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Crystal Palace (A) - Sun 23rd Jan 2022 (2:00pm)

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In recent weeks it has really felt like we’ve been playing the schedule of a Europa League side. Thursday nights under the lights, and the Sunday afternoon slot where crowds are sluggish as fuck. It’s the last league game for the club this month as they’ll have a fortnight off for the Premier League’s winter break. Except for the African lads and the South Americans of course. Stupid fixture scheduling is par for the course for the game’s authorities, coupled with additional fixtures added to the schedule. Who gives a shit about UEFA’s Nations League in the summer? Oh, I know there is an FA Cup game against Cardiff a week later but I imagine Klopp will pick a similar side to the one that dismissed Shrewsbury. Anyway:

 

Zip. Zest. Zoned in. Zoom.

 

I don’t ask for much.

 

Last season’s corresponding fixture, rather than signal our intent to defend our league title and take on all comers once more, turned out to be a last hurrah before the defence disappeared for 3 months, the midfield had to fulfil square-pegs-in-round-holes duties, and the attackers forgot how to attack. Against Palace though, none of this was in evidence. Taki got the show going, showing sharpness to fire the ball past Guaita in the first few minutes. Palace had shown pace on the counter but they were vulnerable at the back. We were winning the ball back 30-40 yards from their goal almost at will, and it was through such determination that we extent our lead as Sadio got his customary goal against Palace. The third was a belter of an attack culminating in Bobby gliding through to control Robbo’s ball in with his first touch and roll it into the net with his second. Hendo got in on the act with a well-struck first time effort from the edge of the area, and Bobby got his second with a brilliant dink over Guaita from a narrow angle. Mo, who had started on the bench, was brought on for an ever-so-slightly peeved Sadio, and bagged a couple of goals for himself, one of which was a supreme curling effort from outside the box into the far top corner. 7-0 then, and the picture looked so rosy before Christmas.

 

24th August 1971 saw the Reds travel to Selhurst Park and claim a 1-0 victory thanks to Toshack. Read the match report, we absolutely dominated them but couldn’t kill the game off. This was Shanks’ rebuilt squad with many of the 60s stalwarts now departed and a fresh injection of youth in their place. The quality was not in doubt, but they were a year or so away from finding consistency to match their ability. Mighty Mouse haring about in attack is the perfect example. I can’t find video footage so here’s a match report.

 

1971-08-24-cpalace-630.jpg?width=334

 

Cambridge University’s Footlights dramatic society had a reputation for providing the starting point for many of the UK’s greatest comedians and entertainers. The Goodies had been hugely popular but it was a group comprised of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam who would go on to really capture the public imagination. The combination of wit, quirkiness and cultural references went down a storm. And Now For Something Completely Different was a film comprised of sketches from their TV series, and was created for US audiences who hadn’t seen the show. The dead parrot sketch is probably the most famous sketch they ever did, and it is absolutely brilliant even today. The site I use for these No1 films is looking at the US box office and yet reading up on this film’s success over there, it was a bit of a flop when first released so I’m not sure how it’s listed as the most popular film for that week in August 1971 at any rate.

 

As an aside, one of my housemates at uni had a line of VHS tapes along one wall of his room, a bit like Tommy in Trainspotting. Unlike Tommy, my housemates didn’t bother doing weights, nor (I don’t think) did he have a private video of him banging his girlfriend. He didn’t even have a girlfriend back then. Anyway, I recall And Now For Something Completely Different being one of the films he owned, but I never borrowed it. He had a shitload of sci-fi stuff so that was the first time I actually watched the original Star Wars trilogy. He had even made a computer animated short film with a mate of his, and that was a bit South Park-esque, only with practically everyone ending up like Kenny.

 

 

The Palace game is one where I don’t quite know what they’ll do. They are without Zaha who is at the AFCON, and may be with Ayew who’s Ghana team have been eliminated already. The do have Conor Gallagher though, and he’s been amongst the very best young players in the PL this season. His parent club Chelsea will either sell him for a large fee, loan him out yet again, or waste him by keeping him without playing him like they do with a lot of their youth products. I doubt Palace will be able to buy him.

 

We got a few more options than we had a fortnight ago, and I think Klopp will go full strength (such as it is) for this one. Whatever he does, as long as well are focussed and apply ourselves correctly, we can get the job done.

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I've got an irrational and possibly unfair dislike of their fans: it's the way they get lauded as great fans because they loudly chant mindless, boring shite. 

 

Let's shut these fuckers up.

 

Just get these beat, Reds.

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14 minutes ago, sir roger said:

Let's face it he's dead , isn't he ?

Fact he lasted to Jan and played about 20 games is a borderline miracle - and more than probably all of us expected.

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Klopp says Fabinho has a 'proper knock'

 

Looking like we may be really struggling for a midfield for this...

 

Hendo, Jones, Milner about all we have?

 

Its been relentless in midfield all season the injuries....as soon as get 1 back seems 2 go down....a revolving door week in week out.

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20 minutes ago, an tha said:

Klopp says Fabinho has a 'proper knock'

 

I wouldn't read too much into that: I think he was just emphasising that it was a nasty foul, not that Fab's injured. 

 

Screenshot_2022-01-22-01-14-57-06_40deb401b9ffe8e1df2f1cc5ba480b12.jpg

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22 hours ago, suzy said:

I’m both looking forward to and dreading this.

Yeah.

Will be hard today - asking the same small group of players to go again for 3rd time in a week.

Fatigue is a real worry today for me, with no real options to freshen up side.

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10 minutes ago, an tha said:

Yeah.

Will be hard today - asking the same small group of players to go again for 3rd time in a week.

Fatigue is a real worry today for me, with no real options to freshen up side.

Yeah,fatigue is my biggest fear too. I hope the boys prove me wrong.

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Thought this was good.

 

It is now 333 minutes since Liverpool’s backline was breached, when Shrewsbury Town’s Daniel Udoh wandered between £110 million worth of centre-backs to score his first FA Cup since netting against Oxford City from the National League South.

 

There was an element of shock value to Jurgen Klopp playing against two divisions below them in the football pyramid, while also feeling their way through most of January without Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.

 

But since then it has been a shift in emphasis which has led to three clean sheets in a row. Klopp admits it is deliberate. With Salah and Mane at the African Cup of Nations, the question has been how Liverpool replace the irreplaceable. Yet the answer has been making sure they are tighter at the other end.  

 

“It's essential, it's the only way you can do it. When you lose key players for injuries or tournaments or whatever, then the solution is not that you will be flying in the next game,” said Klopp. “It's not that you say 'okay now we will score five or six and create chances like hell'.

 

“Wherever they are on the pitch, whether it's strikers, midfielders or whatever, you have to adapt. In our case, it was 100 per cent clear that we need to be solid - rock solid - and we know that, that's a clear agreement.”

 

Virgil van Dijk has been a constant during Liverpool’s run of clean sheets, aided by Joel Matip or Ibrahima Konaté, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson concentrating on solidity as much as their usual forward runs.

 

“Maybe you don't see it all the time but we [are] defending first, let me say it like this. We have to be organised, that's the basis for everything we do. And in this moment, I can see outstanding commitment to our defending, that's how it is,” said Klopp.

 

“Everybody is 100 per cent involved in everything because they understand it's now more important than ever. That's helpful that we didn't concede then. But it was clear we had to do it like this, put defending above everything to have a chance for results. If you want to have results, it's not that you fly through every period of a season with 3-0 4-0 5-0, you have to win football games 1-0, that's how it is.

 

“I like them as well; I don't like the 90 minutes most of the time but, afterwards, I take them like I take all other results. That was obviously necessary and the boys understood.”

 

So while Liverpool have scored 16 goals without reply in their last four games against Crystal Palace, it is unlikely to be a repeat of the 7-0 victory at Selhurst Park last season.  

 

Van Dijk’s number of games has surprised some this season following his return from a serious knee injury. He played against Shrewsbury and both EFL Cup semi-final legs when he may have been expected a breather.

The Dutchman’s only Premier League matches missing this season was after testing positive for Covid-19, which Klopp admits impacted his form when he returned.

 

“I’m not surprised about pretty much anything that happened but it was just because it was a long recovery and there were little bumps going on there but that is normal,” said Klopp.

 

“Virg had to learn a lot of things, like some physical things are just not available like they were before - his family came back but it was not from the first day that it was like this. You have to adapt to these things. There are worries. I’ve had injuries myself and you cannot ignore that.

 

“When you are an intelligent person like Virg you can’t ignore everything or say ‘who cares’. The way back your best is a bumpy one and it did exceptionally well. The biggest thing was after Covid. We still don’t understand it 100 per cent. I see when players can’t (do something) which was the case in one or two games.

"Now we are over that as well and I’m really pleased with the development. Especially with long-term injuries we have done really well.”

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2022/01/22/liverpool-have-relied-rock-solid-defending-without-star-attackers/

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1 hour ago, Bobby Hundreds said:

Absolutely got to win this one. I think  first place is gone but it doesn't mean we shouldn't breathe down cities neck all the way.

Sadly the league is gone IMO....against non cheats there would be a chance, but against these cheating bastards i can't really see it.

 

Everything has fallen for them as well.

 

But we need to keep winning to not get dragged into any top 4 battle and of course to just rack up as many points as we can just in case the highly unlikely scenario of the cheats dropping lots of points plays out.

 

I think they will break 90 pts with ease....the maximum we can get is 96 and that is being absolutely perfect, 17 straight wins - so you can see how difficult an ask it is...just a mere 6 pts dropped from now until end of season would see us with just 90 pts.

 

 

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Not sure which thread to put this in. I'm just outside the ground. Four Palace supporters walked past, talking. "What a mess Everton are in eh?" General laughter followed by "Hope they go down." 

 

Please win this reds. 

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2 hours ago, an tha said:

Yeah.

Will be hard today - asking the same small group of players to go again for 3rd time in a week.

Fatigue is a real worry today for me, with no real options to freshen up side.


This. Pressing and intensity remains the key to our team working, both defensively and attacking wise. If it’s only 90% we’re very vulnerable with our high line.

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