Tonight we go back to our Fortress Anfield against Crystal Palace, it is weird that it will be different with empty seats but Liverpool should come out like we are used to seeing them.
Last week the Merseyside Derby set up a record for most watched game and let’s be honest the game scared the living out of us especially when we almost conceded thanks to the awful defending by Dejan Lovren.
Alisson came to our rescue and the rebound shot was denied by the post only to be cleared by Van Dijk. The game actually showed that Liverpool were rusty and players needed game time and they rightfully did get it except the ones we were missing, Mo Salah & Andy Robertson (declared fit by Klopp and will start).
Milner & Matip were lost to injury but in the end, points being shared wasn’t so bad considering every aspect- especially when we were up against a solid Ancelloti’s side, not our usual Everton.
A little talk on tactics..
Liverpool need to get going tonight and pick up the rhythm, Crystal Palace is a side which is frightening on their day and can topple almost any team in this world but their problem has always been inconsistency and some say lack of transfer activity. The biggest threat they have is in Wilfred Zaha, the pacey dribbler, who likes to take on defenders and they have some really good long ball tactics. They have pace on the wings, a good target man upfront and can defend deep really well especially when they face a big side.
They are likely going to sit deep and try hit Liverpool with counters and long balls with runners in behind Liverpool’s high defense. The focus will be a containing job with maintaining shape, staying compact and outnumbering the midfield.
All in all to nullifying Liverpool’s attacking outlets in Alexander Arnold and Robertson!
Liverpool will have more possession but it will need to have quick transition like we are so usual of seeing- the interchanges and fast moving of the balls & quick link ups. Quick passing and blitzing Palace when necessary building up pressure on them and forcing an error. When it comes to lineup for Liverpool, in my opinion Keita needs to start considering the side we are playing, who will sit deep and with the way he played against Everton, he needs to start but knowing Klopp we may not see him until 2nd half and be relied on the most reliable pragmatic midfield we have.
Defense: TAA, Gomez, VVD, Robertson.
Midfielder: Henderson, Fabinho, Gini.
Attack: Mane, Firmino, Salah.
We will expect changes in the second half depending upon the situation and it is likely Keita, Minamino or Ox could come off the bench. If the game is already won then we may see some youngsters getting some game time too.
Minamino, last week felt as if was wasted on the right wing, he tried his best but it wasn’t working out for him- there were glimpses which showed he has that spark but not in that position but Klopp already knows that, doesn’t he?
Maybe, starting him was about giving him a much needed game time and settling him further on and on top of that it provided a lot of significant information on him, majorly being he’s ideal for a position in midfield or as a no.9.
We have to be at it now in this, after last week and not slack off because if we did, then Palace will capitalize and they can do that, we know it well.
My prediction for this game is a Liverpool win by 3 goals to Palace’s 1.