In recent times Crystal Palace’s trips to Anfield have been very rewarding ones. The last three visits to Anfield have resulted in victories for the South London and that is a run they would very much like to continue especially after suffering a heavy opening weekend defeat.
With new boss Frank De Boer installed at the club over the summer, optimism would have been high going into their encounter with Huddersfield at Selhurst Park last Saturday. Optimism that would have been shattered come 4:50 that same afternoon.
David Wagner’s men ran out 3-0 winners and topped the Premier League at the end of the first Saturday, a result that consequently left The Eagles propping up the table. That situation has slightly been alleviated by the thrashing that West Ham received at Old Trafford a day later.
But although the table so early in the season is something of a false economy it is certainly not the start that anyone connected with Crystal Palace would have hoped and certainly not expected and they will need to pick themselves up when they go head to head with Liverpool later today.
Jurgen Klopp’s men play their first competitive home game of the season after a small European tour which has taken them to Watford and Hoffenheim in the past seven days. A tour which saw them have to make do with a share of the points at Vicarage Road but there was better news for the club on Tuesday.
Liverpool’s defence came in for some sharp criticism last Saturday as what seemed like an aversion to heading the ball was apparent and something that ultimately stopped them from starting the Premier League season with a opening weekend win.
Manager Jurgen Klopp may well have felt aggrieved that Miguel Britos’ injury time equaliser was offside but had Liverpool averted the potential danger in the first phase of play then they only really have themselves to blame for not earning all three points.
That defence was not all that much better during Champions League action on Tuesday night. But at least the outcome was better as they ran out 2-1 winners over Hoffenheim. But even that could have been a more comfortable win had they not conceded late on and made the tie still all to play for.
On the other hand it could have been a lot more tense at Anfield next Wednesday as Hoffenheim saw an 11th minute penalty saved by Simon Mignolet. It was a poor tackle by Dejan Lovren to give away the penalty it was an even poorer penalty by ex Leicester forward Andrej Kramarić.
Last weekend Crystal Palace looked like a team trying to play Frank De Boer style football with Sam Allardyce players, the change it seems is too rapid and as a result they are now caught in a halfway house as the evolution in playing style continues.
That is something that is going to have to complete its evolution rather quickly and I’m not sure it is something that will be in place by 3pm this afternoon. They may have a very good record here recently but that is when the gameplan was drilled into them by whichever boss was in charge at the time.
I think with their defence all at sea last weekend they could face the same issues again today, Liverpool may not be solid at the back but that front three already looks like a dangerous trio and I think they could get a lot of joy today. I can’t see anything other than a home win.
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— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) August 18, 2017