Liverpool hosts Crystal Palace
Liverpool hosts Crystal Palace at the Anfield in a key fixture from the Premier League’s 38th round. This is the last round of the 2020/21 season, and the Reds need to win here to qualify for the Champions League again. Let’s preview this game in these free soccer tips daily before moving on.
For some time, we thought that Liverpool would finish the season outside of the Top 4, but winning four times in the last four rounds allowed them to get back among the first four. Right now, the Reds are 4th in the standings with 66 points, and a win on Saturday would allow them to play in the Champions League again next season.
It was a tough season for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s team lost the title in the Premier League, and nothing really worked for them during the campaign. One of the main reasons for this was the injuries some key players suffered. The best example for this is the Dutch international Virgil van Dijk who missed the majority of the season because of a severe knee injury. Van Dijk is one of the best defenders in the world, so his absence really rocked the Reds. They were unable to replace him.
At the same time, some of Liverpool’s best players underperformed during the majority of the season. Players such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t show their best levels and it harmed the team’s season. At the same time, the new signing Diogo Jota made some terrific impressions with his performances, but he also had to deal with injuries. We don’t have any doubts he’s going to be really important next season, though.
In their last game, Liverpool achieved a 4th consecutive win and their 19th for the season. The Reds faced Burnley at the Turf Moor and dominated for a decisive 3-0 win over Sean Dyche’s team. Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Phillips, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored for the visitors.
Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp is perfectly aware there’s some rebuild he has to do. The way his team performed in the 2020/21 season was unacceptable, and if it wasn’t Klopp, many other managers would get sacked for this. The German head coach is a club legend, though – he deserves the chance to do a rebuild and strengthen his team in the summer. The return of Virgil van Dijk would be a massive improvement for the team as well.
Some pundits believe that one of the reasons for Liverpool’s failure is the dynamic the team showed during the title-winning 2019/20 season. As we know very well, Klopp is a coach who demands a lot from his players in terms of physicality. More or less, maybe his players were drained during the current campaign.
Against Burnley, Jurgen Klopp started James Milner from the bench and put him on the pitch in the second half. Don’t be surprised if you see the veteran midfielder in the line-up against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Milner is a player with massive experience so that he could be essential in the last game of the season.
The season is not over just yet, but there are already some transfer rumors around the club. Some journalists expect the Reds to fight for RB Leipzig’s center-back Ibrahima Konate in order to improve the defense. At the same time, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ winger Adama Traore is one of the players who are linked to a possible move to the Anfield. Traore is a player who could bring a terrific pace to Liverpool’s attack, but the Reds’ former player Marcus Babbel warned the club to stick with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as they are “irreplaceable” at the moment
Crystal Palace is putting an end to a successful season as they remained in the Premier League for another year. Roy Hodgson’s team is approaching this visit to Anfield from 13th place in the standings, which is perfectly all right for the club. On theory, Palace could even finish 12th in the table, but only if they win on Saturday and Wolves make a mistake in their last game.
In their previous game, Crystal Palace suffered their 17th loss for the season. The Londoners faced Arsenal at the Selhurst Park, but the game ended with a 3-1 win for the visitors. Christian Benteke scored against the Gunners, but Arsenal scored twice in the injury time and managed to snatch away the win.
Some of Crystal Palace’s players are not available for selection at the moment. Connor Wickham, James McArthur, Mamadou Sakho, and Nathan Ferguson are all sidelined with injuries, so Hodgson can’t pick them. The former Liverpool manager must find a way to build the line-up without these four players.
The Belgian international Christian Benteke is one of Crystal Palace’s top strikers in the Premier League for this season. Benteke, who recently got included in Belgium’s squad for the Euro 2020, has scored 10 goals for Palace during the 2020/21 campaign. But there’s one player who has scored more Premier League goals for Crystal Palace this season. This is Wilfred Zaha, who has put the ball in the net 11 times so far. This was a very good season for Zaha, and it’d be interesting to see if he’s going to remain at the Selhurst Park or not.
At the same time, Mohamed Salah is once again Liverpool’s most dangerous player in the Premier League. The Egyptian international has scored 22 league goals for the Reds. Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Diogo Jota have all scored 9 times this season.
That’s our free soccer tips daily for the Premier League fixture between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at the Anfield on Saturday. The Reds will aim to win this one because that’s the only way they can guarantee their place in the Top 4. It was a difficult season for the Reds, and they lost their Premier League title, but very soon they could start rebuilding. First, they must do their job, though, and secure their place in the Champions League for another season.