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Palace protecting fine recent record against rampant Reds

Liverpool last won a match at Selhurst Park back in December 1997. Hosts Crystal Palace are unbeaten at home against the Reds in four fixtures in all competitions since then.

Brendan Rodgers’ boys are 3/1 shots to lift the Premier League title this term and, if they want to do that, a win in south London is simply essential. Liverpool start as odds-on 2/5 favourites with Coral for victory, despite a damaging defeat to Chelsea in their last outing.

The Eagles did to the Blues exactly what Jose Mourinho inflicted on protégé Rodgers – a smash and grab, dogged and defensive display, coupled with counter-attacks. Palace are 15/2 to repeat such a result here, and 28/1 to win by the exact scoreline of 1-0.

Like the Reds, Tony Pulis saw a fantastic run come to an end in their previous match as title favourites Manchester City defeated his Eagles 2-0. Coral go 6/1 on Liverpool recording a win by that precise result.

If history is any indicator, however, then a striker is set to score for Palace. In three of those four home games since 1997, a man leading the Londoners’ line has found the net. Dwight Gayle grabbed a consolation in the reverse fixture this term, so odds of 4/1 on him converting a chance anytime again are well worth considering.

Conversely, however, none of the current crop of Eagles attackers has ever been on the winning side against the Reds. Cameron Jerome has one goal in nine career appearances, and is a 3/1 price to net anytime, while Marouane Chamakh is short at 11/4 considering he has never scored when facing Liverpool.

Rodgers should be looking to key trio Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, all included in the PFA’s Team of the Year, for goals after each was on target back when Palace came to Anfield back in October.

Uruguay frontman Suarez is 11/4 to net first, while England striker Sturridge is even-money in the anytime market. Their 50-goal partnership is the stuff of nightmares even for a determined Eagles defence. Reds and national skipper Gerrard is 11/8 to add to a baker’s dozen of Premier League goals here.

Either Pulis or Rodgers would make a worthy winner of the Manager of the Year award. Should the former put pay to the latter’s title tilt, then a top 10 finish could be on the cards for Palace.

Liverpool look too strong for the soaring Eagles, however, and a 3-1 victory for the visitors – the same result they enjoyed in the reverse fixture – is a worth an outside shout at 11/1.