After defeat in the capital on Saturday against Fulham, Liverpool now have to contend with a bogey team from last season – Crystal Palace. Palace weren’t an easy team for the Reds to face last season – Palace almost got a point at Anfield before going down 3-2, but took all the points when hosting the soon-to-be European Champions when they won 1-0 at Selhurst Park.
With this in mind, Reds boss Rafael Benitez says he’ll be fielding a strong team. Rafa has increased the number of players he classes as first team players for this season’s extended campaign, and says that the team he puts out will be strong and respectful of the abilities of Palace. Speaking to the official LFC site, Rafa said: "We have some options for this match. We have a lot of competitions to play for and this year we have more players in the first team squad. We will go to Crystal Palace with a strong team, that is the idea."
Liverpool’s defeat yesterday came after the Reds were unable to find the back of the net with the chances they made. A similar problem existed in last weekend’s league win over Blackburn, with scores of chances created and only one of them put away. Palace meanwhile are finding better fortune in that department, and yesterday’s 2-0 league win saw them go fifth in the Championship. Yesterday’s hero for Palace was Clinton Morrison, signed for £2million in the summer and the scorer of one and creator of the other yesterday. The Palace boss, Iain Dowie, was delighted with the performance of the former Birmingham City star: "Clinton was outstanding today and he did everything. His running was great, he works so hard and the finish for the goal was first class. He’s a real asset and I’m so glad that we have him here. Other teams were interested in getting him but I was always confident of getting him."
Liverpool will need to be wary of him next week, even more so because of the fact that Morrison is now playing for the team he’s always supported. Dowie said: "He’s a big Palace fan and so is his mum and I think that if I hadn’t got him she would have gone bananas."
Palace had lost during the week to Brighton, and were getting some stick from the fans. That soon changed and by the time the game finished they were desperately looking forward to meeting the Reds according to Dowie: "The crowd were a little bit edgy today but they soon settled down and now we look forward to Liverpool in the Carling Cup."