Crystal Palace's survival hopes hinge on Christian Benteke's form, says Sam Allardyce

SAM LONG
On the goal trail: Christian Benteke: Getty Images

Crystal Palace need Christian Benteke to rediscover his form in front of goal in order to avoid relegation, according to Sam Allardyce.

Benteke has scored nine goals in 26 Premier League appearances this season but has failed to find the net since January's victory over Bournemouth.

The striker scored a brace in Belgium's 3-3 draw with Russia during the international break but his goalless streak at club level stretches back five games.

Palace have eased their relegation fears during Benteke's lean spell, courtesy of three consecutive victories, but Allardyce believes the striker's form could define the south London club's destiny.

“He’s disappointed that he’s not scoring goals at the moment but I wouldn’t say it’s because of my over-defensive tactics," Allardyce told his pre-match press conference.

"But it’s more that we have to get better in the final third creating chances, not just for him but all the team. We get there but I don’t think we’re as creative or as clinical as we should be.

“From Christian’s point, it’s very frustrating for him because he hasn’t put the ball in the back of the net since Bournemouth.

"He’s had opportunities and they’ve come and gone, and hopefully they will arrive at the right time for us, which is in the next 10 games.

"If we are to stay up then we need to get Christian scoring again, and I would hope he could bag five or six goals in the next 10 games to try and help the problem we’re in,” added the Palace boss.

Palace remain just four points clear of the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's trip to Premier League leaders Chelsea, despite their recent resurgence.

The Eagles face a daunting run-in and need to put points on the board as a mater of urgency if they are to retain their top-flight status for another season.

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