Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
As it stands, Liverpool need just five points from eight games to end their quest for the holy grail.
It’s long been a case of when, not if, the Merseysiders secure a 19th league title and their very first of the Premier League era.
That it could have happened last weekend but didn’t will surely only be a minor frustration to most of their followers who can watch – from a distance – their first game back at Anfield on Wednesday night, knowing victory would put them within two points of realising their dream.
What’s more, their opponents are a side with little to play for – safe from relegation and realistically a bit adrift to challenge for a European spot – so could be the perfect side to meet.
On saying that, could they be so relaxed they turn it on as the Eagles have dared to do in recent years against the big boys.
What midweek Premier League highlights await us I wonder.
Just before the enforced break, four defeats in six across all competitions had taken a bit of the gloss off the runaway league leaders’ 2019/20 campaign but no more than that. It certainly does not detract from their achievements to date and they will emerge as worthy champions.
The fact there will be no fans at Anfield as Liverpool aim to move closer to a championship coronation may make this somewhat anticlimactic, yet manager Jurgen Klopp will impress on his players they still need to perform, regardless.
What has become clear during his four and a half years at the club is how significant the ability to energise a fanbase can still be. It is easy to assume that in the days of all-seat stadiums, corporatisation and mass football tourism that the crowd has become more passive. Yet certain matches prove otherwise.
While a very different character to the colourful German, one of his predecessors, Roy Hodgson, has proven a hit in his own way during two and a half years at the Palace.
He returns to Anfield, nearly a decade after his six-month tenure in charge on Merseyside where he was never given a fair chance – although he soon put that behind him when he was offered the England national job.
The veteran boss is in his element at Palace, building a side that is solid in defence, dangerous in attack and solid enough to ensure Premier League stability.
On Saturday, Palace saw out the victory in comfort against a Bournemouth team which failed to mount any sort of serious pressure. The win left them sitting comfortably in the top 10 and the goals, from Luka Milovjevic’s free-kick and Jordan Ayew’s sweeping finish, showed exactly what they are about.
They will, of course, meet a very different resistance this time around but they have quality players who can hurt the very best.
Two very different teams, Liverpool managers past and present, and no fans. Who knows what could happen!
Liverpool left it late before winning the fixture at Selhurst Park earlier this season, continuing their fine recent run against Palace.
Overall, Palace have won 14 of their meetings with the Merseysiders who, themselves, have 29 victories to their name. There have been a further 11 draws.
Last season, goals at the end of each half from James Milner and Sadio Mane secured Liverpool a 2-0 win in London.
It was much closer at Anfield where Liverpool won a seven-goal thriller, helped by some poor Palace goalkeeping.
Two goals from Mohamed Salah and one each from Roberto Firmino and Mane secured the points with Andros Townsend, James Tomkins and Max Meyer on target for the Eagles.
Palace last defeated Liverpool at home five years ago when second-half goals from Dwight Gayle, Joe Ledley and Mile Jedinak cancelled out Rickie Lambert’s opener in a 3-1 win.
|Liverpool vs Crystal Palace||Liverpool First Half Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 1.97|
|June 25, 03:15 (GMT+8)|
The SBOBET Premier League betting odds could hardly be starker. Liverpool 1X2 @ 1.25, Crystal Palace 1X2 @ 13.50. A home banker, right?
With Asian Handicap odds, the hosts can be backed -2.00 @ 2.44 with Palace +1.50 @ 2.13.
A repeat of the corresponding fixture last term – correct score 4-3 – will earn you a big payday @ 225.00.
Goals are anticipated, judging by the odds of over 3.00 goals @ 2.11, total goal 2-3 @ 2.08 and total goal 4-6 @ 2.89.
It’s hard not to back the champions-elect and they will aim to be positive in attack from the outset.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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