Jürgen Klopp’s high-flying Liverpool will travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday to take on Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace. On paper and on the basis of form, this game seems like a cakewalk for the team from Merseyside who have lost just once this season which was a shock 2-0 defeat to newly-promoted Burnley. However, no game in the Premier League is easy and Jürgen Klopp should take an extra-careful approach while taking on the South London club who have been their bogey team.
Here are three reasons why Liverpool cannot afford to take this game lightly.
Palace’s excellent record of upsetting the Reds
Crystal Palace have a history of stunning the Reds and have done it time and time again, mostly in the last few years. Remember May 2014 when Liverpool’s title hopes were wrecked by a sensational comeback from the Eagles? From 3-0 down, the Eagles pegged three back in ten minutes to end Liverpool’s hopes of winning the title after more than two decades.
In the two clubs’ last ten meetings, Crystal Palace have won 5 and Liverpool have won four times. Psychologically speaking, Liverpool will be a bit nervous about the game and Alan Pardew’s side can take advantage of that.
Christian Benteke – Liverpool’s tormentor
A player who will have a point to prove in the game will be Christian Benteke. The Belgian moved to Anfield last summer only with then manager Brendan Rodgers paying a big sum to bring him to the Red half of Merseyside but the towering forward found it hard to fit in Klopp’s plans.
He was shipped out to Crystal Palace this summer and has rediscovered his form to some extent. The Belgian forward boasts an excellent record against Liverpool from his Aston Villa days having scored five and assisted one from six games. The 25-year-old could prove to be the deciding factor in this game.
Pardew being handed a major defensive boost
Crystal Palace have a major boost ahead of the Liverpool game with skipper Scott Dann likely to make a return from an injury that kept him out of action for some time. The return of the Englishman makes the Eagles much stronger defensively.
On top of that, Dann is a menace in the air and is a big set-piece threat. Liverpool have always been vulnerable in defending set plays, especially corners. Dann’s comeback hands the South London club a major boost for the game.
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