Pregame Tactical Analysis vs. Crystal Palace
Location: Selhurst Park
Time: 10:00am ET; 9:00am CT; 7:00am PT
Taking a look into Liverpool’s matchday 13 versus Crystal Palace
Look at last 5: Crystal Palace’s last 5 fixtures leading into this week featured 3 out of the top 4 sides in the Premier League (Chelsea, Leicester City and Man City). They also matched up against West Ham and Arsenal.
Set up: In most of their matches they play with 4-5-1, which looks more like a 4-3-2-1 with typically Zaha and Townsend sitting just behind Ayew who is in the number 9 role. Behind they have a flat 3 with a number of players they fit in. Typically Milivojevic, Kouyate and McArthur being a nice bank to protect that back line. So in possession, look for the multiple lines (4-3-2-1) and defending (4-5-1).
Match Tactics: In their last 5 fixtures they have averaged 40.88% possession. Suggesting they are going to sit deep with 2 banks of 4. In possession, their possession will be more of 4-3-2-1, and out of possession they will be 4-5-1.
Players to Watch: As always, Zaha (if he plays), will be worrisome on the counter-attack with his ability to dribble and create chances. Ayew, with 4 goals this season will also look to get in behind.
Injuries: Joel Ward (75% chance of playing); Wilfried Zaha (75% chance of playing)
Look at Last 5: Liverpool’s last 5 Premier League fixtures have featured 2 of the top 4 sides including Man City and Leicester City. They have come away with almost maximum points only drawing against Man United in their last 5.
Set up: There hasn’t been much variance to the starting XI over the 5 weeks. Keeping the same formation and only changing 1-2 players at a time. Typically, the changes are in the midfield 3 as they run ragged every week. No surprise here, but the reds will look to play a 4-3-3. With possible knocks to Salah and Robertson, Klopp will have to shake things up a bit. I would look to see Milner at left back if he indeed does have a knock. Also, look for Origi to slide into the number 11 spot on the wing, moving Mane to the number 7 role on the opposite side. I’m not sure how Klopp will look to go in the midfield, but with teams like Crystal Palace who are looking to sit deep and counter there will need to be some creativity. With Oxlade-Chamberlain in a nice run of form, it would be nice to see him in the starting line up to break the lines. However, if he doesn’t start, look for Klopp to make changes around the 60th minute if there is a need for creativity.
Match Tactics: Liverpool will be on the front foot in dominating possession for most of the 90 minutes. When Crystal Palace put up their banks of 4 and 5, look for Liverpool to try and pull players out of position. To do so, Firmino will drop deeper than normal and the wings will tuck in more centrally. Also, look for the secondary and tertiary runs from the midfield to crowd the box. Also, I would not be surprised if Liverpool accepts a little bit of pressure in order to open up the game a little bit. Thus, leaving space between lines and behind the defence of Crystal Palace.
Players to Watch: Look for Firmino to create space for the midfield runs forward and the wingers runs inside. He will also be the linking player between the midfield and forwards when dropping deep. It may take a hard look to see his impact, but he will 100% be making one. Also, look for Ox to make an impact on the game. It is still up for debate whether he starts, or not. If he does get into the game, he could be the personnel to turn the tie on its head.
Injuries: Salah (75% chance of playing), Robertson (75% chance of playing), Henderson (75% chance of playing), Matip (out).
Projected Line Ups: