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Crystal Palace 23-11-19 (A)

Finally the International break is over and back to business as usual with the Premier League. It was a great victory over Man City two weeks ago and now we face a tricky visit at Selhurst Park against a bogey opposition. We have three injury issues with Salah, Gomez and Robertson (maybe) will not be in the first 11. The gaffer has to reshuffle his deck for this game and the line-up will be:

Alisson

Arnold - Lovern - VVD - Milner

Henderson - Fabinho - Wijnaldum

Mane - Firmino - Origi

Best of luck Redmen.

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  • Iv'e been waiting for this trend of ours to end in our next game but it never come's but end it will and i hope it's not a cruical time of the season when it costs us dearly. We simply can't go on scrapping wins like this, we have to find our mojo again and start keeping clean sheets.
    That said, i'm obviously delighted about our situation, still unbeaten and 8 clear, a lot of games coming up now and over the festive season so Klopp has a major balancing act on his hand but that's why he's paid millions and the players of course.
    • I read an interesting article recently that suggested it's more accurate to say Liverpool play a 2-1-4-1-2 formation than a 4-3-3. Fabinho is making a defensive triangle with the two centrebacks leaving Robertson and Trent to push forward and basically play as wide midfielders either side of the two central midfielders (although they're expected to track back and defend as fullbacks when needed). Firmino plays between the line of midfielders and attackers while Mane and Salah play the advanced roles. The adoption of such an attacking formation, along with defending with a high line, seems to have made us more vulnerable in certain areas, especially behind the fullbacks, and I think this is why we're leaking goals. I'm hoping the players will eventually get more accustomed to playing this way or Klopp tweaks the formation, otherwise we'll have to get used to these unsettling close finishes.
      • I'd accept that the formation was the problem if we were being consistently caught on the break. That was happening early in the season but recently the opposition goals and clear chances have mainly come when there have been plenty of defenders back which suggests individual errors have been the problem. Incidentally, I cannot recall Alisson having to make any outstanding saves since his return. The opposition have either put the ball in the corner or sent it wide. Maybe just his presence is causing them to fluff their lines.
        • I can see what you're saying regarding individual errors but that begs the question what's consistently causing them - is purely down to individuals not concentrating/misreading the game or is it because they're not quite as adjusted positionally to how they're being asked to play now? A lot of the errors being made are positional or involve not picking up attackers early enough which suggests the players aren't quite as in sync defensively as they were last season. It's the fact we frequently can't keep clean sheets which makes me wonder whether the cause is systemic rather than individual but it's just a thought.
  • The Palace "goal" was correctly disallowed for a push even though Lovren was in no position to stop the goal. We can't keep relying on late goals to see us through games. Admittedly matches after the international break are always tricky especially when your players have been away and most of the opposition have had a rest and plenty of time to prepare. However, out defence has looked shaky all season and we have been fortunate that several opponents have missed great chances that could have cost us points. Much as I admire Trent I feel, as in previous seasons, he should be rested for some of our away games, as his consistency tends to drop when he plays too many games for a youngster. He was poor for England and again yesterday. Joe Gomez is limited going forward but we should have enough without Trent to beat most teams when he is rested.
  • I was hoping our wins would get a bit less ugly but a win is a win so I won't complain. The old 'first game back after the international break' caveat was very applicable in this game, there were a lot of players who were not at their best (possibly Trent's worst first half as a Red). However, they somehow scraped together a win and it's that kind of mentality that could win us the league. I can't quite understand the fuss about Palace's disallowed goal. Before VAR I was under the impression that if the attacking side committed a foul in the build-up of a goal - in this case taking down a defender - then the goal should be disallowed. I wasn't aware that this rule had changed but I'm prepared to be corrected if anyone knows better.
  • The first game after an international break is always a difficult one especially if you are up against a team most of whose players have had 2 week's rest. Palace are no longer a bogey team but trips to Selhurst Park are rarely comfortable affairs so I'm expecting another close encounter. I would expect the team listed above to start if Salah and Robertson are unfit or if Klopp decides to give them extended rest. Ox is pushing for a start but I think Napoli or Brighton are the games where he is more likely to get a chance. We know how quickly big leads can evaporate so another win is a must. I'm running out of finger nails so let's hope we don't leave this one late again though I can see it being close.
  • This game used to be a bit of a bannana skin for us but since we've beaten them at selhurst this past 5 years i think that's in the past now, fully expect all 3 points here.
    I'd be surprised to see Salah start, let's rest that ankle of his a bit longer. I want to see the Ox in his place with maybe Origi coming on as our super sub to give either Mane or Firmino an early shower. The team above looks like the one for tomorrow if Robbo is deemed unfit.
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