Crystal Palace v Liverpool preview: James Milner doubtful for clash
Last Updated: 29/10/16 6:22pm
James Milner is a doubt for Liverpool's trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday evening after picking up a knock in training.
The Reds travel to Selhurst Park in good shape, sitting level on points with league leaders Manchester City - form which has attracted praise from an unlikely source in Sir Alex Ferguson.
And, having rested several key players in the midweek EFL Cup win over Tottenham, Jurgen Klopp will be eyeing three points from Saturday's late kick off to keep the pace at the top of the table.
Inconsistency has plagued Palace's campaign to date, with their home form of particular concern, having picked up just one victory so far.
The match represents an important occasion for Christian Benteke, who faces Liverpool for the first time since departing Anfield in the summer.
Palace have a doubt over Jason Puncheon after the 30-year-old missed the Eagles' 3-1 defeat to Leicester last weekend due to a calf strain, although the midfielder trained with the squad on Friday.
Captain Scott Dann is expected to regain his place in the starting XI after overcoming a hamstring injury, but Loic Remy (thigh strain), Pape Souare (broken leg) and Jonathan Benteke (knee) remain long-term injury absentees.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are expected to recall the likes of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane to their starting line-up after the trio were all rested for Tuesday's EFL Cup fourth-round win over Tottenham Hotspur.
However, left-back James Milner is a doubt with a knock, while young defender Joe Gomez will not be back before the international break.
Palace last failed to score in a Premier League match against Liverpool in December 1997 (in a 3-0 defeat), netting in each of their last nine clashes with the Reds.
Benteke scored nine times in 29 Premier League games for Liverpool last season. Before joining the Reds, he had scored four times in five Premier League appearances against them.
Since his Premier League debut in September 2012, no player has scored more headed goals than Benteke (19) - level with Olivier Giroud.
Liverpool are without a clean sheet in their last 10 away Premier League games; only once before have they endured a longer run without a shut-out on the road, in September 1998 (12 games).
Everybody is talking Liverpool up as contenders for the title, but a trip to Palace is a stiff examination of their credentials.
Pardew seems to be one of those managers that blows hot and cold because his side either win six on the trot or lose six.
The defeat at Leicester was their second on the bounce and they face a big test themselves on Saturday.
If Palace defend like they did at Leicester, they won't get anything from this game, but they're a better team than the last two games and will take something from this match.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 6/1)
Liverpool are the odds-on favourites at 4/6 with Sky Bet to win at Palace in Saturday's final Premier League game. The Eagles can be backed at 4/1 to pick up three points and the draw is on offer at 29/10.
Liverpool have won 2-1 for all of their last three victories and Sky Bet offer 7/1 for another Reds victory by that scoreline. There's also 15/8 available in Sky Bet's Correct Score Group Betting for Klopp's men to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2/1.
Palace's last home success was an impressive 4-1 victory over Stoke and Sky Bet go all the way out to 100/1 for a 4-1 win to the Eagles in this match.