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Forgotten defender must start vs United – Liverpool need to re-ignite title winning partnership

Liverpool can take one positive from last night’s draw against Crystal Palace – the return to form of Joe Gomez will be a boost for the side.

The Reds have stumbled to back-to-back draws at the start of the new Premier League season – this time it was Palace who frustrated the Anfield faithful.

 

Following Darwin Nunez’s awful red card, the fans had something to cheer about when Luis Diaz fired in an incredible equaliser.But there was also another positive to take forward into their upcoming matches; Joe Gomez’s solid and commanding performance off the bench.

Gomez vs Crystal Palace

Having not been fit enough to start, fans were worried to see Nat Phillips line up next to Van Dijk, given the pace and quality of the goalscorer Wilfried Zaha.

 

Gomez, 25, has recently signed a new long-term deal and fans have been calling for the Englishman to come back into the team following injuries to Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip.

As tweeted by Liverpool reporter Keifer MacDonald – “Joe Gomez also very good. Handled Wilfred Zaha in way Nat Phillips was unable to, but probably most impressive was his ability to break the lines & feed Salah + DiazGave #LFC an extra dimension in attack. Has to start against United next week, if fully fit.”

 

The defender looked relaxed in possession and was very positive despite Liverpool being down to 10 men for most of the second half. He completed 45 of his 46 passes and definitely rose the levels when he came out.

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Fans will be well aware that Liverpool’s record with Gomez and Van Dijk together during their title-winning season.

 

saw only one loss in 35 games with 19 clean sheets and only 22 goals conceded; a partnership that fans are eager to see once again.

His pace and understanding of the high line means Liverpool can be that extra aggressive as a team knowing full well they have the pace of Van Dijk and Gomez to cover any potential counter-attacks. When you add in his ball-playing ability – which perhaps has improved due to his time spent filling in at right-back – he brings a lot to this Liverpool team.

Gomez had been carrying a knock and wasn’t fit to start but his performance in the second half will surely see him start against United and the former Charlton defender will have the World Cup in Qatar as a goal – given England’s centre-back situation is far from set in stone.

Gomez will hope to get into the team and stay there, with Konate and Matip both out for another few weeks each. It could see Liverpool get their season back on track as we all know they’re capable of putting together a run of wins to get themselves right back into the title race.

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