Christian Benteke banned for Liverpool clash

Christian Benteke leaves the field against West Ham (PA Wire)
15:08pm, Fri 18 Dec 2020
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Crystal Palace will be without Christian Benteke for the visit of Premier League champions Liverpool on Saturday.

The Belgian was sent off in Wednesday’s draw at West Ham for two bookable offences and will serve a one-match ban this weekend, but Nathaniel Clyne, Gary Cahill and Jeffrey Schlupp are fit enough to start.

Roy Hodgson decided to take the trio out of the starting XI in midweek for precautionary reasons, but he is unable to select Wayne Hennessey (thigh), Nathan Ferguson (knee), Martin Kelly, Mamadou Sakho (both calf) and Connor Wickham (thigh) for the clash against the Reds.

Liverpool defender Joel Matip is expected to be fit having missed the midweek win over Tottenham due to a back spasm.

Midfielder Naby Keita could get a rare start, having been on the bench on Wednesday, but with eight days before their next game manager Jurgen Klopp is likely to keep faith with the majority of his starting line-up from the Spurs game.

Thiago Alcantara is set to rejoin team training next week after two months out with a knee injury with a view to being in contention in early January, with fellow midfielders James Milner (hamstring) and Xherdan Shaqiri (muscle) closing in on returns.

Crystal Palace provisional squad: Guaita, Clyne, Cahill, Kouyate, Van Aanholt, Schlupp, Riedewald, McCarthy, Eze, Zaha, Ayew, Butland, Ward, Dann, McArthur, Milivojevic, Townsend, Batshuayi, Henderson, Woods, Tomkins, Mitchell, Meyer.

Liverpool provisional squad: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane, Kelleher, N Williams, R Williams, Phillips, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Origi.

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