Weblog: The football punter

Liverpool can find a way to edge out the Eagles

Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League, 8pm

Liverpool waltzed past West Ham in their Premier League opener but they look to be in for a tougher night against another London outfit when the Merseysiders make the trip to Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace are capable of making it a difficult 90 minutes for Jurgen Klopp's strongly-fancied favourites, although ultimately the sheer quality of the visitors can see Liverpool narrowly through the tricky assignment.

There were no signs of ring-rust from Liverpool's famous front three during the thumping 4-0 rout of West Ham, which only enhanced many people's belief that Klopp has the tools to launch a title bid.

That opinion will only grow should they come through the Palace trip and a one-goal away win looks the best bet as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino face a different defensive set-up from West Ham's shocking high line.

Mane (twice) and Salah took full advantage but Palace are surely going to prove be shrewder under former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson, a coach who thrives on this kind of job of nullifying superior opponents.

However, plugging gaps can work only for so long and Liverpool have a variety of scoring options, not confined to just Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino, who all notched at least 20 goals in all competitions last season.

If they fail Naby Keita, so impressive on his debut against West Ham, can dribble his way past opponents while Daniel Sturridge proved his worth off the bench with a goal with his first touch last week.

Liverpool have also improved defensively in the last two transfer windows, bringing in Virgil van Dijk in January and goalkeeper Alisson, both for world-record fees at the time for players in their positions.

But the Reds needed to work hard for their Selhurst Park success last season, winning 2-1 in March despite falling behind before Mane and Salah turned the game on its head in the second half.

Palace are pretty much unchanged from last season and that settled look worked well in their 2-0 victory at Fulham last week.

Ex-Liverpool men Mamadou Sakho and Christian Benteke will be keen to impress against Klopp, who bombed both men out of Anfield, although all eyes will be on potential match-winner Wilfried Zaha.

The home hero scored five goals in his last six matches of the 2017-18 campaign and carried that on with another at Craven Cottage thanks to excellent work from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Palace also did reasonably well at home against the big teams last season, holding Manchester City to a 0-0 draw and beating Chelsea 2-1. They lost by one goal to Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Liverpool to win by one goal

The Football Site

Like on Facebook

Google +1


Currently no Pro Punters for today

Match in Focus

17:30 TODAY BT2

W Bremen v Hertha Berlin

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Bremen are unbeaten in their last ten home games against Hertha
Expert verdict
Two of the Bundesliga's unbeaten teams go head-to-head at the Weserstadion and they might be happy to settle for a share of the spoils. Second-placed Hertha Berlin are doing more than anyone to keep tabs on leaders Bayern but they haven't won away to Werder Bremen since 2006.