Liverpool vs Crystal Palace Preview: Reds look to tee-up title clincher
(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

After dropping points for only the third time this season on the Premier League's restart, Liverpool take on Crystal Palace at an empty Anfield on Wednesday evening.

The Reds, who were held to a goalless draw by local rivals Everton on Sunday, can move within two points of glory with victory.

A win would mean that Manchester City must beat Chelsea on Thursday to delay Liverpool's coronation any further.

An improvement is required from Sunday's derby, however, after they failed to carve out many clearcut chances.

Palace will fancy their chances of frustrating Jurgen Klopp's men after an excellent return to action.

They ran out 2-0 winners away to Bournemouth, promoting themselves to ninth in the table - above Arsenal

The Eagles remain the last team to win a league game at Anfield, though that was more than three years ago. 

Team news

Mohamed Salah watched the weekend's goalless draw from the sidelines after limited training, but should now be fit enough to bolster Liverpool's attack and relaunch his Golden Boot bid.

Andrew Robertson did not make the 20-man squad at Goodison Park, but he is back in contention and could replace James Milner in the starting line-up after the veteran picked up a hamstring injury.

Joel Matip is out with a knock, while Xherdan Shaqiri's absence will continue.

As for Palace, ex-Red Martin Kelly misses out with a calf injury, while minor issues have ruled out James Tomkins and Jeffrey Schlupp.

Former Everton striker Cenk Tosun (knee) remains out of action.

Predicted line-ups

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Cahill, Dann, Van Aanholt; McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate; Towsend, Ayew, Zaha.

Previous meeting

It was mightily close when these two locked horns late in November, with Liverpool battling their way to three points after a lacklustre first-half performance

Sadio Mane gave them a 49th-minute lead before Wilfried Zaha equalised eight minutes from time.

But in what has become typical fashion, the Reds dug out a winner with five to go courtesy of Roberto Firmino

Ones to watch

Andrew Robertson

Liverpool's tame display at Everton further underlined the importance of firing full-backs. Trent Alexander-Arnold was unable to find his deadly crossing range, while Joe Gomez, however keenly he bombed forward, looked out of place at the sharp end as he deputised for Robertson.

But the Scot should be back in action here, restoring the Reds' primary attacking avenue. Can they respond to Manchester City's hugely impressive restart form?

Jordan Ayew

Outside of South London, Jordan Ayew has received few plaudits for his finest Premier League goalscoring season yet. With eight games still to go, he is on nine for the season after finding the net against Bournemouth. He is now on a three-game scoring streak.

Former Liverpool frontman Christian Benteke might be part of the Palace frontline, but it is Ayew who Roy Hodgson will look to for a cat-amongst-the-pigeons goal. 

Television details

The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League from 20.15 BST on Wednesday.

VAVEL will be providing comprehensive live text commentary. 

The view from the dugout

Jurgen Klopp, as quoted by liverpoolfc.com:

"It is a game against a very, very good side. Roy is doing an incredible job there. The organisation of the team is really, really, really highest level. Meanwhile, the team is physically strong, good individuals, it's a good setup. It all works pretty well there.

"They have four games in a row, I think, without conceding a goal, so that's all very positive from their point of view. But we have our own targets, our own aims. We want to go with all we have and we want to make a special game for us of this game."

Roy Hodgson, as quoted by cpfc.co.uk.

"You relish facing Liverpool and Manchester City not because you think we'll have an easy game, you relish it because it proves to you that you are at the very top level of football you can reach in England.

"These are the flagships of our league - not the only ones but they're in that bracket. You relish playing against them because it means you've given yourself a chance against them.

"You don’t relish it because you’ll find it easy and be able to play your football comfortably. You're playing a team who's won the league this year, deservedly so."

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