Friday, October 04, 2013

Match Preview: Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

Liverpool play host to Crystal Palace on Saturday aiming to return to the top of the table for 24 hours at least.

Liverpool bounced back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory at Sunderland last weekend and they will be keen to keep pace at the top of the table with all three points against Palace.

Brendan Rodgers' side go into the game two points behind leaders Arsenal and victory at Anfield will move them to the summit for 24 hours at least, with the Gunners not in action until Sunday.

Rodgers has recently changed his formation to 3-5-2 and he has a decision to make about whether or not to stick to that when playing at home.

Palace find themselves second from bottom of the table after losing five of their opening six games on their return to the Premier League.

Ian Holloway's men have now gone three games without scoring and they have gone 16 top-flight games without a victory away from Selhurst Park.

Liverpool is without midfielder Lucas Leiva as he serves a one-match ban for picking up five bookings already this season.

Jordan Henderson is expected to revert to Lucas' defensive midfield role with Raheem Sterling hoping to earn a recall to the starting XI.

Luis Suarez is expected to make his first appearance at Anfield after returning from his 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic after making his comeback in away games at Manchester United and Sunderland.

Philippe Coutinho remains on the sidelines as he recovers from shoulder surgery, while Glen Johnson, Aly Cissokho and Joe Allen are all expected to return after next week's international break.

Sebastian Coates is a long-term absentee after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on international duty.

Crystal Palace welcome back winger Yannick Bolasie after recovering from a hamstring injury which has sidelined him since pre-season.

The 24-year-old came through a practice game in midweek and he is set to be included in the squad by Ian Holloway.

Long-term absentees Glenn Murray (knee), Jack Hunt and Jonny Williams (both ankle) remain on the sidelines for Palace.

Defensive trio Patrick McCarthy, Damien Delaney and Jonathan Parr are all doubtful for the trip to Anfield.

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