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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14 mins: Zaha is very frustrated that he isn’t played in behind the Liverpool backline as Palace look for a response to that early setback.
11 mins: Palace applying some pressure now as captain Luka Milivojevic – who was fouled as Mane tried to counter a few moments ago – releases Zaha down the left flank and the Eagles’ talisman delivers a dangerous low cross that Fabinho does well to turn behind with Ayew lurking.
Another foul at the subsequent corner from Cahill gives Liverpool some breathing room.
The ball is just being held up in the wind at times during these early exchanges, which could make things interesting…
That was Minamino’s first Premier League goal for Liverpool and, according to Opta, the Reds’ earliest away effort since Rickie Lambert scored against… yep, you guessed it, Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in November 2014!
9 mins: Palace break through Schlupp, who tries to find Zaha but sees a low pass cut out by Matip.
The corner comes to nothing as Cahill tries to block Alexander-Arnold’s clearance and concedes the free-kick.
6 mins: It’s been a confident opening from Liverpool, with Robertson eager to pick out Mane.
The Reds are dominating, with Palace largely chasing shadows just at the moment.
GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-1 Liverpool | Takumi Minamino 3’
3 mins: What a start for the leaders!
Andrew Robertson feeds the ball into Sadio Mane in the box and the Senegal forward finds space before picking out Minamino.
Salah’s replacement doesn’t shoot straightaway and gets a somewhat fortunate deflection off Clyne before slotting home past Vicente Guaita.
The worst possible start for Palace, who have lost all of their last six games against Liverpool.
After both sets of players take the knee, we are ready to go at Selhurst Park.
Jon Moss is today’s referee. A reminder that Liverpool need to avoid defeat today to guarantee staying top of the Premier League over Christmas…
Here come the teams
Selhurst Park is bathed in winter sunshine as the teams make their way out onto the pitch, with Liverpool’s players having waited in the car park.
No home fans in attendance this afternoon of course, with London having been moved into Tier 3 of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions.
Klopp: Salah not injured
Jurgen Klopp has confirmed in his pre-match interview with BT Sport that Mohamed Salah is NOT injured, but rather being initially rested with the intention of coming on to potentially make the difference late if needed.
The Liverpool boss eager to bring in as many fresh legs as possible amid such a hectic schedule.
A couple of Liverpool players reaching notable milestones at Selhurst today.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will make his 150th Reds appearance, while Naby Keita reaches a half-century of outings in the Premier League.