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Brendan Rodgers’s side let a 3-0 lead slip in this fixture last season, damaging their title aspirations, and are without Daniel Sturridge for Sunday’s clash with the Eagles


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his side did not lose the title at Selhurst Park last season as they prepare to face their Crystal Palace demons on Sunday.

In one of the most memorable games of the 2013-14 Premier League campaign, Liverpool surrendered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 in London in May – a result that all but extinguished their title dreams.

That draw followed a 2-0 home loss to Chelsea but Rodgers, whose team have fallen well short of last season’s excellent form so far this term, downplayed the importance of that six-goal thriller.

“That wasn’t the game that cost us,” the Liverpool manager said on Friday. “Maybe the excitement to claw back the goal difference [on eventual champions Manchester City] overtook us.

“The damage was always done in the Chelsea game. That was the one that changed it for us. But on reflection I was extremely proud.”

Liverpool are enduring a very different type of season this time around and head into the weekend on a three-game winless run that has left them in the bottom half of the table.

Rodgers’ life has been made all the more difficult by the continued absence of striker Daniel Sturridge, who suffered another setback during the international break, re-injuring his left thigh.

New signings Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert have failed to fire in Sturridge’s stead, and the Italian faces a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring injury while away with his country.

Midfielder Jordan Henderson has a similar problem but should be fit to feature this weekend as the visitors go in search of just their fifth top-flight win of the season.

If Liverpool have cause to wince in recalling last season’s meeting, then Palace can take inspiration from it.

The battling point highlighted Palace’s remarkable revival under Tony Pulis but, now under the guidance of Neil Warnock, they look to have another battle against relegation on their hands.

A run of five games without a win has left Palace languishing at the wrong end of the table, but Warnock wants his side to take heart from the narrow 1-0 loss to Manchester United last time out.

He said: “Our defence will have to put in another convincing display like they did at Manchester United, that is vital – but we also need to create a bit more ourselves, it is all about finding that happy medium.”

Warnock ruled Kevin Doyle out with a groin injury but is hopeful that James McArthur will overcome a calf problem in time.

The boss was reportedly keen to cut the summer signing’s spell at Lille short following Daniel Sturridge’s latest injury, but says he will stay in France as part of his loan deal

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has ruled out bringing forward Divock Origi’s arrival at Anfield.

The Reds signed the Belgium international from Lille for €12 million move during the summer transfer window but agreed to loan him back to the Ligue 1 outfit for 2014-15 season.

Following Daniel Sturridge’s latest injury set-back, Rodgers was reportedly entertaining the idea of striking a deal that would have seen Origi link up with Liverpool in January – but the Northern Irishman says he expects the 19-year-old to remain in France.

“We signed [Origi] last summer on agreement he had to stay at Lille,” he told reporters.

“That was one of main reasons we were able to sign him. As far as I’m concerned, that’s still case with Origi.”

Origi has netted five times in 16 appearances in all competitions for Lille, who currently languish in 14th place in Ligue 1.

The Italian has failed to score in nine Premier League appearances this season and been criticised for a perceived lack of effort, but remains upbeat about his form


Mario Balotelli remains unconcerned by his slow start to life at Liverpool and insists he will re-find his goalscoring touch.

The Italian moved to Anfield from Milan in August for a fee thought to be in the region of €21 million, as manager Brendan Rodgers attempted to replace the influential Luis Suarez.

But Balotelli has struggled to recreate the form that saw him net 26 times in 43 Serie A appearances at Milan, with the 24-year-old yet to get off the mark in nine Premier League outings this campaign, though he has found the net twice in cup competitions.

Many have criticised Balotelli’s perceived lack of effort since arriving on Merseyside but when asked how he would rate his performances out of 10, he replied with “seven, because I run more than before”.

“The goals, they will come,” he told Fox Sports Australia. “It is something that’s just not coming at the moment. But it’s not something that has just gone.

“Run, like I’m running now, I’ve never run like this.

“I don’t need people to believe in me so long as I believe in myself. The important people for me are my family and my few close friends, as long as they believe in me.

“Some think because I didn’t score and didn’t start well this season that I can’t be one of the top players, a really good player for this team. That’s their business.

“I don’t care what stories people say about me because I know they are lying.”

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The Liverpool striker was due to return to first-team action following his recovery from a calf problem, but could now be unavailable for another six weeks


Daniel Sturridge’s latest injury setback has left the Liverpool striker “at a really low point,” according to team-mate Jordan Henderson.

Sturridge returned to full first-team training last week after recovering from a calf problem, but has suffered a thigh injury which could rule him out of action for a further six weeks.

Henderson says Sturridge has been left “devastated” by the injury and the Liverpool squad is disappointed to have lost the England international.

“It is a big blow, not only for the team but for him as well,” Henderson told ESPN.

“He is devastated, at a really low point really because he was looking forward to getting back playing. He felt good so it is disappointing for us as a team and him personally.

“We have to make sure as team-mates we are strong for him because he is doing everything he can in the gym and on the training field to get back as quick as he can. Hopefully he has a quick recovery, a speedy recovery and he comes back firing on all cylinders.”

Liverpool have laboured in Sturridge’s absence, slipping to 11th in the Premier League table after a season in which they narrowly missed out on the title.

Henderson believes the added pressure of playing extra games in the Champions League could be effecting the Anfield side’s form.

“I am not sure [why we are struggling],” he added. “We are doing the same things, we are working really hard in training, [but] the games come thick and fast when you are playing Champions League and the cup games as well.

“You have got to try and deal with that as best you can. It was obviously going to be a shock for us but hopefully as the season goes on then we will be a little bit more used to it.”

The player’s representative has admitted that the Brazil international is unhappy with his lack of game time at Anfield and would like to be reunited with Rafael Benitez

Lucas Leiva’s agent has revealed that the midfielder could leave Liverpool during the January transfer window and that a move to Napoli would appeal to his client.

The Brazil international has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield this season, with the 27-year-old having been afforded just two Premier League starts by Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

Consequently, Lucas’ representative, Henrique Coelho, has admitted that the former Gremio man could be tempted to move elsewhere in search of regular first-team football.

“Is it possible that Lucas could leave Liverpool in January? Yes, naturally,” the agent admitted in an interview with Calciomercato.com.

When asked if his client would, therefore, be interested in being reunited with Rafael Benitez at Napoli, Coelho replied: “Lucas likes him a lot.

“After all, the two know each other well from when the Spaniard was coaching Liverpool.”

Benitez signed Lucas from Gremio in the summer of 2007 for a reported €6 million and, after a lengthy adaptation period at Anfield, the midfield enforcer went on to establish himself as a regular in the Reds’ starting line-up.

The South American was heavily linked with a move to the San Paolo last summer but Napoli’s failure to qualify for the Champions League group stages – and the resulting loss of revenue – reportedly played a part in the Partenopei’s inability to push through a deal.

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