May 5, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
- Had the Premier League started on January 1st, Crystal Palace would be seventh in the table on 27 points.
- Liverpool have scored in 17 of their 18 away league games this season, failing to score only at Arsenal.
- Three of Liverpool’s last five Premier League defeats have been to London clubs.
Liverpool look to boost their title-hopes with a victory over Crystal Palace today at Selhurst Park (3:00pm ET on NBCSN and streaming on Live Extra).
Brendan Rodgers‘ side enters the match on the heels of a devastating 2-0 home loss to Chelsea last Sunday, which ended Liverpool’s 11 match league unbeaten streak.
A victory on Monday will see Liverpool reclaim top spot in the league from Manchester City, who can then come level on Wednesday when they host Aston Villa. Such a scenario would set up a final weekend where both Liverpool and City would be on 83 points, meaning Chelsea (79 points) would be eliminated from contention.
Tony Pulis‘ side enter the match 11th in the Premier League table on 43 points, assuring them another season of Premier League football. Before last week’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City, Palace was on a tear having won five straight matches. The sensational run of form earned Pulis the manager of the month award and relaxed all relegation-related tensions.
Last time these two sides met Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 3-1 on October 5th behind goals from Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard before Dwight Gayle got one back late for the Eagles. Both clubs enter the match with a clean bill of health with Sturridge poised to start after overcoming a hamstring injury and Kagisho Dikgacoi returning to health from a knock that kept him out against City.
Also of note is the possibility that Suarez could enter the Premier League record books for goals in a 38-match season. One goal will tie the mark, currently held by Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo, while a brace will hand the Uruguayan the record.
What They’re Saying
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis: “[Liverpool's] forward line is exceptional, you only have to look at the two centre forwards and the number of goals they’ve scored between them to know they’ll be a threat. The two of them have formed a great partnership so it will be tough on Monday but it will great for the supporters to see top, top players like that as well.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: “All we can control is our remaining two matches. We need to win those and then see where it takes us. We can’t worry about anyone else, we just need to focus on our job. We will keep fighting right to the end.”
It will be tight with Palace bringing it early and possibly even opening the scoring, but things will loosen up once Liverpool find the net and eventually open up Palace’s defense. Suarez nets a brace, gets the 38-game record and the Reds win by a two to three goal margin.
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