With a 1-0 victory Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool kept the momentum going against Rubin Kazan on Thursday. Despite only scoring one goal, the Reds dominated the game and the players look like they have so much more confident now. Still, they will have to make sure that they stay focused in this weekend’s match against Crystal Palace. They are going into the match after traveling to Russia and Palace are a side who could take advantage of a lackluster effort from the Liverpool players.
Simon Mignolet might think he will have an easy match since Palace’s main striker, Dwight Gayle has not scored a single goal this year. However, Yohan Cabaye has scored 4 goals from midfield so Mignolet will need to pay attention for the entire match.
Nathaniel Clyne might be reaching exhaustion since he has played a lot of minutes this season and he has played the full match every time. Still, with Klopp unlikely to play the young Connor Randall in a Premier League match, Clyne will be tasked with defending Yannick Bolasie.
Only Martin Skrtel, Clyne and Mignolet have played every single minute of Premier League action for Liverpool but the Slovakian did get some much needed rest on Thursday. Mamadou Sakho had another fantastic performance against Rubin Kazan and he should now be one of the first names on the team sheet until the end of the season. Both should have an easy time against with the aforementioned Gayle but they will have to stay on their toes since Palace are an excellent counter-attacking team.
Alberto Moreno also played the full match but once again, the lack of depth at the position prevents Klopp from really giving the Spaniard some rest. He has improved significantly under Klopp and the faster pace that Liverpool play with fits his own style perfectly. Against Palace, he will have to deal with the tricky Wilfried Zaha, a tricky winger who could punish any mistakes that Moreno makes.
Klopp made the right move by resting Lucas Leiva in the last match and he will be tasked with dominating the middle of the pitch. He has looked rejuvenated under the new manager and with his injury problems behind him, it looks like he will be a key part of the squad for years to come. Alongside Lucas, Emre Can needs to show more control when tackling or he might be sent off more often than he should. It is great that he is a physical presence but a lot of his tackles do lead to set pieces for the opponents.
Despite Jordon Ibe’s goal against Rubin Kazan, the trio of Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho should all start on Sunday. All three are much more hard-working than the youngster and they have played a lot of minutes together. Given Palace’s strong defensive record so far this season, Liverpool will need as much creativity as possible from the three attackers. All three have looked much better under Klopp and Coutinho should be a significant contributor in the match especially after not playing at all in Russia.
Christian Benteke played the full 90 minutes on Thursday so he may not be at his best against Palace but starting Divock Origi is still the worse option. The team has noticeably increased the number of crosses they launch into the box and that has made Benteke a much more effective forward. Against Palace, the Belgian will need to win his battles with the veteran duo of Scott Dann and Damien Delaney, if he dominates those two, Liverpool are almost guaranteed a win.
Via – Lineup Builder