Liverpool may be the in-form team in England since the start of the year, but they will be wary of the threat that Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace in a Fifth Round fixture of the FA Cup on Saturday. Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, will be aware that Liverpool’s push for the title all but ended at Selhurst Park last season in a 3-3 draw.
Selhurst Park also represented Liverpool’s worst performance of the season and perhaps the lowest ebb of Rodgers’ Liverpool career so far, conceding three goals after scoring within the first two minutes.
While past history may not favor Liverpool at Selhurst Park, Liverpool are currently unbeaten in the year 2015. However, Liverpool will be without three key players when they take on Crystal Palace. Lucas Leiva, England international Raheem Sterling, and Captain Steven Gerrard will all be missing due to injury.
With the injury to Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva, the ever versatile Emre Can is set to step into his preferred role in central midfield. The German has played his way into the hearts of many standing on the Kop and Liverpool’s assistant manager, Colin Pascoe, believes that Can could become a future leader at Liverpool.
“He is young, he is learning his game, but in years to come I am sure he will progress to be one of them. He is a leader on the pitch and the way he is playing he has been fantastic. But at the moment he himself is probably not even looking at that sort of thing.”
Crystal Palace once defeated Liverpool in the 1990 semi-final at Villa Park, winning 4-3. The current Eagles manager, Alan Pardew, famously won the game with an extra-time header. Pardew was also in the team that lost 9-0 at Anfield seven months earlier.
Crystal Palace assistant manager Keith Millen filled in for Alan Pardew in the pre-match press conference. Millen is wary of what Liverpool can produce when in-form.
“Whether they’re scarred from the last two games, who knows? But without a doubt it’s a different Liverpool team coming this time. They’ve changed formation, they’re full of confidence again, they’re passing and moving and, whoever plays, it’s going to be a tough one for us. If we can get through this tie we might be one of the favourites left in the competition, but this game will be a huge test for us.”
Liverpool are favorites to qualify for the quarter-final. However, they know not to underestimate this Eagles team as past history indicates. This game packs all the right ingredients for an FA Cup Fifth Round classic.
[Image Captured via YouTube]