Monday Night Football returns for the 2018/19 season as Crystal Palace welcome Liverpool. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool (2000 BST, Selhurst Park, Sky Sports Football)
Both of these teams started off their seasons with victories, and Palace will be aiming to upset the odds in front of their own fans.
The good news for the neutral is that Selhurst Park has hosted games filled with goals in recent years when Liverpool come to visit, and everything points towards goals again here.
The last seven meetings between these two at Palace have seen three or more goals. Arguably the most famous encounter coming in May 2014, where Palace came from 3-0 down to score three in the last ten minutes and de-rail Liverpool's title hopes.
Palace's last home defeat came against Liverpool, but they did finish the 2017/18 season in good form, going unbeaten in their last six and winning the final three at home.
They are 13/2 to wrap up victory here, and whilst the visitors will be the fancied side, Roy Hodgson's men won't be a pushover.
Both sides are in form, and I'd look towards goals here given the attacking power that both teams possess.
The jaw-dropping trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have made Liverpool one of the Premier League's great entertainers, and a strong midfield also contributes in the goals department.
Wilfried Zaha will spearhead Palace's attack. He was the constant source of speculation throughout the summer, with some media outlets saying he was desperate to leave. So much so that he signed a new deal at the club to extend his stay.
I'm going for goals - and the track record suggests that the ball will hit the net on multiple occasions.
Score prediction: Crystal Palace 2-2 Liverpool (Sky Bet odds: 14/1)
Best bet: Over 3.5 goals at 6/4
This game is more than capable of seeing goals - and that's why this is the best avenue to explore here. The strength of Liverpool's attack makes it hard for any side to keep out, whilst Palace are an impressive side going forward.
Goalscorer: Wilfried Zaha at 10/3
It was no surprise to see him linked with moves away in the summer, but Palace made a significant move by handing the Ivory Coast international a new deal. The 25-year-old struck nine goals in the Premier League last season, despite missing part of the campaign with a knee injury. He got this season's tally up and running in the 2-0 win over Fulham last time out.
If this game has goals in it, then we'd expect to see shots on target as well. Firmino and Salah carry a significant threat for Jurgen Klopp's Reds and will be wanting to add to their tally here whilst Zaha managed two shots on target away at Fulham - one of which found the net.
Opta pre-match facts
- Crystal Palace have lost each of their last three home league games against Liverpool – it’s their longest losing home run against the Reds in league competition.
- After a run of three defeats in a row against the Eagles, Liverpool have won four of their last five Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace.
- In all competitions, both teams have scored in 11 of the last 12 meetings between Crystal Palace and Liverpool, with the exception being Liverpool’s 1-0 win at Anfield last term.
- The last Premier League meeting on a Monday between these sides was back in May 2014 – Liverpool were leading 3-0 after 78 minutes before Crystal Palace came back to draw 3-3.
- This will be Liverpool’s 73rd Premier League game played on a Monday, more than any other side in the competition (W33 D20 L19).
- Crystal Palace, who have won their last three Premier League games at Selhurst Park, are looking to secure four home top-flight wins in a row for the first time since December 1990 - the fourth game in this run also came against Liverpool.
- Since Jurgen Klopp took charge in October 2015, Liverpool’s Premier League games have seen more goals than any other side (341 – 221 goals, 120 conceded). No side has scored 4+ goals in more different Premier League games than Liverpool in that time (22, level with Man City).
- Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha needs one more goal to become the Eagles’ all-time highest Premier League goalscorer (currently 23, level with Chris Armstrong).
- Liverpool’s Sadio Mané has scored five goals in his seven Premier League appearances against Crystal Palace, more than he has against any other side.
- Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has scored six goals in nine top-flight games against former club Liverpool, more than he has against any other current Premier League team.
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Odds correct as of 1300 BST on 19/08/18