Liverpool to recall key trio for clash against Crystal Palace
By Merseyside correspondent Coral Barry
Philippe Coutinho, Martin Skrtel and Lucas are set to be recalled for Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace this afternoon.
The key trio were all rested from the starting line-up on Thursday night, when the Merseysiders defeated Rubin Kazan 1-0 in the Europa League.
Coutinho, who scored twice in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Chelsea last weekend, was an unused substitute against the Russians, while Lucas came off the bench after 81 minutes and Skrtel played the final minute of the match.
Jordan Henderson is edging closer to a return from a foot injury but is still weeks away from being in contention.
Jurgen Klopp admits that the long trip to Russia could have an effect on his team at Anfield today.
“It’s better you don’t play midweek, it’s an advantage for Crystal Palace, but only if we are not prepared to fight,” explained the manager.
“If we wait for easy game, no chance. If we are waiting for a difficult game then we try to think solutions for these difficulties.
“We are fit, we are healthy, we are young – not all of us, but the players at least! They all feel good, they all want to play.”
For Crystal Palace, defender Pape Souare may play after recovering from injury, but the game probably comes too early for Connor Wickham and Marouane Chamakh. Dwight Gayle has a hamstring problem and faces a late fitness test.
Lee Chung-yong is struggling with a foot injury and is expected to miss out.
Palace manager Alan Pardew said: “Liverpool had a long trip to Russia on Thursday – we need to put them under pressure on Sunday.
“We’ve come up against everyone who is in form – Liverpool, Manchester United, Leicester. We’re in that spell of facing teams with their tails up.
“There’s a high press from Liverpool under Klopp. We have to be aware of the threat and try to capitalise on what they’re not good at.”