Dry your eyes Klopp
Despite admitting his side were not good enough, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could not resist a dig at the 'dryness' of Fulham's Craven Cottage pitch during their 2-2 draw with the hosts on opening weekend.
Fulham twice led through the superb Aleksandar Mitrovic, but Liverpool just about had enough to rescue a point - a gap to Manchester City though even at this early stage must be a small cause for concern.
Following their great performance in the 3-1 win over Man City in the Community Shield the week prior, Liverpool could seldom find their rhythm, with Fulham harassing them all over the well-watered pitch to cause an uncomfortable afternoon for last season's runners-up.
If it wasn't for the introduction of new signing Darwin Núñez, Liverpool looked on course for a narrow defeat, but the Uruguayan managed to both score and assist, whilst he also attempted 75% of their total shots on target (3/4), despite only coming on in the 51st minute.
Darwin's cameo should be enough to see him handed his very first Premier League start, though the Reds will be forced into at least one other change with Thiago picking up an injury. Youngster Harvey Elliott, who too made an impact from the bench, signed a new deal earlier in the week and could be the man to fill his shoes.
Eagles looking for a New Kid in Town
Visitors to Anfield on the Premier League's first Monday Night Football of the season are Crystal Palace, who arrive on Merseyside following a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the division's curtain raiser last Friday.
Patrick Vieira's Eagles fought hard in the second half despite trailing at half-time, and almost equalised before Marc Guéhi turned the ball into his own net late on to kill the game off for the Gunners.
In the week since, Eagles boss Vieira has reinstated his desire for more signings, especially at the top end of the pitch, though at the time of writing, no new additions have arrived.
Similar frustrations in defence also arose for the Eagles, not least their inability to defend set-pieces, with Gabriel Martinelli profiting from some patchy Palace defending early into the game, continuing their pattern of shipping goals from dead ball situations.
Set-pieces the name of the game
Last season, Opta tells us only three sides conceded more goals from set-pieces (excl. pens) than Crystal Palace (16), whilst Liverpool netted 19 times from such positions, second only to title winning Man City (22).
In fact, five of the six goals Liverpool scored against Palace during their Premier League double over the Eagles last season came via set-pieces, and one week in Palace should be seriously sweating Virgil Van Dijk at co.
The Dutchman scored a header in this fixture last season and can be backed at 6.05/1 to score again at Anfield on Monday, while he's 2.56/4 just to hit the target at any point in 90 minutes.
Reds aiming for Perfect Ten
Liverpool 1.182/11 come into their first home game of the season having won each of their last nine in a row at Anfield. The Reds also haven't lost their opening top-flight game on home soil since 2003-04.
Crystal Palace 15.014/1 are currently on a 10-game losing streak against Liverpool both home and away and have failed to score in four of their last five trips to Anfield.
Across those 10 defeats Liverpool have scored 30 goals, averaging three-per-game, and I'm happy to back them -2.0 & -2.5 on the Asian Handicap v Crystal Palace at 2.427/5 on the Betfair Exchange. Any margin of 3+ goals and we return a winner, whilst half our stake will be returned should Liverpool win by just two. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.
Darwin's Theory of Evolution
Darwin Núñez transformed Liverpool when summoned from the bench last week, and has now scored in each of his first two competitive appearances for the Reds. He is sure to start on Monday in what is already looking like a 'must-win' for the club. Maybe a 'at least match City's result' sounds slightly less ridiculous.
Opta tells us the Uruguayan has remarkably had a direct hand in 28 goals in his last 21 league appearances (23 goals, 5 assists), and can be backed at 4.03/1 to score first.
With Salah and Diaz also likely to be on the pitch from the beginning, I'll skip that plunge but using Betfair's Bet Builder, I will combine Nunez to score anytime, Nunez to have 2+ shots on target and Virgil Van Dijk to have 1+ shot on target.
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