Crystal Palace v Liverpool Preview

Manchester City have laid down the gauntlet with their scintillating start to the Premier League season and Liverpool will be looking to put down a marker of their own, when they make the trip to Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has compared the potential battle with City for the title as a case of Rocky Balboa versus Ivan Drago. Klopp was making the point that his side will have to fight tooth and nail in every game, if they are to have a chance of upsetting the odds and landing their first title since 1990.

Ending the ‘lesser team’ hoodoo

The criticism of the Reds in recent years is not their ability to rise to the big occasion and beat fellow title contenders, but to make sure they don’t slip up against the so-called ‘lesser teams’.

Monday night provides the perfect early season test on a Selhurst Park pitch that won’t bring back too many happy memories for the travelling Merseyside support.

Back in May 2014, with Liverpool (1.83 to win on Monday) edging towards a first Premier League crown, the Reds found themselves coasting 3-0 up against the Eagles.

However, that Tony Pulis’ side managed to produce a remarkable comeback and score three unanswered goals to help Manchester City to the title.

Different times, different Liverpool

Under Klopp, the Reds are a different beast and they will fancy their chances of seeing off Palace, after what was a 4-0 dismantling of West Ham United in their opening competitive game of the season.

The new arrivals appear to have fitted in well at Anfield, with Brazilian international Alisson looking like a reassuring figure in goal, while Naby Keita seems like a real find in an already competitive midfield area.

If Liverpool get ahead in the game and are firing on all cylinders, then Palace will find it hard to keep up.

Eagles on a high after felling Fulham

Roy Hodgson’s side will be more than happy going into the game as underdogs (7.75 to collect the three points) and more than happy with their start to the season.

A 2-0 win over newly-promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage will have brought about a confident mood in the Eagles’ camp, with once again their star winger Wilfried Zaha showing what he is all about.

Palace did well to keep hold of the Ivory Coast international over the summer transfer window and that effort could go a long way in seeing Hodgson’s side improve notably on last season.

With a lack of expectation on what this Palace side can do against Liverpool, the likes of Zaha (4.00 to score at anytime) can play with an amount of freedom that Liverpool will have to be wary of.

It’s hard to see this being overly one sided and both teams scoring looks a tempting price at 1.74, but Liverpool claiming the win and BTTS (2.40) could be the way to go in what is set to be an exciting encounter in south London.