Crystal Palace vs Liverpool. Premier League.
Jordan Ayew will return for Crystal Palace; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could feature for Liverpool; follow Crystal Palace vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 1pm; kick-off 2pm; watch free highlights shortly after full-time on Sky Sports website and app
Sunday 23 January 2022 13:38, UK
Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Crystal Palace vs Liverpool in the Premier League on Super Sunday; kick-off 2pm.
Crystal Palace will welcome Jordan Ayew back into the fold for Sunday's clash with Liverpool in the Premier League.
Ayew returned from the Africa Cup of Nations this week following a shock early exit for Ghana and boss Patrick Vieira confirmed he will be part of the squad for the fixture at Selhurst Park.
Cheikhou Kouyate and Wilfried Zaha remain in Cameroon on international duty for the tournament while James McArthur and James Tomkins are still absent due to injuries.
Liverpool forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could return to the squad after missing the Carabao Cup semi-final victory at Arsenal with a twisted ankle.
Midfielder Fabinho is expected to shake off the effects of a heavy tackle which saw Thomas Partey sent off for a second yellow card.
Forward Harvey Elliott returned to training this week after more than four months out with a serious ankle problem but will not be in contention until after the international break.
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 1pm; kick-off 2pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Liverpool won't be the only team at Selhurst Park missing crucial inside forwards.
Palace are without Wilfried Zaha and although their drop-off in terms of overall performance isn't as drastic as Liverpool's without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, it certainly has an effect on Palace's ability to win corners. That's my angle in for this game.
Jordan Ayew and Zaha offer Palace plenty of direct-line dribbling that gets them to the byline to force corners. Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze are two talents, but both are completely different types of players that like to cut inside and get into central positions. Without Ayew - who is back from AFCON for this game but unlikely to start - and Zaha, Palace failed to win a corner at Brighton - and considering Palace don't play with any aggressive width from their full-backs either, their corner-count is likely to be very low in this game, too. Liverpool only concede an average of 3.1 corners per 90 minutes - the joint-best record along with Manchester City.
Without Salah and Mane, Liverpool may take longer than usual to break through teams so the pressure on the Palace goal could be more sustained, therefore increasing the likelihood of Liverpool's corners. Sky Bet have set the handicap corner line at four, meaning Liverpool will need to win five or more corners than Palace for the bet to cop at 11/8. That looks fair enough to me.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-1
BETTING ANGLE: Liverpool (-4.0) on the corner handicap (11/8 with Sky Bet)
The Essential Football Podcast returns as host Alice Piper is joined by Charlotte Marsh and Ben Grounds to preview another captivating round of Premier League games which could have ramifications at both ends of the table.
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