Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Sunday 1.30pm, Sky Sports 1
Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace have now gone 11 league games without a win. In fact the last time they won a Premier League match, we were eagerly awaiting the visit of Santa and preparing for an unbelievably intense turkey hangover.
Both that 2-1 win away to Stoke City and our humongous Christmas dinner hangover seem a long time ago now, as Crystal Palace sit in 14th spot, nine points off the relegation zone. And so, why would anyone in their right mind be tempted to take a punt on the Eagles to beat Liverpool on Sunday? Particularly as this Liverpool team are coming off the back of a morale-boosting 3-0 thumping of Manchester City at Anfield.
Well, while Palace’s form is as spectacularly woeful as a TV show hosted by Katie Hopkins, they are Liverpool’s bogey team, and recent head-to-heads between the two make for insightful reading.
In the last 10 years or so Palace and Liverpool have clashed eight times, with the Reds winning just twice. If you strip out an FA Cup clash and a League Cup match, Liverpool’s record goes to one win in six, with one draw and Crystal Palace winning the other four. Throw into that statistical cocktail of doom that Liverpool have won one of the last seven trips to Selhurst Park, and suddenly it’s not all as rosy for Jurgen Klopp.
So which side of the fence do your allegiances fall? If you’re a Liverpool fan, clearly Palace’s near-three month winless run in the league is enough evidence that the Reds are a bet at , while anyone from outside of the red half of Merseyside may be tempted to back Palace to continue their hold over Liverpool, and either win at or draw at .
The good news for whichever side you’re backing is that there should be plenty of goalmouth action. Five of Liverpool’s last seven games have featured over 2.5 goals, while six of Palace’s last seven have had the same. It’s a tempting for there to be over 2.5 goals in the clash at Sunday.
Who comes out on top? Recent form clearly says Liverpool, recent head-to-heads suggest cautiously backing the underdog. Backing the draw with both teams to score at might be a cowardly way to avid picking a side, but we’ve bought ourselves a cushion and we’re getting comfy on the fence.