Liverpool vs Crystal Palace preview: Both sides looking for success in Premier League Asia Trophy

Liverpool are making their second appearance in the biennial competition, while Palace compete for the first time.

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace preview: Both sides looking for success in Premier League Asia Trophy
Palace beat Liverpool in April | Photo: Getty images / David Blusden

Liverpool and Crystal Palace go head-to-head in the Premier League Asia Trophy on Wednesday.

The Reds are competing in the biennial competition for the second time since its introduction in 2003, while the Eagles are involved for the first time along with fellow newcomers West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City. The Merseyside club were runners-up in their only previous outing at the competition, losing the final to Portsmouth in 2007, but are favourites a decade later.

The winner of the match will face the winner of the other game between Leicester and West Brom in the final, while the loser will contest a third-place play-off with the other game’s defeated side.

Pre-season so far

Jürgen Klopp’s side have already played twice so far since returning from the summer break, comfortably beating Tranmere Rovers 4-0, before a 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic. Klopp is renowned for favouring playing plenty of games to prepare his side for the new season and the two Premier League Asia Trophy games are part of a marathon eight-game pre-season.

Meanwhile, the game will be Palace’s first of pre-season, although new boss Frank de Boer oversaw the Under-23 side’s 3-1 victory against Maidstone United at the weekend. The Dutchman is keen to improve the state of the club’s academy and took charge of the game alongside current development side boss Richard Shaw to judge the talent in the youth system.  De Boer has even taken a number of youngsters on the tour, including 17-year-old midfielder Nya Kirby.

New signings to feature

New Liverpool signing Mohamed Salah could make his debut for the Reds after completing his £35 million move from Roma. Dominic Solanke has also been included in the 25-man squad after his tribunal fee move from top-flight rivals Chelsea.

Solanke’s former Blues team-mate, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, could also make his debut in the game having arrived at Palace on a season-long loan from Stamford Bridge. Palace are yet to make a permanent signing, although it is expected that Ajax defender Jaïro Riedewald will complete his move to the South London club in the coming days.

 

How could each side line up?

Sadio Mané’s absence from the Liverpool squad due to injury means Salah could take his place in a Reds side that could, otherwise, look similar to the one that ended last season. Roberto Firmino’s change to the number nine shirt could suggest he will be the main striker this season, while Philippe Coutinho could play just off his fellow countryman in an inside-left position. Jordan Henderson could continue his recovery from injury in a midfield position, replacing Emre Can who featured prominently towards the end of the previous campaign, but misses the tournament due to receiving extra time off having competed in the recent Confederations Cup.

It has been widely predicted that de Boer will begin his Palace reign by reverting to a 3-4-3 formation that was used successfully by other Premier League clubs last season. Christian Benteke is expected to start against his former club with Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend either side, while Loftus-Cheek will battle with Yohan Cabaye for a place in midfield next to Luka Milivojević.

The match kicks off at 13:30 BST. 


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