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Forget Salah: Liverpool’s £7.2m-rated defender is key to avoiding another ‘Crystanbul’

The Liverpool fans are feeling apprehensive in the Transfer Tavern ahead of a huge fixture against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this afternoon. 

The resident Eagles propping up our bar in the Tavern have been politely reminding The Reds faithful about the scenes which ensued at Selhurst Park when the two sides met in 2014 this week, and they are hoping the spirit of ‘Crystanbul’ will emerge once again this afternoon against a Liverpool side who are in red-hot form. The stakes couldn’t be higher for both sides, albeit for very different reasons.

Jurgen Klopp will need all of his players to be on top form to get the better of a Palace side who were unfortunate to lose all three of their clashes against Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United in recent weeks.

Mo Salah has been the star of the show for The Reds all season, and the quality of his performance will undoubtedly have a profound impact on his side’s result today, but there is reason to suggest that the display of Trent Alexander Arnold (valued at £7.2 million by Transfermarkt) will be the most crucial in Liverpool red.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, Joe Gomez was injured on international duty last week during England’s 1-0 victory over The Netherlands at Wembley. Gomez is now a doubt for Liverpool’s trip to South-London this weekend, so it seems probable that Alexander-Arnold will step into his place at right-back.

Klopp also has Nathaniel Clyne available for selection once again, but considering he is yet to play a single minute of football yet this season, there’s essentially no chance that he will be included from the outset, especially considering Liverpool’s right-back will be tasked with marking Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha has been Palace’s stand out player of the season so far, and if any of Roy Hodgson’s players are going to ruin their afternoon today, then it’s certainly him. As such, Alexander-Arnold will face one of his most difficult tasks of the season against the rapid 25-year-old, but the quality of his performances since breaking into the first-team suggest he has the ability to keep his opposite number quiet today.

Liverpool have the quality to comfortably secure three-points against Palace today, but individual battles can so often be the difference between victory and defeat, so Alexander-Arnold must be on top form against Zaha to ensure Liverpool keep a clean sheet at Selhurst Park this afternoon.

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Article title: Forget Salah: Liverpool’s £7.2m-rated defender is key to avoiding another ‘Crystanbul’

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