Both Christian Benteke and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are confident that Crystal Palace will avoid the drop this season with the latter even going as far to suggest that he fancies the Eagles’ chances of taking all three points against Liverpool following the international break.
Whilst the Chelsea loanee only played a couple of minutes against Huddersfield after returning from a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury, he saw first-hand what a difference Wilfried Zaha made to our play against the Terriers and is now rightfully confident of us getting another three points under our belts when Jurgen Klopp’s Reds come to town in 10 days time.
Having started the season without a point of goal to our names in the opening seven fixtures, the run of form we’ve embarked upon under Roy Hodgson’s stewardship has been remarkable but in truth, there is genuine quality running throughout the squad when the majority of our first-team players and fully fit and raring to go.
He may only be in SE25 until the end of the season but Ruben himself has proven to be a real gem for us when available for selection. Hodgson was quite right not to start him after such a long time out of the set-up but you would hope, with another two weeks’ training in the tank, he’ll be straining at the leash to earn a starting place against Liverpool in front of the Selhurst faithful.
Whilst I’m under no illusions about Loftus-Cheek’s obvious desire to make it as a regular in the Chelsea first-team eventually, the manner in which he talks about Palace points towards a man who has fully bought into our ethos over the course of his loan spell. It would be easy for him to just go through the motions, saying the bare minimum and playing when selected but instead, he seems to truly care about our efforts to avoid the drop and that should be applauded in my view.
Could he play a key role in a positive result against Klopp’s rampant Reds? I’d rule nothing out just yet.