We are now just two days away from Crystal Palace’s clash with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Selhurst Park, prompting the excellent WhoScored.com to produce a comprehensive statistical preview of the match in question.
Whilst plenty has rightly been made of the fantastic start Liverpool have made to the current campaign, the facts laid out in the piece attached above really do offer a stark representation of the task facing Alan Pardew and his players on Saturday evening. Without wanting to scare you too much, the statistics see Liverpool holding advantages in almost every department.
Indeed, the pace and power running throughout the German’s squad has frightened most who have had the opportunity to watch them this season, with their increased work-rate adding an extra dimension to what was already a highly talented group. Of course, there remains a chance of Palace causing an upset in front of the BT Sport cameras but on the face of things, it appears to be a mountainous challenge.
Thankfully, we should be able to welcome captain and defensive focal point Scott Dann back into the starting XI following a hamstring tear which has kept him out of contention since mid-September; a move which should see Damien Delaney dropped to the bench and James Tomkins partnered with the skipper at the heart of the back four.
As you would expect following the reappearance of Dann, set-pieces look to set to form a key part of Palace’s general game plan against the third-placed Reds, providing a potential platform to build upon for a group who come out on top when both height and aerial success are analysed in direct comparison to the visitors.
In essence, this tie should play out in the stereotypical form of attack versus defence for the most part, with the Eagles’ efforts boosted visibly by the presence of Christian Benteke at the head of the side. Ironically, he was the man who bagged the decisive goal the last time the two sides met; Pardew and his players will be hoping for a repeat this time around.