Firmino, and Gakpo start alongside Salah (we can’t see the Egyptian being dropped), they must use trickery, pace, dribbling and quality passing to make their way into the Palace box. The full-backs will be as crucial as ever with their ability to get forward and cross. Substitutes could also be a factor despite Liverpool being light due to injuries. However, with Wolves to come in midweek, Liverpool must manage this game and do all they can to get points on the board.
Palace Will Look To Play On The Counter-Attack
As stated, Palace will likely play defensively and plan to strike on transitions. They can do this well with the pace and trickery of Eze, Olise, Zaha (if fit), and Edouard. Mateta, if he starts, is a bit of a physical battering ram and also offers them something different in terms of hold-up play, allowing them to ping and clip long balls to him for him to bring the others into play.
We expect Palace to use the dribbling of their forwards to try to get in behind the Liverpool defenders. Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, and Van Dijk have looked ropey recently, so Palace will look to exploit their current weak form. Set pieces are also an area the London club might target. Liverpool have been vulnerable in this area recently and conceded a terrible goal from a set piece against Real Madrid.
This fixture would typically be pretty straightforward to predict, given Liverpool’s dominance in it in recent years and their high-scoring nature. However, it becomes trickier given the season Liverpool are experiencing and the unknown factor of how the game in midweek has affected them. On the one hand, they could come out with something to prove and blow Palace away. Alternatively, their confidence may be shattered, and they might dread coming to London.
It is harder for Palace to play their natural counter-attack game at home, where their fans want them to take more initiative. However, against Liverpool, they will still be expected to concede the ball and sit in their shape, despite the Merseysiders’ woes. Therefore, we see Liverpool dominating the game but their hosts being a threat on the counter. At this point, Liverpool would take any win – however narrow – and we predict them to just about emerge victorious.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Betting Tip – Liverpool Odds:
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