A couple of weeks ago and the title’s was Liverpool’s to lose. As we approach this fixture on Monday evening, there are a lot of suspicions that the Reds have done exactly that. Having been knocked off top spot, Brendan Rodgers’ side know that they travel to Crystal Palace with the mandate of coming away with nothing other than three points.
However, Crystal Palace certainly won’t make things easy. At the start of the season this would have been seen as the ideal fixture for Liverpool, with many under the belief that Palace would be relegated not long after Christmas. Instead, the turnaround at this football club has been nothing short of miraculous and Tony Pulis has once again shown why he is one of the most successful managers in the division. Palace now find themselves sat in 11th position and for the first time in their history, they go into the summer preparing for a second successive Premiership campaign. While they may have lost their last game to Manchester City, prior to that they had put together a club-record run of five straight victories. As such, they will still hold plenty of confidence ahead of this clash at Selhurst Park.
Liverpool on the other hand will be hoping that they can get over that 2-0 defeat to Chelsea last weekend. Prior to that game, the Reds were in pole-position for the championship, yet the perils of goal difference might thwart them by the season finale. While they might be level on points with Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have a far superior goal difference with just two games of the campaign remaining. Even though Liverpool have been classed as a free-scoring outfit throughout the campaign, at this stage it would appear exceptionally unlikely to overcome a nine goal haul. Still, if they can get maximum points from their final two outings, the pressure returns to Manchester.
Something else that will hinder Liverpool’s chances will be Crystal Palace’s team news, with the Eagles having a fully fit squad to choose from for the clash. This comes after Kagisho Dikgacoi’s return to fitness, after he was unable to start in their last game against Manchester City. The Reds meanwhile are hopeful of being able to include Daniel Sturridge, even though he has trained sparingly this week. One player who definitely won’t be featuring is Jordan Henderson though, as he sits out the last match of his three-game ban.
In a lot of ways Crystal Palace are the dark horses of the top flight and they have taken points off some of the division’s best. We think there is a very good chance of this occurring again and armed with the home advantage, our tip is going to be a 1-1 scoreline at Selhurst Park this evening.