Crystal Palace face the team sitting at the Premier League summit for the second time in just seven days in this weekend’s opening top-flight clash.
A late Jeffrey Schlupp goal and string of fine saves from Vicente Guaita sealed a well-deserved point for the Eagles against Tottenham last weekend, before Roy Hodgson was left raging at Christian Benteke’s dismissal in a 1-1 London derby draw with West Ham in midweek.
Palace are now three matches unbeaten and sit 12th, though have won only one of their last five – a 5-1 drubbing of 10-man West Brom at The Hawthorns.
Meanwhile, defending champions Liverpool are back on top after Roberto Firmino’s late effort sealed a crucial 2-1 win over Spurs on Wednesday evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s team are unbeaten in their last nine League matches, though have not picked up a victory in any of their last five away trips.
Crystal Palace XI: Guaita, Clyne, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Schlupp, Milivojevic, McArthur, Eze, Zaha, Ayew
Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Minamino, Mane, Firmino
With kick-off scheduled for 12:30pm GMT, follow all the build-up and match action with Standard Sport’s live blog below…
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Four changes for Palace
As for the hosts, Jordan Ayew is the man tasked with partnering Wilfried Zaha in attack in the absence of Christian Benteke.
Also back in the starting XI are former Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne, Gary Cahill and Jeffrey Schlupp.
That trio replace Joel Ward, Scott Dann and Andros Townsend, who are all named as substitutes at Selhurst Park.
Salah on bench for Liverpool
So the headline news from a Liverpool perspective is the benching of Mohamed Salah, with Takumi Minamino starting alongside Robert Firmino and Sadio Mane in that front three instead.
Joel Matip does indeeed return in defence in place of Rhys Williams to partner Fabinho, while Curtis Jones also drops to the bench as Naby Keita is deemed fit enough to start.
Crystal Palace team
Starting XI: Guaita, Clyne, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Schlupp, Milivojevic, McArthur, Eze, Zaha, Ayew
Subs: Butland, Ward, Tomkins, Dann, Townsend, McCarthy, Batshuayi, Mitchell, Riedewald
Starting XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Minamino, Mane, Firmino
Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Origi, Jones, R Williams, Phillips, N Williams
Official team news is about to drop, but whispers on social media that Mohamed Salah will start on the bench for Liverpool today…
How will Liverpool line-up today?
Meanwhile, here’s how we expect Liverpool to line-up at Selhurst Park, with the returning Joel Matip replacing Rhys Williams the back and the impressive Curtis Jones keeping his place in midfield…
Predicted Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Official team news is now less than 20 minutes away…
How will Crystal Palace line-up today?
Here is how Standard Sport’s Jack Rosser sees Palace shaping up in SE25 this afternoon, with Jeffrey Schlupp partnering Wilfried Zaha in the absence of Benteke and Gary Cahill back in defence after being rested as a precaution in midweek…
Predicted Crystal Palace XI (4-4-2): Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Townsend, Milvojevic, McArthur, Eze; Schlupp, Zaha
Hodgson rues Benteke absence
Roy Hodgson was furious after Wednesday’s draw against West Ham at the dismissal of Benteke, who was sent off for two bookable offences having earlier opened the scoring at the London Stadium.
The former Liverpool boss knows the rejuvenated striker will be a big miss against his former club this afternoon, having also netted a brace in the 5-1 drubbing of West Brom.
“Since he came back into the team he’s done extremely well and we’ve been very pleased with him,” Hodgson said at his pre-match press conference.
“He would have been a big weapon against Liverpool, I don’t think they’d have been looking forward to playing against him in the form that he’s in, so of course it’s a miss from our side not to be able to use him.
“It just makes I suppose the anger I’d have to call it that I felt on Wednesday night in seeing him dismissed for two honest challenges to try to win the ball without any hint of malice or trying to foul an opponent, even harder to take.
“I know that we’re going to miss him even more in a game where his type of play, presence, would have been of big importance.”
Klopp: Thiago won’t be rushed back
While Liverpool should welcome back Joel Matip this afternoon, Jurgen Klopp refuses to rush the return to action of star summer signing Thiago Alcantara.
The former Bayern Munich star has not played since suffering a troublesome knee injury on his first start for his new club in the Merseyside derby against Everton in October.
And while Thiago is now inching closer to a comeback, Klopp insists he will not be tempted to throw in the Spaniard too early.
“We already made jokes here that we should sign Thiago for January,” said the Reds boss.
“He gets closer and closer and is in a good way but we will not rush it, we cannot rush it and he will not because he is not allowed to rush it.”
Liverpool team news
Liverpool defender Joel Matip is expected to be fit today having missed the midweek win over Tottenham due to a back spasm.
Midfielder Naby Keita could get a rare start, having been on the bench on Wednesday, but with eight days before their next game Klopp is likely to keep faith with the majority of his starting line-up from the Spurs game.
Thiago Alcantara is set to rejoin team training next week after two months out with a knee injury with a view to being in contention in early January, with fellow midfielders James Milner (hamstring) and Xherdan Shaqiri (muscle) closing in on returns.