Crystal Palace host Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday in a 12:30pm kick-off at Selhurst Park.
Roy Hodgson takes on his former club with his Palace side sitting comfortably in 12th place in the table after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at West Ham.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have a three point lead at the top of the table after Roberto Firmino’s late winner against Tottenham on the same evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are 3/5 favourites to extend that gap with a win over Palace, with the draw 3/1 and a Palace win 9/2.
I’m surprised Liverpool aren’t a little shorter having won all five of their visits to Selhurst Park under Klopp, and eight of their last nine league games against the Eagles overall (the one exception being the last time they lost in the league at Anfield in a 2-1 home defeat, with Christian Benteke bagging a brace against his former side).
Benteke is suspended, but what might be driving Liverpool’s slightly increasing price is the rumours that Mohamed Salah is set to be rested. Who knows whether it’s true, but definitely wait for team news before jumping on Sky Bet’s boost of the Egyptian having 1+ shot on target at evens.
In terms of a Bet Builder, I’d like to think I have a pretty good strike rate of late, but if there’s been one team consistently letting me down it’s Liverpool. Either the Reds have fallen short of scoring two goals when I’ve backed them to do so, or they don’t even pick up one card like the other night against Spurs. So you’ll be pleased to hear I’m backing neither of those today.
Indeed, I’m letting the stats do the talking on this one. Palace have scored in six of their last seven home games, with both teams to score landing in five of them, while Liverpool have kept just one clean sheet in their last 10 away games (when Andreas Christensen was sent off before half-time for Chelsea and Jorginho missed a second-half penalty), with both teams to score landing in eight of them.
With Wilfried Zaha coming up against Liverpool’s high line in excellent form, I’m happy to back both teams to score (although would have felt more confident about it with a small crowd in attendance), while also backing Palace to pick up at least a card to bring the Bet Builder above evens:
Liverpool’s last 12 opponents have picked up at least one card, with Palace cautioned at least once in 10 of their 13 games this season.
In terms of player cards, I’m big on Luca Milivojevic today. The Serbian is best price 85/40 (Bet Victor), having been booked in each of his last three starts. Incredibly, too, 14 central midfielders have been booked against Liverpool already this season, so with James McArthur also booked on three occasions this season and leading Palace’s tackles and fouls count, 15/1 looks a smashing price with Bet Victor for both of Palace’s central midfielders to be booked.
I’m also keen on Joel Matip to be carded at 11/2 (bet365) if he starts in Liverpool’s defence. He’s unlikely to be 100% fit having suffered a back strain against Fulham last week, and will have Zaha and Eberechi Eze to deal with on that side of the pitch. He’s been booked in one of his five starts this season and, while a very classy defender on his day, he is prone to tripping strikers up trying to reach for the ball from behind.
If you’re after a considerably bigger Bet Builder, meanwhile, I like the look of Liverpool to win, BTTS, Palace to receive 2+ cards, Liverpool to receive 1+ card and 3+ corners each team at 10/1.
Referee Jonathan Moss averages three yellow cards per game this season, so in my head this is the mark we’re looking for. Liverpool’s opponents have received two or more cards in 10 of the last 12 games, with Palace picking up two or more themselves in seven of their 13 league games this season. Palace’s opponents, meanwhile, have received at least one card in 11 of their 13 matches, with Liverpool cautioned in eight of their 13 matches and likely to find themselves in the odd sticky situation against the likes of Zaha and Eberechi Eze on the break.
3+ corners for each team has landed in Liverpool’s last five and Palace’s last eight league games, meanwhile, with both sides looking to utilise plenty of width.