Christmas cheer is in limited supply at Selhurst Park at the minute, as Roy Hodgson's side were booed off the pitch while the veteran coach was allegedly targeted by a bottle thrown from the stands following a dampening home defeat versus Bournemouth.
A pair of headers from Marcos Senesi and Kieffer Moore either side of the half-time whistle condemned Palace to their third defeat from their last four games during a miserable winter spell, before Hodgson launched into a tirade about "spoiled" Palace fans, many of whom headed for the exits once Moore's header flew in.
With just a solitary point taken from their last four Premier League fixtures, the Eagles - who often sit happily in mid-table mediocrity - are sleepwalking towards the danger zone in 14th place in the table, although a seven-point cushion still separates them from Luton Town.
A spate of untimely injury problems have not helped the hosts' cause in recent weeks, but fuel is constantly being added to the fire surrounding the future of Hodgson, especially with Steve Cooper believed to be on the brink of the Nottingham Forest sack and apparently being lined up as his successor.
For the time being, Hodgson can only place his focus on his training ground drills as Palace aim to end a five-game winless run at Selhurst Park - where their last three have all ended in defeat - but the home crowd will likely head to Selhurst on Saturday in hope rather than expectation.
While Hodgson may be nearing the end of his second Palace tenure, Sheffield United's Chris Wilder was welcomed back to Bramall Lane in the wake of Paul Heckingbottom's inevitable departure, but he faced a true baptism of fire versus a title-chasing Liverpool crop.
There would be no repeat of their five-goal dismantling at the hands of Burnley, but Virgil van Dijk's striker's finish and a second-half Dominik Szoboszlai effort ultimately got Liverpool over the line, keeping the Reds just two points behind leaders Arsenal approaching the 15-game mark.
With Liverpool and Palace opening this weekend's action, another three-point haul for the Reds would send them to the summit for at least a couple of hours - Arsenal will have the chance to respond at 3pm against Aston Villa - but a shock loss to Palace leaves Jurgen Klopp's side at risk of being leapfrogged by the Lions.
A routine triumph over Sheffield United was the perfect tonic to their chaotic 4-3 beating of Fulham for Liverpool, who head to Selhurst Park aiming for a fourth win on the bounce in all tournaments, and keeping out the Blades saw the Reds pick up their first Premier League away clean sheet of the season.
Liverpool's defence also came away from Selhurst Park unscathed in February, but Palace held out for a point in a 0-0 stalemate on that occasion and also left Anfield with a 1-1 draw last summer - the latter result ended a 10-game losing run for the Eagles against their revered foes.
The Crystal Palace medical bay has a new occupant in the shape of left-back Tyrick Mitchell, who was only on the field for 29 minutes against Bournemouth before coming off with a muscular strain, which will render him unavailable for Saturday's game.
The Eagles were already handed the worst possible news over Cheick Doucoure ahead of the loss to Bournemouth, as the Mali midfielder - who has been linked with a switch to Liverpool - is confirmed to have ruptured his Achilles tendon and is at risk of missing the rest of the season.
Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (thigh), Rob Holding (ankle), Dean Henderson (thigh) and the effervescent Eberechi Eze (ankle) are keeping Doucoure and Mitchell company in the treatment room; the latter's place should be filled by ex-Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne.
As for the current Liverpool crop, Alexis Mac Allister was a casualty of the win over Sheffield United with a knee injury picked up in the early stages - the Argentinian managed to soldier on in the first half before succumbing to his wound just before the hour mark.
Following Wednesday's victory, Klopp also delivered the crushing news that Joel Matip had suffered an ACL tear and would cruelly miss the rest of the season, while Diogo Jota (muscle), Stefan Bajcetic (calf), Thiago Alcantara (hip) and Andrew Robertson (shoulder) will not return just yet either, but Alisson Becker is back in full training.
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Clyne; Richards, Lerma; Olise, Hughes, Ayew; Edouard
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Gravenberch, Endo, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, Diaz
We say: Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool
Both teams' treatment rooms are slowly welcoming more injury victims, but while Liverpool have plentiful options to replace their stricken players, Doucoure and Eze arguably fall into the irreplaceable category for Palace.
Hodgson's men will be under immense pressure to put in a strong shift this weekend, but even an adequate response to Wednesday's defeat should not be enough to prevent Liverpool rising to the top of the rankings.
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