Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: preview, team news and predictions
Jurgen Klopp's side will face a tough test as they head to south London to face the Eagles
- When: Monday 20 August
- Where: Selhurst Park, London
- Kick-off time: 8pm
- TV channel: live on Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Ultra HD
Liverpool and Crystal Palace will both be aiming to make it two wins out of two when they meet at Selhurst Park tonight in the first Monday night match of the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are tipped to compete for the title this season and although they will be favourites to win tonight they face a tough test against Palace.
The match is a “contest laced with danger – the type that provides the litmus test of a team's title credentials”, says James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo.
“Make no mistake, we'll learn much more about the crop of 2018/19 on Monday night than we did during a hopelessly one-sided demolition of a woeful West Ham side on the opening weekend.
“It will represent a true welcome to Premier League football for new boys Alisson Becker and Naby Keita. The physicality will be cranked up a few notches.”
Indeed, TalkSport reports that Alisson has been doing rugby-style training routines in the build up to the match as he prepares for his first Premier League away game.
“Goalkeeping coach John Achterburg has been doing drills with him which involve crosses being fired into the area while someone blocks and buffets the keeper with the pads,” says the broadcaster.
Palace coach Roy Hodgson will be desperate to get one over on Liverpool after a miserable seven-month spell as manager at Anfield eight years ago.
Hodgson’s reputation took a battering on Merseyside and his stint as England manager did not go well either, but he has rediscovered his touch in south London.
“It will be a big test for Liverpool,”says Tony Evans of the Evening Standard. “When Hodgson took over at Palace 11 months ago, they looked certain to be relegated. This season they can expect to finish in the top half of the table and perhaps even target a Europa League place. Palace are organised, neat and have a dash of flair.
“It will take all of Hodgson’s tactical acumen to stifle Liverpool’s front three but Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke have the ability to exploit a defence that still shows signs of uncertainty. This is the sort of territory where Hodgson thrives.”
Liverpool are expected to make just one change for the match, says the Daily Mirror. “Jordan Henderson could return to the fold, replacing Georginio Wijnaldum in the centre of midfield, with James Milner retaining his place after impressing on the opening weekend.”
Defender Joel Matip could return to the bench after an injury in pre-season, but is unlikely to start.
Hodgson has a fully fit squad and could hand a debut to summer signing Max Meyer, says the Daily Telegraph.
The Telegraph believes Liverpool will have too much for Palace, and so does Paul Merson of Sky Sports. But Mark Lawrenson of the BBC says Palace will keep things tight and will come away with a share of the spoils.