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Crystal Palace V Liverpool at Selhurst Park : Match Preview

Updated 04 May 2014 15:01:00

Crystal Palace V Liverpool at Selhurst Park : Match Preview

Crystal Palace V Liverpool - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Palace at full strength

Tony Pulis is set to have a full squad available when Crystal Palace host Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League on Monday.


Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi missed last Sunday's 2-0 defeat against Manchester City but Pulis is optimistic all his players will be fit for the clash at Selhurst Park.


Palace are already guaranteed safety in the top flight ahead of their final home game of the season while Liverpool will be desperate for a victory to keep their title hopes alive.


Pulis insists he is not surprised by Liverpool's challenge given the amount of money the Reds have spent and the number of games they have played this season.


Brendan Rodgers' side are currently top of the table, three points ahead of Manchester City, who have a superior goal difference and have played a game less.


Liverpool's primary aim at the start of the season was to qualify for the Champions League but Pulis says the Reds' impressive title bid has come as no surprise.


"It's not a surprise - not with [Daniel] Sturridge and [Luis] Suarez and the quality they have there," Pulis said.


"There's been a lot investment in Liverpool, I think people forget that.


"Kenny Dalglish spent good money bringing in the likes of Suarez and Jordan Henderson who have obviously really blossomed.


"And then Brendan has come in and spent decent money as well.


"The biggest bonus for Liverpool is not having any cup competitions or Europe to worry about so they can focus on the league week to week, that helps as well."


The Reds recorded 11 consecutive league victories from February to April before a 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea last Sunday.


Suarez and Sturridge have spearheaded Liverpool's title bid with 53 goals between them but Pulis believes Steven Gerrard has been at the heart of the club's success.


"Gerrard has been absolutely outstanding," Pulis said.


"He's led by example, he's been a wonderful, wonderful player for England and for Liverpool.


"And the forward line is exceptional, you only have to look at the two centre forwards and the number of goals they've scored between them to know they'll be a threat."


Sturridge's fitness will be assessed to see whether he is ready to start against Palace.


The England international came off the bench against Chelsea last weekend after recovering from a hamstring problem.


Midfielder Jordan Henderson serves the final game of his three-match suspension.


Rodgers believes it is up to his players to find solutions to what will become an increasingly regular problem - frustration.


Last Sunday's defeat at home to Chelsea saw Jose Mourinho employ a blanket defence to deny the Reds their usual attacking thrust and in chasing the game at 1-0 down the side lost their composure in the final quarter.


The players diverted from the game plan and started shooting from range and throwing hopeful crosses into the box in an attempt to break down resolute opponents.


Both teams' tactics have been dissected over the last seven days and Rodgers has done plenty of assessment himself over what they could improve on.


"I have analysed the game once or twice," said the Northern Irishman.


"The job for me this week was to help the players find the solutions in those type of games.


"We have shown over the course of the season we can play in many different ways and our ability to score goals has been there.


"I analysed the game last week and I thought there were lots of parts of our game that were very good - but we needed to find to find solutions in the final third.


"If a team plays with six along the backline and three midfield players it is my job to find a solution - and that is something I've looked at this week.


"The crime is not losing the game, it is about finding solutions next time, and the players have responded brilliantly."



PA

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