This is the final and decisive game for The Reds for their Champions League place. Only a win could secure it since they have the same points as Leicester and only one point away from Chelsea above them. Furthermore, this would be a notable match for Roy Hodgson too, the current Crystal Palace boss and former Liverpool boss despite his brief unsuccessful spell in 2010/11 season as he would retire at the end of the season.
The teams’ previous games
The Reds’ impressive form endures. This midweek they trashed Burnley 3-0 on the road. Roberto Firmino scored an opener followed by Nate Phillips’ maiden senior goal and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain’s after his return. The victory was enough to bump it up to the fourth in the standings.
The Palace, on the other hand, suffered a 1-3 loss at home from Arsenal. Nicolas Pepe was their nightmare as the Ivorian bagged a brace. Another one goal was scored by Gabriel Martinelli. They could only respond once through Christian Benteke’s header.Possible tactic
Jurgen Klopp seems to believe in 4-3-3 formation which actually transforms to 4-3-1-2. At the backline, Nate Phillips’s positive form in the last outing shall earn him one spot in the starting XI to accompany Neco Williams. In the midfield, Fabinho, Thiago and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be occupying the area to support Xerdan Shaqiri as the number ten behind Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino. The ones ruled out for this fixture is Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson, Ozan Kabak, Diogo Jota and Naby Keita.
Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson is likely to stick to his 4-3-3 formation in his final game as a manager. He counts on the former Liverpool forward Christian Benteke upfront supported by Winfred Zaha and possibly Andros Townsend. The former Mainz man, Jean-Phillipe Mateta can be brought on at the second half. Some of their key figures are unavailable such as Eberechi Eze, Luka Milivojevic, Conor Wickham, Mamadou Sakho, Nathan Fergusson and James McArthur.
Players to watch
Mo Salah might be the top scorer of the club with 22 goals and four assists this season. Yet, Liverpool’s top performers this season are Nate Phillips contributing one goal and assist each plus Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane who has netted nine goals only each. Another key man to watch is Trent-Alexander Arnold with two goals and seven assists.
The former Liverpool man, Christian Benteke who was still playing in the early reign of Klopp in 2016, has a chance to prove his true class in Anfield here. The Belgian international has bagged ten goals and one assist. Another notable name to watch is surely Winfred Zaha who has notched up eleven goals and provided two assists.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace Prediction
Although this game is meant to pay tribute to Roy Hodgson, The Reds’ mission to seal three points here still stands. They will be motivated to present the victory for the fans who shall return again to Anfield after a while. The absence of the creative figure, Eberechi Eze is a blow for Winfred Zaha and Co. A win for the home side is definite.