Reds' rage stirred for Palace payback

LONDON • The tackle that inspired Liverpool's comprehensive 3-0 Premier League victory over Manchester City in midweek also made its mark on Juergen Klopp, with the Liverpool manager urging his players to "get angry".

Jon Flanagan's challenge in the first minute on Raheem Sterling drew vocal approval from Liverpool fans. Klopp is keen to harness that edge at Selhurst Park today when Liverpool seek to avenge the defeat by Crystal Palace in the German's first home game in November.

"Anger in a sport is good," said Klopp. "Against Crystal Palace, there is a reason to strike back. We should not have lost that game.

"There are a lot of reasons to be angry. Crystal Palace were a really physical side. They will give you, in the first two minutes, 500 reasons to be angry. I really believe in this team. We have to be angry."

The Reds' manager, a natural optimist, declined to declare a "belief" that his team could yet claim the final Champions League qualifying place, but he has outlined a "mini-league" target for his players that could yield an end-of-season dividend.

"We can only go in the top four if the others makes mistakes," Klopp said.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace's in-form striker Connor Wickham is in doubt after injuring his thigh during Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Sunderland.

The 22-year-old has scored four goals in his last two games and Palace manager Alan Pardew says Wickham will face a late fitness test ahead of the clash with Liverpool.

"Connor has done terrific. Unfortunately, he has got a knock and we will have a scan," said the manager.

"We thought it might just be a bang but it could be more serious than that, he is probably touch and go for Sunday."

THE TIMES, LONDON

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 06, 2016, with the headline 'Reds' rage stirred for Palace payback'. Print Edition | Subscribe