Merson predicts ‘problems’ for Liverpool against Crystal Palace who can expose key weakness
Crystal Palace are now without a win in their last seven Premier League matches, but Paul Merson thinks they could snatch a result against Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won back-to-back games in the league, but their Champions League defeat against Real Madrid will have surely rocked them.
Liverpool are still in the hunt for a Champions League place, but they will need to establish more consistency in the second half of the season.
Only Leeds United are currently on a longer winless run than Palace are in the league, but Merson thinks it will be a tight game at the weekend.
“I’m looking at Crystal Palace getting dragged into the relegation battle,” the pundit told Sportskeeda.
“Palace need a big result like beating Liverpool at home. They have a testing set of fixtures coming up and are part of this group of six or seven teams that could get relegated at the end of the season.
“If you look at the way Liverpool were playing against Newcastle United last weekend, and you didn’t know Pope was shown a red card, you wouldn’t have been able to tell they were down to 10 men at times.
“Suffice to say, Liverpool did struggle despite getting off to a flying start and playing more than 60 minutes against 10 men.”
Merson thinks that Palace will look to hurt Liverpool on transitions with pace down either flank.
He adds: “Crystal Palace will sit back and hit Liverpool on the break. Palace’s players are not of Vinicius’ class but Liverpool will need to be wary of them.
“They’ve got pace down the flanks and those are the kind of teams that cause problems for Liverpool and if they can make the right decisions, Patrick Vieira’s men can get a result here.”
Despite Liverpool’s European collapse in midweek, Vieira himself is still cautious about the threats that Klopp’s side pose.
“I don’t think this is the best time to play them,” he said. “I think when you’re talking about Liverpool Football Club, with what they have achieved in the last couple of years, looking at the quality of players that they have, they will want to bounce back straight away.
“There is no good time to play Liverpool. But on the other side, our performances in the last couple of games, especially at home with the support that we have, has been positive. So what is important for us is to turn those performances into a win.”
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