Liverpool v Crystal Palace: the psychology, injuries and predictions

Liverpool have never won the Premier League – something that is easy to forget given the way in which their status is hyped up by the media on a regular basis. But the reality is that their triumphs came before the new format came along, and they are looking to this season to be the break through moment.

Certainly sitting clear at the top of the league in mid January, four points clear of the club in second place and nine points clear of the club in third, is no bad setting for an assault on the first Premier League trophy at Anfield.

Although they only sit second in the league when home form matches are calculated they have games in hand…

Home matches only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester C 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 10 9 1 0 27 3 24 28
3 Arsenal 11 8 2 1 24 10 14 26

Manchester City are above them on home form simply because they have played two more at home than Liverpool, whose record of nine wins, one draw and no defeats, is second to none.

Away from home Crystal Palace don’t look so secure…

9 Wolverhampton 11 4 3 4 11 13 -2 15
10 West Ham 10 4 2 4 13 14 -1 14
11 Crystal Palace 11 4 1 6 14 17 -3 13
12 Newcastle U 11 2 5 4 9 14 -5 11
13 Southampton 12 3 2 7 12 22 -10 11

Just four wins away, and six defeats for Palace with a goal difference of -3; against Liverpool’s home goal difference of +24 with only three goals put in the net against them at Anfield.

Liverpool did have a little slip up of late…

03 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Liverpool L 2-1
07 Jan 2019 Wolverhampton v Liverpool (FAC) L 2-1
12 Jan 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion v Liverpool W 0-1

but prior to that they had eight straight wins, and the modest away victory on the South Coast leads me to think that the cover has been turned.

Unfortunately Palace’s home form doesn’t give one the feeling that they can turn matters around…

26 Dec 2018 Crystal Palace v Cardiff City D 0-0
30 Dec 2018 Crystal Palace v Chelsea L 0-1
02 Jan 2019 Wolverhampton v Crystal Palace W 0-2
05 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Grimsby Town FAC W 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Watford L 1-2

Two wins in the last five and although one was highly commendable there are still the defeats and a draw against lowly Cardiff.

The Psychology

I really can’t see anything here to give Liverpool the worries nor Palace the certainty they can win.

The injuries 

Liverpool have six players out, but Wijnaldum looks like he could return.  The players with real problems are Alexander Arnold, Lovren, Lallana, Gomez, and of course Oxlade Chamberlain.

Palace have three out, Guaita, Hennessey, and Souare.   I doubt that Liverpool’s longer list will bring any worries to Liverpool’s management in preparation for this game.  I take them to win easily.  4-0 I expect.

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