Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

Verdict: Sadio Mane to score anytime

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to extend their buffer at the top of the Premier League, Liverpool will make the trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Crystal Palace

Starting with the hosts, while Crystal Palace may have entered October with some real momentum, Roy Hodgson’s men have since come crashing back down to earth. Heading into the international break with a 2-0 defeat away at Stamford Bridge, the former England boss has seen his men fail to win any of their previous four Premier League matchups, losing three of those appearances. In the midst of an unenviable run that has seen them already face Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal, and Manchester City before welcoming Liverpool to Selhurst Park this weekend, fans in South London will be calling on their side to find a far more clinical edge in the final third. Along with shipping a pair of goals in each of their last four outings, Palace have drawn a blank in three of those contests and they have also failed to find the net in back-to-back matches at Selhurst Park. Sadly for Saturday’s hosts, they also hold a worrying record against the league leaders. Palace have lost each of their last five matches against Liverpool and they have also lost their last three matches against the Reds in South London.

Team News

Palace could be missing a key player this weekend with Wilfried Zaha nursing the foot injury he picked up in the defeat to Chelsea before the international break.

Liverpool

As for the visitors, picking up a 3-1 win over defending champions Manchester City prior to the international break, a result that many believe has decided the title race, Liverpool now find themselves holding an eight-point buffer at the top of the table. Also confirming their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, the defending European champions are the only side yet to be beaten on top-flight duty this season. One man who has continued to spearhead Liverpool charge this year has been the red-hot Sadio Mane. Finding the net against City earlier in the month, the Senegal ace already has 11 goals across all formats this season, including five goals in his last eight appearances. While Jurgen Klopp’s men might be continuing to shine in the final third, the Reds are still dealing with some defensive issues. The former Borussia Dortmund boss has seen his side fail to record a clean sheet in any of their previous nine outings, a run that stems back to the 28th of September.

Team News

Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson are both rated as major doubts for the trip to Selhurst Park due to ankle injuries, and the availability of alternative options in Divock Origi and James Milner means neither need be risked.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Liverpool have won each of their last five matches against Crystal Palace, including winning each of their last three trips to Selhurst Park.
  • Sadio Mane has scored in each of his last four matches against Palace.
  • Liverpool have failed to record a clean sheet in any of their last nine matches across all competitions.
  • Crystal Palace have suffered back-to-back 2-0 defeats in South London.
  • The Eagles have also failed to win any of their last four Premier League matches, losing three of those appearances.

Conclusion

With Palace still struggling over the past month when coming up against some of the Premier League’s elite, Liverpool should see Saturday as a golden opportunity to extend their buffer at the top at the table. With the Eagles now shipping a pair of goals in each of their previous four appearances, Sadio Mane should be looking to extend on his stellar individual record against Roy Hodgson’s side. Finding the net in each of his previous four matches against the Londoners, we’re backing the Senegal international to once again enjoy another successful afternoon in the final third.

Verdict: Sadio Mane to score anytime

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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