7 Nov 2015

Liverpool-XI vs. Palace: £46m-trio out? Klopp to risk 'unplayable' attacker? Surprise start for Teixeira? [PREDICTION LEAGUE]

The Kloppolution is well under way! After six games unbeaten, three wins in a row, and only three goals conceded in nine hours of football, Liverpool are stabilising under new manager Jurgen Klopp, and this Sunday's home clash with Crystal Palace is great opportunity for the club to make further progress towards the Champions League places.

Pre-match news:

* On Thursday, Klopp told the Liverpool Echo: "On Tuesday Connor Randall had a problem. I’m not sure what the problem is. It’s something to do with a muscle. He wasn’t good, so he couldn’t travel.”

* The same day, Klopp revealed: "Coutinho had a little bit of a hamstring...so [he was] on the bench".

* The fact that Coutinho still made the bench suggests that it's not a major issue, though there's no point risking him against Palace unless he's 100% recovered.

* Henderson, Flanagan, Gomez, Ings, Sturridge, and Rossiter are all still recovering from injury.

* In his press conference today, Klopp confirmed that there are other members of the squad with minor niggles: "We had some small problems after [Rubin Kazan], but that's normal after the intensity of the game. So we have to wait for the last hours until we are sure who can play tomorrow".

* 'Unplayable' Benteke seemingly came through the Rubin Kazan game unscathed, but after two injuries already this season, is he fit enough to play three games in a week?

My preferred line-up:

-------------- Bogdan
Clyne --- Skrtel - Sakho ---- Moreno
---------- Lucas - Milner
-- Ibe ----- Teixeira --- Coutinho
------------- Firmino

* In my view, to avoid the risk of another injury, Klopp should go with Firmino up-front again, and use Benteke as an impact sub. It worked well against Chelsea, and Liverpool (theoretically) have enough quality players in the squad to get away with utilising the same tactic.

* Ibe scored in midweek, and given his 29-game goalscoring drought prior to the Kazan game, I see no point in disrupting his momentum.

* Lovren had a solid game against Kazan, but I doubt he'll displace Skrtel, who (statistically) is Liverpool's most effective defender this season. The Slovakian also put in an imperious performance against Chelsea last weekend.

* In the league, Lallana has only two goals/assists in over 41 hours of football, stretching back to December 2014. Why exactly does he deserve a place in the team? Give Teixeira a chance. Liverpool are at home, so it's the perfect opportunity.

Predicting a 2-1 victory for Liverpool, Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"The long flight back...won't help their preparation, but I am still expecting the Reds to kick on. Liverpool look a different animal now and I will be surprised if Palace do not leave empty-handed".

PREDICTION LEAGUE

You have until Sunday @ 3.30PM (GMT) to get our predictions in. More bonus points are available this weekend!

* 20 Points: First goalscorer (Can be for either team).

* 20 Points: Liverpool player with the highest number of passes (just predict the player, not the number)

* 50 Point Triple-Whammy: Perfect score + first goalscorer + number of passes.

My prediction: 1-2 (Palace - edited before the cut-off). First scorer: Bolasie. Number of passes: Lucas

Author: Jaimie K



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