Liverpool will look to stay top of the Premier League going into the final week of the season when they travel to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace on Monday evening.
Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool (25-5-6) saw an 11-match winning streak brought to an end by Chelsea in a gut-wrenching 2-0 defeat last weekend. The Reds know that wins for title-rivals Manchester City over Everton on Sunday and against Aston Villa on Wednesday - City's game in hand - would leave the Manchester club ahead on goal difference going into the final afternoon of the campaign, but Rodgers is keen to make sure his team win their final two matches and wait for another twist in a fascinating season.
"I believe there is another twist," said Rodgers in his pre-match press conference. "Everton are a great club, they have done really well this year, in particular at home, and they are fighting for a Champions League position. They will do what they can for a result (against City).
"If we win our two games against Crystal Palace and Newcastle, we will see where it takes us."
Tony Pulis' revival of Crystal Palace (13-4-19) has been one of the stories of the season. The London club looked doomed to relegation when the former Stoke manager took over from Ian Holloway, but Palace go into the final two games of the season eyeing a remarkable top-ten finish on the back of five wins in their last six.
Despite his team's achievements, Pulis refused to guarantee that he would be staying at the club for next season, referring to the need for manager and owner to have the same aims in the summer transfer window.
"I had a fantastic relationship with my last chairman at Stoke," said Pulis, who spent heavily in the transfer market during his time with the Potters. "It's one of the reasons we were so successful.
"It's very, very important we concentrate on the last two games we have left and move from there. There's a lot of work to be done, we won't sit down until we've settled everything this season. We want to sit down and clear our heads - it's been a hectic six-and-a-half months. You can never guarantee, you take every day has it comes. I'm very proud to be stood here and say I'm manager of Crystal Palace."
Liverpool cruised to a 3-1 win over Palace at Anfield in October, thanks to goals from the three likeliest suspects - Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard. That was the first league meeting between the sides since 2004-05, when each team won their home fixture. Liverpool have failed to win on each of their last four trips to Selhurst Park in all competitions.
Palace have secured Premier League safety for the first time in the club's history. The Eagles lost nine of their first ten matches, but have lost just ten of the 25 games since then. They have kept five clean sheets in the last eight. Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak is one of only two outfield players in the Premier League to have played every minute of his team's matches this season (the other is Cardiff City defender Steven Caulker).
Liverpool have won six consecutive matches away from home, out-scoring their opponents 20-8 in that run. They have scored three or more goals in five of those six wins.
- Sports & Recreation
- Crystal Palace
- Premier League
- Brendan Rodgers
- Selhurst Park