What is it?
It’s the Premier League meeting between 12th-placed Crystal Palace and league leaders Liverpool.
When is it?
Saturday December 19, 2021.
What time is kick-off?
Referee Jonathan Moss will get the match at Selhurst Park under way at 12.30pm (GMT).
What TV channel is it on?
The match will be broadcast on BT Sport, though you can follow all of the action for free with Telegraph Sport. Simply bookmark this page and return at Saturday lunchtime for all the pre-match build-up, team details, minute-by-minute commentary and on-the-whistle match report.
What is the team news?
Crystal Place manager Roy Hodgson will be without the injured Connor Wickham, Martin Kelly, Wayne Hennessey and Nathan Ferguson, while former Liverpool forward Christian Benteke is sidelined as he serves a suspension after getting sent off during the midweek draw with West Ham. Another former Liverpool player, Mamadou Sakho, is also doubtful.
Though Klopp’s injury list has shortened in recent weeks following the returns to fitness of Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Liverpool manager will still be without Konstantinos Tsimikas, Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota, Thiago, Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner and Joe Gomez while Joel Matip faces a late fitness test. Naby Keïta, who was on the bench for the midweek game with Spurs, will likely return to the starting line-up in a midfield three alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson for the champions.
What have we said about the clubs?
Gérard Houllier would have found the sight of a Liverpool-born midfielder dominating the centre of Anfield a warmingly familiar and wholly appropriate tribute.
It may be a fitting coincidence Curtis Jones wears the No 17 jersey which Houllier handed to a teenage Steven Gerrard in the late 1990s.
Comparisons are generally premature and ill-advised, but Jones has strode into Gerrard’s territory unfazed, almost under the radar, to ensure the debilitating series of injuries have not yet taken their toll on Jürgen Klopp’s title defence.
The youngster had already received a compliment of sorts from Jose Mourinho prior to this most mature and authoritative of performances. Since the Tottenham coach preposterously argued about a lack of significant Anfield absentees, he evidently believes Jones has already established himself as a first pick in Klopp’s line-up. He might be right.
What are the odds?
- Crystal Palace to win: 5/1
- Draw: 10/3
- Liverpool to win: 1/2
What’s our prediction?
Depending on what Liverpool turn up, this match could go either way. If the insipid team that scraped a draw at Craven Cottage last weekend roll up at Selhurst Park, then the Holmesdale Road Enders will be getting plenty to cheer about. However, the champions of England do have a tendency to overcome whatever obstacles are placed in front of them and so, although we are predicting a tight game, we believe they will be taking all three points back to Merseyside. Crystal Palace 2 Liverpool 3.