Liverpool is coming home. The first match at legendary Anfield for the 2022/23 season is on Monday night against Crystal Palace. This will be the first Monday night match of the season and will be the supporters' first chance to support their team in person.
Monday night is a special night for football. The Reds vs the Eagles will have a worldwide captive audience. The entire football world will be watching as the Anfield faithful belt out You'll Never Walk Alone. The kick-off is at 8 PM BST and will wrap up the second weekend of the new Premier League campaign.
The Reds are looking to bounce back from their disappointing season opener at Fulham last Saturday. Palace dropped their home opener at Selhurst Park against Arsenal last Friday night. Liverpool has had a lot of success against the team from South London. They are on a current 10-game winning streak against the Eagles, 11 if you count the preseason victory in Singapore.
Talking Points for Week 2
Liverpool's lackluster first match has dominated the talking points about the team this week. However, close on its heels has been the Red's injury news. News broke this week that Thiago is going to miss up to 6 weeks with a hamstring injury. Jürgen Klopp has stressed that Liverpool and its supporters need to remain patient and not panic as the injuries mount.
The midfield is of particular concern with the injury to Thiago already added to a list that includes Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. There is good news, Naby Keïta who missed the Fulham match with an undisclosed illness should be ready to go at Anfield. Harvey Elliott, who looked great in the preseason, and signed a new extension this week figures to get a lot more time on the pitch for the Reds.
The other big talking point in the Liverpool internet universe (including this site) clamoring for Darwin Núñez to be given his first start. The Uruguayan striker changed the complexion of the Fulham match immediately after stepping onto the pitch. Will Klopp turn to him at the start of the game to give the Reds the boost they need?
The Eagles Have Landed
Crystal Palace, also known as the Eagles, is a familiar opponent for Liverpool. This is their 9th consecutive season in the Premier League. Last season, Palace finished a respectable 12th in the Premier League.
Palace is one of the oldest teams in all of England. The club has recently claimed that it can prove it was formed in 1861, which would make it England's first club. That is still under review and has been disputed by several clubs.
Many Crystal Palace supporters love to bring up the match in 2014 that ultimately cost Liverpool a Premier League title. On May 5th, 2014, the Reds were up 3-0 with about 11 minutes left. Crystal Palace came back from the dead and scored 3 goals in that time. This total unraveling of the Reds under Brendan Rodgers did all but give Manchester City the 2013/14 title.
They are currently managed by Arsenal club legend, Patrick Vieria, who took over the team last summer. Vieria has changed the Eagles from a defensive team, into a dynamic and offensive-minded team that likes to play on the front foot, much like Liverpool. I think that there should be goals in this game.
Much of the Eagles' play goes through club talisman Wilfried Zaha. However, the offensive load has been more spread out since the arrival of Vieria. Liverpool need to watch out for Eberechi Eze, Odsonne Édouard, and Jean-Phillipe Maeteta, as well as Zaha.
The Reds are a bit lucky in that Michael Olise will miss the match for Crystal Palace. He has quickly become one of Palace's best players since he arrived from Reading in the Championship last season. Unfortunately, the young Frenchman picked up a fairly serious injury in the preseason.
LFC Globe Verdict
This one is easy… Start. Darwin. Núñez. Palace is going to come out aggressively, like Fulham. Liverpool need to match that aggression and putting Núñez in the starting line-up is the best way to do just that. He is pure footballing aggression and the Reds need a kick in the pants.
Had the Reds started him in the last game, the result might have been different. The dropping of points needs to stop now and Crystal Palace is a good opponent to pick up all 3 points against, especially at Anfield.
Liverpool also need to learn from last week. They mustn't take Palace lightly, the Eagles will be sick and tired of losing to the Reds, and sooner or later they will break that streak. Liverpool must not let that happen on Monday. Stay tuned to LFC Globe for the lineups and full coverage of the first match at Anfield for the 2022/23 season.