A pair of key misses has Brendan Rodgers scrambling in today’s clash as Liverpool travels to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace live on CNBC at 8:30am ET or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
With Daniel Sturridge still out – and according to Rodgers, “as down as I’ve ever seen him” – thanks to a new thigh injury, Brendan Rodgers also misses Mario Balotelli and Jordan Henderson.
The Italian striker is out with hamstring and groin problems, while Henderson is sick today and unable to make the lineup.
In Balotelli’s stead comes Ricky Lambert, who has been criticized for erratic performances this season, receiving little regular playing time and relegated to just a few understudy performances. Today, he has a chance to turn all of that around.
With Henderson out, Joe Allen gets the start in the middle in front of Steven Gerrard and alongside Philippe Coutinho in the Liverpool midfield, with Emre Can rested on the bench.
For Crystal Palace, Marouane Chamakh partners with Dwight Gayle up front, leaving Fraizer Campbell on the bench. There are no other real surprises in their lineup. Mile Jedinak again wears the captains armband having returned from suspension, alongside Joe Ledley and hard-hitting Yannick Bolasie in midfield, and James Puncheon supporting the front two.
United States international Geoff Cameron will be commentating the match alongside Arlo White from the booth.
Crystal Palace: Speroni; Kelly, Delaney, Dann, Ward; Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie, Puncheon; Gayle, Chamakh.
Bench: Hennessey, Hangeland, Bannan, McArthur, Zaha, Campbell, Johnson.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson, Gerrard, Allen, Coutinho, Lallana, Sterling, Lambert.
Bench: Jones, Toure, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Borini, Markovic.