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Reds Column III

Premier League 2020-21 Preview: Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

After beating the hosts Burnley Fc in the Premier League, Liverpool Fc (The Reds) are due to play their final game of the Season against the visitors Crystal Palace Fc in the Premier League.

Date: 23 May 2021 (Sunday) ; Time: 4:00 p.m (BST) kick-off ; Venue: Anfield, Liverpool, England.

Following the relaxation of the COVID-19 rules by the British Government, the Reds will have the chance to welcome back up to 10,000 Supporters (that will be selected through a specific criterion set by the Club) for the Reds final game of the campaign.

These 10,000 fans will be also able to see the new home kit (for the 2021-22 Season) worn for the first time by the Players when the Reds faces the visitors Crystal Palace Fc (The Eagles).

Furthermore, in response to the recent European Super League (ESL) Fiasco and as part of the of the Club’s commitment to put Supporters at the heart of its decision-making processes; the Reds are set to launch a new Supporters Board in a new initiative which would deliver meaningful Fan representation at Main Board and Executive Levels.

For the upcoming home clash with the visitors the Eagles; Jürgen Klopp most likely would utilise most of the players that were involved in the away encounter with the hosts Burnley Fc.

Yet; Players like James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Curtis Jones and so on might also be considered.

After having an illustrious career managing many Clubs (including the Reds); the upcoming clash with the hosts Reds will also be the last game as the Eagles Manager for Roy Hodgson.

So, the Former Reds Manager would be hoping to end on a positive note (which the Reds would want to avoid).

The upcoming fixture might also last be the last game for Georginio Wijnaldum as his contract with the Reds is set to expire at the end of the season and talks over an extension were shelved months ago.

The Dutchman has been ever-present as well as been one of the vital cog to the Reds side, since his move from Newcastle United Fc around July 2016. 

When the two sides met last time, the Reds recorded their biggest ever away win in the Premier League after beating the hosts Crystal Palace 0-7.

Despite their indifference in form this Season; the Reds are yet to taste defeat to their next opponent since losing 1-2 (April 2017) to the visitors Eagles and has won all their games over the Eagles since then.

Moreover form wise; the Reds are peaking at the ideal time with 7 wins across a nine-game unbeaten streak including winning their last 4 Premier League games on the trot.

 

Reds Team Injuries and Suspensions: After sustaining an unspecified foot injury prior to the West Bromwich Albion Fc away encounter; Diogo Jota was ruled out but is expected to be fit in time to play for the Portugal National Team in the postponed Euro 2020 Competition and might feature in the Reds final game of the campaign.

Ozan Kabak, Naby Keïta and Ben Davies were ruled out due to unspecified minor injury concerns prior to the Southampton Fc home game.

Despite recently stepping up his rehabilitation; Captain Jordan Henderson has been ruled out for the Reds final game of the Season after undergoing successful corrective surgery on the adductor injury sustained during the Everton Fc home clash. The Skipper faces race against time to be fit before the England National Team Squad is announced for the postponed Euro 2020 and perhaps might be involved in the upcoming game.

Joël Matip is also out of action after sustaining ankle ligament damage during the Tottenham Hotspur Fc away fixture but has stepped up his rehabilitation with the view of returning to the side during the Preseason.

Defensive Stalwarts Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk are currently working on regaining full fitness after undergoing successful surgeries on their injured knees.

Gomez looks unlikely to be part of the England National Team. With the view of regaining full fitness and returning to the side during the Preseason; Van Dijk has already informed his decision not to be part of the Netherlands National Squad for the postponed Euro 2020.

 

Verdict: After starting the Season as Defending Premier League Champions, the Reds had to recalibrate their ambitions as the Season progressed.

However, given how things panned out in a difficult Season that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic; securing the Top-four berth would be a priceless consolation for the injury-stricken Reds.

The Reds are now on the brink of sealing an improbable Champions League spot for the next Season, after having to endure: several untimely injuries in the squad, unwanted records and tragedies within the Team.

With just a game to go, the Resilient Reds in all likelihood would require just a win over the visitors Eagles (in front of the returning home fans) to seal an improbable Champions League spot for the next Season as unlikely silver lining looms.

 

For those wondering…

Remaining Matches of the Top-four contenders (scheduled to be played on the same time): Liverpool vs Crystal Palace ; Aston Villa vs Chelsea ; Leicester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Likely scenarios of the Top-four Contenders positions in the Premier League 2020-21 Table:

  • If the Reds win they are assured fourth, providing Leicester City Fc (The Foxes) don’t win by a 4 Goal margin bigger than the Reds
  • If the Reds win and Chelsea Fc (The Blues) draw with Aston Villa Fc, the Reds will finish third
  • If the Reds draw or lose and the Foxes win, the Reds will finish fifth
  • If the Blues draw or lose and the Foxes win, the Blues will finish fifth
  • If the Foxes don’t better the Reds result, then the Foxes will finish fifth. A draw would not be enough for the Foxes; even if the Blues lose

 

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