April 19, 2024

Liverpool have a number of senior absentees to deal with as they head into the busy festive season, but so too do their opponents this weekend.

With just four wins in 2023–24, Crystal Palace is now 14th in the table and is having a difficult time finding consistency this season.

In an attempt to turn things around, Roy Hodgson will host his former team at Selhurst Park on Saturday in the early kickoff, but he will be missing a number of important players.

Throughout the summer, Cheick Doucoure was linked to a move to Anfield; however, the Mali international stayed with the Eagles as the Reds pursued Ryan Gravenberch and Wataru Endo.

This weekend’s early kickoff will not allow the midfield player to show manager Jurgen Klopp what he is missing because he suffered a significant Achilles injury that is expected to keep him out of action for the rest of the season.

Forward Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who has been sidelined till the new year due to a thigh issue, will be joining him on the sidelines.

Rob Holding and Emerechi Eze are two more players with short-term absences; they are both presently struggling with ankle issues and won’t be able to play against the Reds.

Similar to Liverpool, Dean Henderson of Crystal Palace will miss the match due to his ongoing recuperation from a thigh ailment that resurfaced in September.

At Selhurst Park, though, Henderson is no longer regarded as first choice after Sam Johnstone passed him in the standings.

Due to the absence of several key players, including Stefan Bajcetic, Joel Matip, Diogo Jota, Alisson, Andy Robertson, and Thiago, Klopp will have to make due without some of his own.

In order to conserve legs, squads usually need to be rotated in December, but both managers will have a lot on their plates.

With their 2-0 victory against Sheffield United, Liverpool put a significant distance between themselves and Man City. This weekend, they will want to maintain pressure on leaders Arsenal as they head to high-flying Aston Villa for the Saturday evening kickoff.

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