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Crystal Palace v Liverpool: Reds in for a 'tight game'

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WE CAUGHT up with the the Liverpool Echo's sports reporter James Pearce to get his views on the big game between Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park...
This is a must-win game for Liverpool. Could it be a case of scoring as many as possible in terms of goal difference to land the title? I can't honestly see Liverpool being able to do anything about the goal difference situation. If Liverpool are going to win the title it's going to be on points. Brendan Rodgers will know that winning at Selhurst Park will be difficult considering how well Palace have defended under Tony Pulis. No one is expecting it to be a cruise.Looking back at the previous meeting in October, Palace were out of sorts. You must be impressed with their turnaround? The game at Anfield was very one-sided with Liverpool out of sight before half-time. Everyone at Liverpool knows that Palace are now a very different proposition. Their revival under Pulis has been remarkable. I thought Palace were doomed back in October/November. To now be 11th with 43 points is an amazing achievement.Luis Suarez, a deserved winner for the PFA Players' Player of the Year? Yes, Suarez has been the standout performer in the top flight this season and I fully expect him to be crowned Footballer of the Year too. He's the first Liverpool player to score 30 league goals in a season since Ian Rush in the mid-1980s. But there is so much more to his game than goals. He works tirelessly for the cause and is a real creative force – underlined by the fact he's top of the Premier League assists table on 12.Which player(s) should Palace look out for on Monday? It goes without saying that the front two have been in lethal form this term. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have been the most deadly double act in Europe with 50 league goals between them. Gerrard has controlled games with his range of passing from a deep defensive role, while young full-back Jon Flanagan has been a revelation.What are your memories of facing Palace down the years? The memories are mixed to say the least. There are two meetings that standout from my childhood. Liverpool's 9-0 demolition of Palace at Anfield in their last title-winning season of 1989-90. John Aldridge famously came off the bench to score a penalty with his first touch – his last game before joining Real Sociedad. Seven months later the emotions were very different for Kopites when Palace beat the Reds 4-3 in that thrilling FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park.And finally, a score prediction? It will be tight but only one team really needs to win so Liverpool should just shade it. I'll go for a 2-1.

Crystal Palace v Liverpool: Reds in for a 'tight game'


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