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Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Liverpool vs Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 3pm.Team news
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino's hamstring injury keeps him out of the visit of Crystal Palace. The Brazil international is not due back in training until next week at the earliest.
Defender Virgil Van Dijk and forward Sadio Mane are set to return to the side after being rested for the midweek Champions League win over AC Milan.
Crystal Palace will be without Jeffrey Schlupp for the trip to Anfield, although he is expected to re-join the squad on Monday.
Eberechi Eze remains on the long-term injury list however, but is expected to return to training outside in the near future. Nathan Ferguson also remains sidelined and is also unlikely to return imminently to the squad.How to follow
Follow Liverpool vs Crystal Palace in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel at 5.15pm.Last time out... FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Leeds in the Premier League FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace's win over Tottenham in the Premier League Jones Knows prediction - PLAY SUPER 6 FOR FREE!
The quality within the ranks of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City is making them impossible to oppose when facing any other team in this Premier League. As Gary Neville pondered on Monday Night Football, this might be the best English domestic league we have ever seen in terms of quality.
If Liverpool take their chances in this one, then Palace will not stand a chance - a very similar defeat looks on the cards to the one they suffered at Stamford Bridge on the opening weekend.
Interestingly, Sadio Mane has scored in each of his last eight appearances against Palace.
Only Robin van Persie (against Stoke) has scored in eight consecutive Premier League games against the same opponent, so Mane is set to create history if finding the net. Of course, these runs do eventually hit the buffers, but I am happy to invest in his chances. Despite his wayward finishing from his 10 shots against Leeds last weekend, he leads the way for expected goals in the Premier League this season with chances falling his way equating to a figure of 3.47 with an actual return of two goals. He can bring those two figures closer together by scoring first at 7/2 with Sky Bet at Anfield.
SCORE PREDICTION: 3-0
BETTING ANGLE: Sadio Mane to score first (7/2 with Sky Bet)Opta stats
Here are 6 key things the boss told the media and supporters in his press conference on Friday.1. Nothing to say on Salah contract
The Reds have been eagerly tying up new deals for their key pillars but Mohamed Salah‘s signature has yet to be put to paper, prolonging talk over his future.
But while he had previously insisted Jordan Henderson‘s was one that would get done, Klopp was quick to say that right now he’s only interested in his application.
With four goals and two assists in five games, we think Klopp is right in saying he’s “spot on.”
“There’s nothing really to say, especially from me, I am not involved. Obviously, I am interested in how sharp he looks and how committed he is.
“He’s spot on. He looks really good. There is nothing else to say.”2. Firmino unavailable, Origi a chance
The Brazilian has yet to feature since suffering a hamstring injury against Chelsea and with a return to team training only set for later next week, he is “not ready” for Palace.
Cramp forced Divock Origi from the field against Milan but the Reds will “have to see what that means for tomorrow.”3. Will not always be a case of rotating Van Dijk
Protecting one’s prized asset is more than understandable and after a lengthy period on the sidelines, Van Dijk is being treated with the utmost care as was shown in mid-week.
And while Klopp has been honest in his need to manage minutes, he doesn’t see it as a long-term move for a player who pre-injury started every league and Champions League game.
“I would rather say it is a short-term thing, we are still in an extended pre-season, especially for him. He was completely fine, he could have played [against Milan] definitely but it was me, I want to be sensible in these moments.
“It will not always be like that [rotating Virgil], but I think early in the season it was the right thing to do.”4. A normal, but tough run
This is the position the Reds want to be in, but expect changes once again at Anfield as Liverpool look to keep things fresh and maintain their momentum.
“This one is normal for us, three games a week. Playing Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday is a tough one so you have to think about these kinds of things.
“We came through [so far] and the boys did really well. We will have to make changes again. That is clear.”5. Matip’s quality is clear!
The No. 32 has turned back time so far this season as a mainstay at the back, with his forays forward a delight to watch.
An underrated figure and Klopp got straight to the point by saying, “I cannot help people who don’t see the quality of Joel Matip!”
Hard to disagree with the boss and now we all have our fingers crossed that his woes are firmly behind him.
“He was unlucky with injuries. He’s tall and it can look a bit edgy but he’s always been incredible for us.”6. Palace and a “proper football-playing” style
Patrick Vieira will arrive with his team in tow at Anfield for the first time as Palace manager and Klopp is expecting a tough test.
“A decent team with a proper football-playing idea, it’s a change and they will do well. But we have to do well as well.”
Once a bogey team, the Reds have won the last eight dating back to 2017, with an aggregate score of 24-5 – now to make it nine from nine!
With games coming thick and fast for Liverpool on a three-day cycle, the manager has spoken readily about rotating his side to keep legs fresh.
But his No. 9 will remain unavailable for the short-term following his hamstring injury against Chelsea prior to the September international break.
“No, not ready,” Klopp said of the possibility of Firmino featuring against Palace.
“Bobby did not start training with the team, it will happen some point next week when he will be back training [with the team], and then we have to see.”
“He had cramp at the end of the game and so we have to see what that means for tomorrow,” Klopp said of the No. 27.
Origi has only been named in one league matchday squad so far this season as an unused substitute on the opening day at Norwich. And you have to go back to February for his last time on the pitch.
With possibly two forward options unavailable, Klopp is likely to reunite his strongest possible trio in Salah, Mane and Jota for the visit of Crystal Palace.
Jurgen Klopp has urged those at the top to find solutions for international players and not make them “collateral damage” once more, with common sense needing to prevail.
Despite the pandemic still very much present around the world, international exploits for players continue to push ahead despite travel restrictions and concerns over player welfare.
It came to a head in the September break with Liverpool and fellow Premier League clubs agreeing not to release players set for red-list countries as a 10-day isolation period would be required on their return.
For the Reds, it meant Mohamed Salah missed one of Egypt’s games and both Alisson and Fabinho remained on Merseyside – only to be threatened with a five-day ban thanks to a complaint from the Brazilian FA.
It would be dropped at the last hour but it placed the players in the middle of a tug of war that they had no place being in, Klopp rightly saying it made them “collateral damage.”
And with two more international windows before the end of 2021, the manager has pleaded for “common sense and solution-based thinking” from football authorities.
“In fact, they are the ones who suffer the most despite doing nothing wrong. They are punished for factors beyond their control.
“The players deserve that the people in power find solutions and not make them collateral damage.
“Before we know it, we will be discussing the October call-ups and this whole situation will be back.
“Common sense and solution-based thinking must be at the forefront of these discussions.”
Tite is scheduled to name his Brazil squad for the October international break on September 24 for a World Cup qualifier triple-header and Liverpool‘s contingent are expected to be named, fitness permitting.
An exemption from the UK government will be needed to avoid their call up being rebuffed once more, but the timing of the matches remains a concern for Klopp.
“It cannot be right that matches can kick off so late in the second international week and then clubs be expected to play on Saturday,” Klopp said.
“The practical impact of this means we will be without these players. It’s not right and it needs to be addressed.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is focused on Mohamed Salah's form on the pitch and not his contract negotiations.
The club have agreed a raft of new deals with senior players this year but Salah, who has just under two years left on his contract, is one whose longer-term future is yet to be tied down.
Negotiations have not affected his performances, with the Egypt international scoring in four of his five appearances this season.
"There's nothing really to say, especially from me as I am not involved," said Klopp.
"The only thing I'm really interested in is how Mo looks, how sharp and committed he is at the moment, and that's absolutely spot on.
"He looks really good. There is nothing else to say."
Forward Roberto Firmino will again be absent for Saturday's visit of Crystal Palace with a hamstring injury.
"He is not ready," said Klopp. "Bobby won't start training with the team until some time next week. Then we will have to wait and see."Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has backed Sadio Mane to get back to his best after his missed chances against Leeds as the forward goes for his 100th goal for the club against Crystal Palace this weekend
Klopp rotated his side for the Champions League win against Milan, with Virgil van Dijk, Thiago and Sadio Mane dropping to the bench, and the Liverpool boss will make further changes when they face Palace - their third game in seven days.
"Three games a week is normal but Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday is a tough one," said Klopp. "It's the shortest you can get in a normal week.
"We came through (against Milan) and the boys did really well. We will have to make changes again, that's clear."FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Leeds in the Premier League
Mane netted his 99th Liverpool goal in last Sunday's Premier League win at Leeds, scoring in injury-time after squandering a plethora of earlier chances, and Klopp would love to see him reach his century against Palace at Anfield.
"Sadio looks really good and sharp," said Klopp. "We talk about this when a striker misses some chances but the amount of chances he had, that's actually the important stuff.
"He is in a good moment, both physically and mentally. It would be really nice [to get to 100 goals on Saturday].
"Sadio is an exceptional player, he has to perform exceptionally. That's how it is, that's the standard we expect from him and usually he delivers."Garcia: 'Different' Salah will only get better Former Liverpool winger Luis Garcia says it's very important that they convince Mohamed Salah to commit his long-term future to the club
Mohamed Salah is a "different" prospect for opponents this season and will only get better and better, says former Liverpool winger Luis Garcia.
Forward Salah, 29, is into his fifth campaign as a Liverpool player and scored his fourth goal of the new season in the comeback 3-2 win against AC Milan in the Champions League at Anfield on Wednesday
The Egypt international has adopted his tactical understanding which could see him deliver more goals than before, according to Garcia.Tuesday 21st September 7:00pm Kick off 7:45pm Image: Salah has a more defined spread of activity this season, compared with previous campaigns
"He is becoming more and more important. He knows where he has to be. I think we can see a different Salah at the moment. You don't see him making those 50-yard runs, beating players and putting it in the top corner.
"Now it is moving more around the box; he knows his combinations so he is ready. That is why is numbers are getting better and better.
"His strengths are used next to the box and the six-yard box. Every single time the ball is around there you know that he is so dangerous. I think the numbers could be even higher this season."
Watch free match highlights of Liverpool's Premier League game with Crystal Palace in the Sky Sports app from 5.15pm on Saturday