Crystal Palace-Liverpool Preview

It’s just a matter of time before Liverpool clinch their first domestic league title in 30 years. However, that will not happen in their next go-around.

The Reds, though, can take a step closer to the promised land on Wednesday night against streaking Crystal Palace, the last team to win at Anfield, more than three years ago, in the Premier League.

Liverpool (27-2-1) remain so close enough to its first title in the top-flight of English football since 1990, that they should be able to taste it. Owners of 83 points, the Reds have a 20-point cushion on second-place Manchester City. A victory in this contest, and a loss by City against Chelsea on Thursday, and the glory would finally go to Liverpool.

The Reds opened “Project Restart” with a scoreless draw at Everton on Sunday, amidst a relatively surreal behind-closed-doors setting for the Merseyside Derby. Liverpool controlled the possession most of the game, but were unable to penetrate a stingy defensive effort by the Toffees.

“We didn’t lose and it is another point towards our goal,” Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk said.

As we fast-forward, and play returns to Anfield, Liverpool look to continue their success on this home ground. The Reds are 45-10-0 at home within the Premier League since losing 2-1 there to Crystal Palace on April 23, 2017. Liverpool have also won 22 consecutive league home contests since drawing Leicester City 1-1 on Jan. 30, 2019.

Though Anfield has been Liverpool’s own “Theatre of Dreams,” the party line within the club is to apparently take the politically correct approach into their first home match since returning from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

“Every game in the Premier League is tough, and (so is) each team,” midfielder Jordan Henderson told Liverpool’s official website.

“Every game we play will be tough. We’ve just got to perform as best as we can and try and win as many games as we can.”

Liverpool extend their winning streak to five consecutive league games over Crystal Palace with a 2-1 triumph at Selhurst Park in the reverse fixture from November. Sadio Mane (16 goals over all competitions) scored early and Roberto Firmino (11 overall goals) tallied the go-ahead goal in the 85th minute after Palace’s Wilfried Zaha leveled the contest three minutes earlier.

Crystal Palace (11-9-10), ninth in the Premier League, picked up where they left off before play was halted in March. The Eagles extended their season-high league winning streak to four straight matches with a 2-0 victory at Bournemouth over the weekend. Luka Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew scored within the first 23 minutes, which was all Palace needed to stay hot.

That’s also four straight clean sheets for the Eagles, who have never done that before in Premier League play.

“If we can keep doing that, it might be a nice end to the season,” manager Roy Hodgson told Palace’s official website.

Ayew has posted nine goals in league play this season, and one in each of the last three contests.

Meanwhile, it’s uncertain if Liverpool star Mo Salah (20 overall goals) will feature after being unfit to play versus Everton. Teammates James Milner (hamstring) and Joel Matip (toe) also appear to be in doubt for this contest.