Our live stream ahead of Saturdays Premier League match, Crystal Palace v Liverpool is now up and running, kicking off at 12.30 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Crystal Palace come into the game having drawn 1-1 away at West Ham midweek. Palace’s Benteke scored but was then sent off as Crystal Palace survived playing 20 minutes with 10-men in a 1-1 draw with West Ham.
The rejuvenated striker got his third goal in as many games then went from hero to villain when picking up a second yellow card for an elbow on Tomas Soucek, leaving the Eagles to play with 10 men for the last 20 minutes.
Which Palace turns up could be the deciding factor as to whether they could also come away with something from the other member of the top two this weekend, with the hosts having won three, drawn three and lost three of their last nine league games.
The Eagles have only won one of their last five league games but face a Liverpool team struggling on the road despite their lofty league position.
Liverpool come into the game as league leaders as Roberto Firmino headed a 90th-minute winner, edging out title challengers Tottenham to climb top of the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory at Anfield.
Firmino escaped the clutches of Toby Alderweireld in the final minute of normal time to divert Andy Robertson’s pin-point corner into the top corner with a bullet header that left Hugo Lloris with no chance.
The dramatic finale came just as Spurs looked to have secured a rare point at Anfield, with Heung-Min Son’s clinical strike on the counter cancelling out Mohamed Salah’s deflected opener in the first half.
If anything could dampen Jurgen Klopp’s delight at the victory, it would be another Wednesday night to Saturday lunchtime turnaround – a piece of scheduling which led to a furious reaction the last time it happened less than a month ago.
Liverpool drew 1-1 with Brighton & Hove Albion on that occasion – one of five successive away league matches which the champions have failed to win in a run which stretches back almost three months now.
The Reds have not gone six away league games without winning since January 2011 and could draw five in a row for the first time since December 1991, having been held by Everton, Manchester City, Brighton and Fulham since their 7-2 humiliation at the hands of Aston Villa.
Palace and Liverpool last met in June, with Liverpool easing past Palace in a 4-0 rout at Anfield…
What’s your team news for the weekend?
“We don’t have any significant injuries other than long term injuries we’ve had but obviously we’ve lost Christian Benteke on Wednesday.”
You said the Benteke decision is one that’s ruining football. Have you had any other reflections on that since the other night?
“No, none at all. I don’t understand how an honest challenge like that can be punished in the way it was. I think it’s a bad way to have a game of football decided, possibly, by a player being sent off when he’s just trying to head the ball.”
“I don’t think anyone on the West Ham bench or even on the team would have expected him to be sent off. I was rather surprised when it happened.”
Have you felt the need to reach out to someone like Mike Riley over this?
“No, not at all. After the game or comment, incidents like these, I try to give an honest answer, express how I feel. But the fact is that a continuing debate is not going to serve any purpose.”
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if people like Mike Riley on the other side had a lot of sympathy for my statements.”
Is it a case of coaching players differently to try and change the way they jump and the arms being raised?
“I don’t know. I’m not a mechanical expert. I don’t know that much about the mechanics of jumping.”
“All I know is from years of football, is that every time I’ve seen players try to jump high for very high balls, they use their arms to propel them.”
“Whether mechanically something could be done in the same way as like we’ve tried to with players running around with their arms behind their backs in case there’s an accidental handball involved, I don’t know.”
“All of these things distress me and strain me, because it’s certainly not making the spectacle of football any better.”
“They’re starting to make a divide to some extent between players and coaches who’ve been invovled in football a long time and don’t understand the need to change rules which have served the game so well for so long.”
Over the season we’ve had people talk about confusion with the handball rule, we’ve got this about jumping: does football feel like it is changing or has changed over the last five years?
“Well it is changing, there’s no doubt – it would be a surprise if it didn’t.”
“Everything moves forward, nothing stands still. But what you want is of course that changes bring about the amelioration of the game itself.”
“But I don’t honestly believe that people would have thought if we take the latest incident that the game had been served by Benteke being sent off for honestly jumping and trying to head a ball.”
“I don’t think there will be many people that would say it made the game a lot better and it’s how the game should be.”
Form wise, after the Newcastle defeat you’ve gone three games unbeaten – is there a bit of momentum heading into the busy period?
“I don’t like the word momentum. Confidence is of course important, a good results will give you that and bad results drains your confidence. But I don’t know about momentum. Momentum can quite easily be halted just by the fixture schedule.”
“We’ve had a tough run playing away to West Brom, then playing against Tottenham who were top of the league at the time, West Ham in the top five, but we played them and now Liverpool who are once again top of the table. That’s a very tough run of fixtures.”
“But the good thing is we’re going into those fixtures with some belief. We know what we’re doing and that we’re capable of producing good performances even against teams of that quality.”
“In that respect, if that’s what momentum is, then I would agree that it’s momentum. But I’m not a great fan of the word.”
Are Liverpool still the team to beat?
“Well they are at the moment because they’re top of the table.”
“But I think that they’ll undoubtedly think that it’s going to be a bit tougher than last year where they swept all before them, because the number of teams around them also competing for that top spot are getting more numerous and perhaps more powerful as well.”
“I think Jurgen knows that he’s got a tough job at his hands to bring the championship back to Liverpool for successive seasons, but he’s made a good start because they’re top of the table.”
When you see Jurgen, what will you say to the newly-crowned Manager of the Year? What makes him such a winner as a coach?
“First of course I will congratulate him, and will congratulate him most heartily.”
“I think it’s a very prestigious award, you really are competing against lots of top, top coaches all over the world and it’s a really great achievement.”
“For him, it’s the second time he’s won it, which I think is something even more to be commended. It’s hard enough to get a look in and be nominated, to have won it twice is quite incredible.”
“I’ll tell him how pleased I am for him, how deserved it was for last season where he’d done so well.”
“What makes him a good manager is what makes anyone a good manager.”
“He has a very clear idea of what he wants his team to do, he works hard obviously on the training field to make sure players understand what he wants from them so that they go on the field they are capable of carrying out, if you like, that policy he wants to put together.”
“He’s obviously a very good man manager. Because you see his relationship with his players – it’s a very warm and friendly relationship despite the fact that I’m sure he is always challenging them and pushing them in training.”
“He doesn’t get success by being their friend, he gets success by being a top class coach and manager but he is able to also show those human qualities that make players feel that they want to play for them.”
“So lots and lots of qualities, a very good choice in my opinion from FIFA on this occasion. We’ll have to do our best tomorrow to try and spoil any party he’s got planned.”
Winning FIFA Men’s Best Coach Award…
“I’m grateful for it. I was a bit wide-eyed, I didn’t expect it at all. Hansi Flick won everything pretty much.”
“I wanted to be there to show respect, last year in Milan was a really nice event. I thought I would show up even if I had no chance of winning it.”
“The majority of managers and players voted for me. I am happy for it, it is a special thing for my coaches and me.”
“Actually, if you would have asked me, ‘Are you the world’s best coach? I would have said, ‘Nope’. But I have the world’s best coaches around me.”
On nine subs/three subs…
“I don’t think it’s a compromise. I don’t want to create headlines – everybody knows my thoughts. You have to ask the clubs. 10 clubs voted against it, it was not about advantages, only about player welfare.”
More on Substitute Rule…
“I don’t know what percentage of leagues now have five subs. There must be a good reason for it. Every club wants to stay in the league and some want to win the league.”
“But here [England] is pretty much the only league to do it differently. It’s not me to give an answer. Ask the others and I will try and catch up with all the articles you do about that.”
“He is eager (to get his Liverpool career up and running). We are already making jokes here that we should sign Thiago in January!”
“We will not rush it but it’s nice to have him on the pitch. He’s not in team training yet, that’s the final step.”
On Crystal Palace…
“They have Zaha, Benteke, Benteke gets a red card, and they have Ayew and Batshuayi. They have a very experienced last line. Mamadou Sakho is injured so they could rotate.”
“They have a confident situation and I am impressed by their performance level. They look good, they look sharp. It will be a tough one.”
Away Form Concern…
“It’s a little bit about opponents away, and we were slightly unlucky in one or two games. But outside is the truth.”
“We haven’t won away a lot. We try to change these things and put a shift in. Playing the best possible football is always the plan home and away and tomorrow we try again.”
One Small Problem…
“Since I am at Liverpool, my feeling is everyone wants to beat us. The great history of this club, not a lot of other teams fancy the great history of this club.”
“Once at Newcastle it was like the World Cup final. I was like, ‘Wow, what’s going on here?’ The answer must be in the past.”
“We just try to sort our own problems and try and get through it somehow. One small problem is we won last year and everyone wants to beat us.”
On 12.30 kick off…
“The main difference to our other 12.30s is that both teams have the same time to prepare. That’s not the problem.”
“It’s just that between Wednesday night and Saturday it’s not much time to prepare. We will see who deals with it best.”
Crystal Palace Premier League form: WLLWDD
Liverpool Premier League form: DWDWDW
Liverpool form (all competitions): DWWDDW
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Clyne, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Schlupp, Milivojevic, McArthur, Eze; Zaha, Ayew
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Wilfried Zaha Anytime Goalscorer – 5/2 with FanTeam.
Liverpool currently sit top of the league but it’s a very different story to last season. The Reds haven’t shown the say consistent dominance from last season and have been difficult to predict on occasion. Brighton and Fulham each managed to claim a point when hosting the Reds.
Palace picked up a creditable point against West Ham this week but did have Benteke sent off for a second booking late on. That means Wilfried Zaha will once again be the main Palace goal threat and he’s worth a punt for an anytime goalscorer this weekend.
Time to take a look at our Crystal Palace v Liverpool live match stream as it happens…