Can Sam Allardyce Take Another Top Six Scalp as Palace Look to Haunt Liverpool Again?

Last updated: April 21, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Sunday, 4.30pm
Venue: Anfield
Coverage: Sky Sports 1 (HD, Ultra HD)
Home Form: WWDWDW
Away Form: DWLWWW
Last Meeting: C Palace 2 – 4 Liverpool
Competition: English Premier League

Narrative. It’s everywhere in football these days. It seems like every fixture since Leicester lifted the title last May comes with a backstory, as journalists and bloggers around the country – I accept my share of the guilt – look to find meaning to our beautiful, meaningless game. So here it goes. Trust me, this fixture is absolutely steeped in narrative.

Allow me to justify. Things have never quite been the same between these two sides since a Tony Pulis-powered Palace ended Liverpool’s title challenge with that remarkable comeback in November 2014. The 3-3 draw marked the start of the end for Brenden Rodgers, and paved the way for Jürgen Klopp’s arrival on Merseyside. Pulis ended up at West Brom – who Liverpool scrapped past 1-0 last time out – and after a brief spell as England manager, Sam Allardyce picked up the reins at Selhurst Park.

Big Sam and Pulis represent the old-school. The kind of no-nonsense British managers who argue that no-nonsense British managers don’t get a fair crack at the top jobs because they are occupied by fancy continental types with their high-pressing and overloading tactics. But Allardyce has been to Stamford Bridge and beaten Conte’s Chelsea. He’s thumped Arsenal 3-0, and he’s won four of his last six games. Meanwhile, Klopp’s men have struggled against sides happy to defend deep at Anfield, a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth the best The Reds could muster in their last home game.

All indications lead to a cagey performance from the home side, in the knowledge that a slip up here could seriously harm their Champions League qualification hopes. Crystal Palace will be looking forward to whatn is a huge chance to all but secure next season’s Premier League status with a win. You see what I mean. Narrative.

Team News

Patrick van Aanholt got through his return against Leicester unscathed and Sam Allardyce has no new injury concerns

Loic Remy and James Tomkins are unlikely to make it back in time for Sunday, a pair of calf strains keeping them out

Liverpool have an injury list as long as anybody in the division, Sadio Mané being the most notable

Adam Lallana is close to recovery but is unlikely to play. He should return before the end of the season though

Expected Line-Ups:

Liverpool(4-3-3): Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Wijnaldum, Leiva, Can; Firmino, Origi, Coutinho
Subs: Karius, Moreno, Grujic, Sturridge, Alexander-Arnold, Woodburn, Gomez.
Injured: Mané, Lallana, Henderson, Ejaria, Ings
Doubtful: Matip, Klavan
Not available:
C Palace(4-2-3-1): Hennessey; Ward, Kelly, Delaney, Schlupp; Milivojevic, Cabaye; Townsend, Puncheon, Zaha; Benteke
Subs: Speroni, van Aanholt, Flamini, Campbell, McArthur, Sako
Injured: Dann, Souaré, Wickham,
Not available: Sakho (loan)

So Far This Season

. . .
Liverpool This Season Crystal Palace This Season
3trd League Position 15th
19 (8) Wins (away) 10 (5)
6-1 vs. Watford Biggest Win 4-1 vs. Stoke
9 (5) Draws (away) 5 (3)
1-3 vs. Leicester Biggest Defeat 0-4 vs. Sunderland
Mané (13) Top Goal Scorer Benteke (12)
Y51, R0 Discipline Y64, R0
4 Failures to Score 9
8 Clean Sheets 6
70% Both Teams to Score Games 53%
61% Over 2.5 Goals 56%
39% Under 2.5 Goals 44%
  • With the absence of Sadio Mané, Liverpool will be looking to Firminio for goals. The Brazilian striker has been excellent at Anfield this season. Odds of 4/1 for him to score the first goal are decent.
  • Allardyce revealed this week that it “It will probably be very difficult [to keep Sakho]” and his defence will be considerably weaker without him on Sunday. Liverpool to win to nil is 6/4 if you fancy a Palace collapse.
  • Liverpool will want to get out of the blocks quickly here, and the 10 Minute Result market is one in which I have become increasingly interested in. Back The Reds to win the first 10 minutes at 5/1.
  • Christian Benteke has bagged himself 12 goals since joining Palace from Liverpool in the summer. The Belgian powerhouse is 9/4 to score anytime against his former club.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
29/10/2016 English Premier League Crystal Palace 2 – 4 Liverpool Can 16′
06/03/2016 English Premier League Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Liverpool Ledley 48′
09/11/2015 English Premier League Liverpool 1 – 2 Crystal Palace Bolasie 21′
16/05/2015 English Premier League Liverpool 1 – 3 Crystal Palace Lallana 26′
14/02/2015 English FA Cup Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Liverpool Campbell 15′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Palace are 11/2 for the win with Bet365 which seems generous given Allardyce’s recent form against top six sides and Liverpool’s Anfield struggles this season. The Half Time/Full Time market also looks quite tasty. A draw at Half Time and Crystal Palace to win the second half is available at 14/1. That’s a huge price for what could easily be a tight first half, and this fixture has previous for late goals.

Palace have been solid at the back thanks to the heroics of Mamadou Sakho. The French defender has been outstanding as an out and out destroyer for Allardyce, but is ineligible to play against his parent club on Sunday. The result will surely be a leakier Palace side, and the goals market could be tempting as a result. Over 2.5 goals is priced at 7/10 with Bet365 and is my bet of the week.