Crystal Palace vs Liverpool preview, team news, kick-off, prediction

Crystal Palace are missing banned Christian Benteke; Joel Matip may start for Liverpool after a back spasm; follow Palace vs Liverpool with our live blog on Sky Sports website and app; watch free match highlights shortly after full time on Sky Sports' digital platforms and YouTube channel

Christian Benteke is sent off for a second bookable offence
Image: Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke was sent off for a second bookable offence at West Ham in midweek

Team news and stats ahead of Crystal Palace vs Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.

Team news

Crystal Palace will be without Christian Benteke for the visit of Premier League champions Liverpool on Saturday.

The Belgian was sent off in Wednesday's draw at West Ham for two bookable offences and will serve a one-match ban this weekend, but Nathaniel Clyne, Gary Cahill and Jeffrey Schlupp are fit enough to start.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham’s draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Roy Hodgson decided to take the trio out of the starting XI in midweek for precautionary reasons, but he is unable to select Wayne Hennessey (thigh), Nathan Ferguson (knee), Martin Kelly, Mamadou Sakho (both calf) and Connor Wickham (thigh) for the clash against the Reds.

Liverpool defender Joel Matip is expected to be fit having missed the midweek win over Tottenham due to a back spasm.

Midfielder Naby Keita could get a rare start, having been on the bench on Wednesday, but with eight days before their next game manager Jurgen Klopp is likely to keep faith with the majority of his starting line-up from the Spurs game.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win over Tottenham in the Premier League

Thiago Alcantara is set to rejoin team training next week after two months out with a knee injury with a view to being in contention in early January, with fellow midfielders James Milner (hamstring) and Xherdan Shaqiri (muscle) closing in on returns.

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How to follow

Follow Crystal Palace vs Liverpool in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Jones Knows Prediction

A trip to Selhurst Park is never one to relish, especially when a team is expected to get maximum points - as Liverpool are with 1/2 on offer for an away win with Sky Bet. These are matches for the top teams where getting out of there with a result is all that matters.

If you offered Jurgen Klopp the scrappiest of 1-0 wins now, he'd shake your hand.

Winning on the road doesn't come naturally to Liverpool anymore though. They've landed the odds in just three of their last 12 Premier League away days, dropping 20 points in that period. Recent draws with Fulham and Brighton fall into that category, games where the usual intense Liverpool performance levels were at a worrying low to the extent they lost the 'xG battle' in both matches to an aggregate of 2.13 vs 4.74.

I can't touch them at odds-on here - there are better way to boost your Christmas betting bank.

And, I liked what I saw from Crystal Palace at West Ham on Wednesday night. It took a moment of extreme quality from Sebastian Haller to break them down, otherwise Palace had few moments of worry with the Hammers only registering an expected goal figure of 0.49 - this was despite having a man advantage for 20 minutes.

No teams have drawn more matches 1-1 than Liverpool and Palace this season - that looks the smart play.


Opta stats

  • Since their return to the Premier League in 2013, Crystal Palace haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their 14 league games against Liverpool (W4 D1 L9), with the Eagles losing each of their last six in a row against the Reds.
  • Liverpool have won each of their last five Premier League away games against Crystal Palace - only against Norwich (7, ongoing) and Aston Villa (6, 2011-2019) have they won more consecutively on the road in the competition.
  • Liverpool have lost just one of their last 13 Premier League away games in London (W8 D4), going down 1-2 at Arsenal last season. They've lost just four of their 27 league games in the capital under Jurgen Klopp, with each defeat coming against different sides (West Ham, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal).
  • Liverpool have won their final league match before Christmas in three of their last four seasons (D1) since a 0-3 defeat against Watford in December 2015.
  • Crystal Palace have kept just one clean sheet in their last 21 Premier League matches, a 1-0 win over Southampton in their first game of 2020-21. Their current 12-game run without a shutout is their worst since a 14-game run between May and November 2017.
  • Liverpool are winless in their last five away league games (D4 L1), drawing each of their last four in a row. They last went six matches without a league win on the road in January 2011, while the Reds last drew five such games in succession back in December 1991 under Graeme Souness.

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This week on the Pitch to Post Preview Podcast, Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports News reporter Alan Myers and Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith to analyse Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta's work at Everton and Arsenal, ahead of their one year anniversaries.

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Plus Sky Sports feature writer Nick Wright assesses Man Utd's 3-2 win at Sheffield United and makes his Pitch for why Leeds could upset Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side at Old Trafford…

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