Reds unlikely to slip up for the second week in a row.
Having secured safety with a few games still remaining, Crystal Palace’s players and staff can give themselves a pat on the back for a job well done. A few months ago, that scenario would have been impossible to predict with the Eagles propping up the rest of the table and proving easy pickings for the rest of the Premier League.
But Tony Pulis’ appointment transformed attitude and results and Selhurst Park has become something a happy place with Palace having won five times on home soil since the turn of the year. They’ve also picked up three points on visits to Cardiff, West Brom and Everton in recent weeks and, though the pressure is off, the manager has vowed to play his strongest XI in remaining fixtures, starting against Liverpool.
This may not a straightforward task for the Reds, still reeling after blowing their chance to wrap up the title last week against Chelsea. Liverpool haven’t won at Selhurst Park since 1997, though did win the reverse fixture at Anfield in October. Palace have improved since then and will be looking to bounce back themselves from a 2-0 defeat by Manchester City in which they rarely looked likely to upset Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Considering their resources compared to other teams, it’s been a memorable season for the Eagles but next year’s requirements will already have been discussed and you can’t help thinking that they’ll now coast through their remaining fixtures. Liverpool, on the other hand, won’t want to throw away all their good work now and will try and get on the front foot straight away, as Manchester City did last week.
They dominated possession against Chelsea last week but just couldn’t find a way through. Maybe they are going to have to develop more variety in their attacking play if they are to mix it with the best on a regular basis but they do have two top-class strikers at the club and guaranteeing Champions League football should make keeping them both that much easier.
Steven Gerrard’s mistake opened the door for Chelsea last week but the England skipper has been an inspiration over the course of the season and he’s 5/1 to open the scoring at Selhurst Park. Liverpool are only 3/10 to win but can be backed at 3/1 by exactly two goals and ensure they keep up the pressure on others.
The match kicks off on Monday, May 5th at 8pm from Selhurst Park.
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