Liverpool cruised through their opening game of the Premier League season with a 4-0 win over West Ham at Anfield last weekend but ahead of tonight’s trip to Selhurst Park, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is hoping to welcome Joel Matip back into the squad.
The Cameroon international was forced to leave the field partway through Liverpool’s pre-season International Champions Cup match against Borussia Dortmund in July, with the knock keeping him out of action ever since but after missing the hammering of the Irons on Merseyside last weekend, it sounds as though the 27-year-old is now closing in on a return to first-team action.
In his absence, Klopp paired £75-million man-mountain Virgil van Dijk with 21-year-old Joe Gomez and was impressed with his display throughout. Admittedly, Manuel Pellegrini’s players offered next to nothing as an attacking force throughout the 90 minutes but even so, the German was clearly pleased with the manner in which the central defensive pair operated together.
Whether or not the Liverpool boss chooses to throw Matip straight back into the starting XI for tonight’s trip to Selhurst Park remains to be seen, having spoken openly about the wealth of attacking talent Roy Hodgson has at his disposal in SE25. Both Klopp and Pep Guardiola are high-profile fans of our playing style under the former England gaffer and as such, it will be interesting to see how the Reds set up from a defensive perspective prior to kick-off this evening.
Of course, at the other end of the field Liverpool boast one of, if not the best attacking trio in the Premier League with Salah, Mane and Firmino but if Palace can somehow manage to frustrate them for the opening hour or so of tonight’s meeting, we could well find one or two holes to exploit in the Merseysiders’ back-line in the latter stages.
It promises to be an extremely intriguing contest for both partisans and neutrals alike.