Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: Key Battles | Premier League | EPL

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Liverpool travel to South London on Sunday to face a stern challenge from Patrick Viera’s Crystal Palace, with both sides full of talented players, here are the key battles.

Liverpool travel to South London on Sunday for a visit to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. 

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Jurgen Klopp’s side come into the game desperately trying to stay in touch with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who sit top of the Premier League. 

Patrick Vieira’s Eagles will provide a stern test for the Reds, in a fixture that historically has proved a tough one for Liverpool. 

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With a young squad full of quality at his disposal, Vieira will have a number of options for Sunday’s game, meaning Liverpool will be well matched in all areas of play. 

Here are the key battles. 

Conor Gallagher vs Fabinho

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Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: Key Battles | Premier League | EPL
© Provided by LFC Transfer Room on FanNation Conor Gallagher celebrates opening the scoring for Crystal Palace against Brighton. IMAGO / Sebastian Frej

Crystal Palace’s young on-loan midfielder versus Liverpool’s midfield general will be an excellent battle to watch. 

Starting with Gallagher, the 21-year old midfielder has absolutely lit up the Premier League this season, being arguably one of the leagues top performers. 

Gallagher has been the main attacking outlet from the Palace midfield three, driving forward from the ‘eight’ position and thus far contributing seven goals and three assists in his 18 Premier League appearances.

It’ll be interesting to see how he matches up to Fabinho this Sunday. 

The Brazilian is the lynchpin in the Liverpool midfield holding the three in the middle of the park together excellently. He sits in that deep lying defensive role, breaking up play, dictating play and allowing the Liverpool full backs to attack by sitting in deep with the two centre backs. 

His main jobs on Sunday will be crucial in deciding the game for Liverpool.

Firstly, he will be vital in dictating play. Palace will look to capitalise on what will likely be a full capacity crowd and take the game to Liverpool, but, if Fabinho can keep Liverpool playing, whilst breaking up Palace attacks then he will be key in keeping Palace quiet.

Secondly, he will be in charge of making sure Conor Gallagher doesn’t get into his stride. If Fab can keep Gallagher quiet then Palace will lose a vital attacking outlet, and a major key to victory. 

Diogo Jota vs Marc Guehi

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: Key Battles | Premier League | EPL
© Provided by LFC Transfer Room on FanNation Diogo Jota scores his second of the game against Arsenal in Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg. IMAGO / PA Images

Palace’s young defender will more than have his hands full with Liverpool’s in form attacker.

In all honesty, this battle could’ve been Jota against any member of the Palace defence, as is the fluidity of the Liverpool attack. 

Due to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s ongoing AFCON commitments, both Jota and Roberto Firmino are a near certainty to start the game, more than likely alongside Minamino. 

This means Jota will start from the left but will drift inside as Firmino drops back or rotates with his attacking partners leaving Jota facing up against Guehi. 

The Portuguese is in excellent form, coming off of the back of a double against Arsenal in the second leg of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final against the Gunners. 

With Salah away, Jota is undoubtedly the focal point of the Liverpool attack, and it will fall on the Eagles young defender to stop him. 

Guehi has shown his promise so far this season, with the England under-21 captain featuring 20 times for the Eagles so far. 

If he can keep Jota quiet then he will have massively nullified the Liverpool attack, however, if he fails, then Liverpool’s in-form Portuguese striker could run riot. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Tyrick Mitchell

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: Key Battles | Premier League | EPL
© Provided by LFC Transfer Room on FanNation Trent Alexander-Arnold in action for Liverpool against Brentford IMAGO / Colorsport

Liverpool fans may be able to cast their mind back to August 2018, when a young Aaron Wan-Bissaka excellently nullified Sadio Mane, and even at times Mo Salah in a wonderful breakout performance for the Eagles. 

Well, the newest young promising full back at Crystal Palace is, 22-year old left back, Tyrick Mitchell.

Mitchell has burst onto the scene with Palace, making that left back spot his own, notching up 21 Premier League appearances for Viera’s side so far this campaign. 

One of his opponents on Sunday is another young full back – Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Liverpool’s 23-year old right back is one of, if not, the best in the league, and also the World and will pose a tough test for Mitchell. 

With Liverpool’s right side weakened with the loss of Salah, they will have to lean on Trent’s attacking output even more on Sunday, so expect to see the Scouser joining the attack more often than not. 

Mitchell will be tasked with stopping him and if he is able to impose his will on Trent, then that will be a massive key to victory for Palace. 

Trent will look to push forward and get balls into the box for Diogo Jota to get on the end of, with their partnership adding two more assists to Trent’s ever-growing tally against Arsenal. 

Alexander-Arnold could be a key player in Liverpool’s route to victory on Sunday, even more so than usual, so expect Mitchell to have his hands full trying to deal with the England international.

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