John Aldridge says Mamadou Sakho's absence will hurt Crystal Palace when they make a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Premier League clash on 23 April.
The France international was not included in Jurgen Klopp's plans and has not featured for the Reds this season. The Merseyside club allowed him to join the Eagles on a loan deal in January that will allow him to stay at Selhurst Park until the end of the season.
Sakho has made seven starts for Palace in the league that include five wins, a draw and a defeat. Out of the seven fixtures, the centre-back has been a part of the Eagles' defence that kept four clean sheets, including one during their 3-0 win over Arsenal.
Sam Allardyce will take his men to Anfield and Sakho is not eligible to face his parent club as he is at Palace on loan from Liverpool. Aldridge claims Sakho's absence will be a blow to Palace, but has issued a warning to Klopp and his men that the tie against the London outfit will "not be easy."
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"Missing Sakho will be a blow for them because he's done well for them. Hopefully that will hurt them," Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo.
"Crystal Palace on Sunday will not be easy. You've got to graft and work hard. Get a clean sheet and we'll win the game. They've got pace and strength going forward with Benteke, Zaha and Townsend, Cabaye. They've got dangerous players going forward.
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"Allardyce will mix it up, looking for free-kicks and corners, and we've got to do what we've done in the last couple of weeks."
Sakho is unlikely to have a future at Liverpool following the completion of his loan deal at Palace. The Daily Mail reports the Reds are willing to part ways with their player if interested clubs meet their £30m ($38.5m) valuation. AS Roma are believed to be interested in the Frenchman's services.
Liverpool are third in the table with 66 points after 33 games and are two points ahead of fourth place Manchester City and six points ahead of Manchester United, who are fifth in the table. However, Pep Guardiola's side have an advantage of a game in hand, while the Red Devils have played two matches less compared to the Reds.
Aldridge stressed that the Reds' chances of qualifying for the next season's Champions League are in their own hands.
"The Champions League places are in our own hands now. We could have done with Chelsea doing us a favour at Old Trafford but they've got a lot of tough -looking away games coming up and we're six points ahead," he added.
"They would have to do something exceptional. We've just got to keep on looking after ourselves."
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