Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Pre-Match

The 2013/14 Premier League season has been a strange one. It hasn’t been until this penultimate gameweek that two of the three relegation spaces have been filled, with a third still waiting to drag its prey down in to the Championship. It hasn’t been until this gameweek that the league’s top four is now confirmed. And yet, if Liverpool take three points away from Selhurst Park tonight, we will still be no closer to discovering who out of Steven Gerrard and Vincent Kompany will lift the trophy this coming Sunday. Of course, many have written Liverpool off already. Manchester City now find themselves with two games remaining, both at the Etihad, and both against teams in the bottom half of the table. In the opinion of most, this road to the title has twisted and turned enough, and City are now sprinting down the straight, looking certain to collect the gold.

For Liverpool, the wounds of defeat caused by Chelsea last weekend are still fresh. Steven Gerrard’s unsure footing caused the first of two goals by Mourinho’s men at Anfield, and you would be wise not to utter the word ‘slip’ on the streets of Merseyside for a few more months yet. However, slipping up seems to be the flavour of the month right now (following Chelsea’s bore draw against Norwich yesterday) and Liverpool, who can now finish no lower than 2nd with a win tonight, will be praying that Manchester City stumble in at least one of their final two games.

First and foremost though, Brendan Rodgers must guide his side to victory in both of their remaining games, and Crystal Palace will prove to be no easy feat. Tony Pulis is, you could say, Liverpool’s Achilles’ Heel of managers, having frequently frustrated both fans and players of the Anfield club during his time at Stoke City. In fact, Pulis has never tasted defeat in a Premier League home match against Liverpool, winning three and drawing two. To add to this, Palace have found incredible form at exactly the right time, recording a five-game winning streak before their defeat by Manchester City last weekend, and in-turn lifting themselves to mid-table security. Should Pulis compound more misery upon Gerrard et al tonight, he will know that a top-10 finish is within reach, with the added bonus that it may come at the expense of his previous employers.

You can guarantee though that Liverpool will not be in the mood to allow anyone another shot at denting their title hopes. Players’ and football writers’ player of the year Luis Suarez will be well aware that rapidly gnawing away at Manchester City’s superior goal difference, which may decide where the title ends up this season, is vital. As is Brendan Rodgers’, who stated that he has no doubt his side possesses the ability to score a mountain of goals over the final 180 minutes of their season, and such a statement should not be scoffed at. Liverpool need just four more goals to hit the 100-goal barrier this season, and a further three to break the 103 goal record set by Chelsea in 2010. Tonight, goals are all but guaranteed, although how many is not so easy to predict. Despite being 27 points worse off than the Anfield club, Palace have conceded three goals fewer this season. Rodgers has made himself clear: that statistic can not ring true at the end of the 90 minutes this evening.

Team News

Liverpool

Daniel Sturridge didn’t train with the first-team during the week but the high-scoring Englishman should be available for tonight’s match, albeit most likely from the bench. Jordan Henderson is still suspended, but is sitting out the third and final game of his suspension.

Crystal Palace

Tony Pulis has a fully fit squad to choose from, and midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi could return to the starting 11 after picking up a knock before last weekend’s game against Manchester City.



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About The Author

Elliot Morrow

was born in Cumbria, England and carries the embarrassing burden of having supported Manchester United between the ages of 7 and 9. However, after seeing the error of his ways through help from his Father, Elliot is now a die-hard Liverpool fan of over 10 years. Currently living in Manchester while studying Film and Media at university, he has to keep his passion for The Reds slightly under-wraps, but won't hesitate to wear his Liverpool shirt around the city centre when he's feeling brave enough.

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