Alan Pardew is hoping to see his players capitalise on Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with them at Anfield.
Having masterminded the Eagles’ victory over a Brendan Rodgers led Reds side at the end of last season, Pardew is understandably keen to approach the fixture in the same manner as before, encouraging his attacking players to test their hosts whenever the opportunity arises.
After seeing the likes of Puncheon, Bolasie and Zaha flourish on our last trip to Merseyside, the Palace supremo made reference to the problems Jurgen Klopp is being forced to cope with at the back, as he looks to stretch their unbeaten run under him to an impressive seven games tomorrow afternoon.
Whilst readily admitting that in the final third, Liverpool possess a wealth of talent, Pardew has not been shy in suggesting that defensively, Klopp and co. still have a great deal of work to do if they are serious about sustaining a position at the right end of the Premier League table into May. Thanks to the pace and trickery at his disposal, it’s no real surprise to hear the Palace boss talking positively ahead of the tie, even though his team have been struggling massively for goals in recent weeks.
Although chances have been created in each and every game, we simply haven’t looked capable of putting teams to the sword often enough this season, with the hope of a change in fortunes tomorrow afternoon at Anfield. Indeed, our recent record against the Reds is startlingly good, with the now famous 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park in May of 2014 being followed by successive 3-1 victories in SE25 and Merseyside respectively.
To question a team’s defensive strengths following a run of six games without defeat is certainly a bold move from Pardew, but he’s always been the confident sort. With our own form totalling three losses and a draw in our last four, some may question the wisdom of such a provocative statement on his part, but with years of experience behind him, I certainly won’t be questioning his judgement.