Liverpool vs Crystal Palace, while the title race and relegation battle have already been resolved in the Premier League, the fight for Champions League football will take center stage on Sunday, with Liverpool looking to secure all three points at home against Crystal Palace on the last day of the 2020-21 season.
The Reds and Chelsea have matters in their own hands, unlike Leicester City, and a victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side at Anfield should be enough to secure a place in the top four.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
For the first time in 13 weeks, Liverpool are back in the top four after a comfortable 3-0 win at Burnley on Wednesday night.
Roberto Firmino scored his third goal in three games to break the deadlock at the edge of the break before Nat Phillips headed his first goal for the club seven minutes after the break. Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then drilled into the third to seal three crucial points for the Reds, raising their hopes of the top four and improving their goal difference heading into the final day. Liverpool vs Crystal Palace.
Klopp has expressed his joy at the way his team has turned his fortunes around after a losing streak of form earlier this year. The German believes the club is “back on track” to qualify for the Champions League and has called Sunday’s clash with Palace his cup final.
In fact, the scale of his change has been marked if you take into account the shape of him at the beginning of the year. Since dropping Palace 7-0 on December 27, the Reds have lost eight and drawn three of their next 14 Premier League games, crushing their hopes of retaining the title.
However, Liverpool are currently the most informed side of the league after extending their unbeaten streak to nine games, winning seven of them in the process. Liverpool vs Crystal Palace Live stream
Liverpool’s Alisson celebrates his second goal with his teammates on May 16, 2021
Liverpool are sure to be full of confidence heading into Sunday’s meeting with Palace, having won each of their last seven top-flight matches against them by an aggregate score of 22-5.
However, games against teams lower in the league standings have already cost Liverpool many points throughout this campaign; The Reds have won just six of their 14 games against the last seven Premier League teams, although Palace is currently outside this group.
Liverpool have won their last league game in each of the last four seasons, their longest streak since winning their season finale in 13 consecutive seasons between 1907-08 and 1923-24.
Klopp’s team will secure Champions League football for the upcoming season as long as they match or improve Leicester City’s result against Tottenham Hotspur, salvaging something positive from what has been a really difficult 2020-21 campaign.
After a remarkable 45-year coaching career, Palace’s childhood fan Roy Hodgson will oversee his last game on the touchline this weekend, after four years at the helm.
The former Liverpool manager received an honor guard from both sets of players for his final home game in charge of the club on Wednesday night, with Arsenal going 3-1 without winners at Selhurst Park.
Nicolas Pepe’s first goal in the 35th minute was canceled by Christian Benteke’s signature header midway through the second half, his fourth goal in as many games. However, the Eagles couldn’t hold a point when Gabriel Martinelli packed up his effort in injury time before Pepe scored his second of the game in the 95th minute to ensure the Gunners went away with all three points.
Hodgson insisted that a cruel late loss to Arsenal failed to stop what turned out to be his most memorable night at Crystal Palace, with 6,500 fans present to bid him farewell. The 73-year-old has refused to rule out a return to football in any way, but this weekend’s game at Anfield could be the last of his coaching career, which he started in 1976.
Palace is currently 13th in the Premier League and a surprise win on Sunday would see them jump to 12th place Wolverhampton Wanderers, should they lose to Manchester United, coinciding where the Eagles finished last season.
Their meeting at Anfield will mark the 12th time the South London club has finished a top-flight season away from home, with the Eagles winning just one of these 11 away games.
In fact, Palace has a poor road record against Liverpool, losing six of their last nine, although they did win three straight games at Anfield between 2015 and 2017.