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How “depleted” Crystal Palace aim to be “annoying” in Liverpool’s top-4 final

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There is very little confidence from Crystal Palace fans that they will stun Liverpool this weekend, which will come as a relief to Reds supporters.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side picked up a massive win at Burnley on Wednesday night to rise back inside the top four for the first time since the start of February.

It means victory over Palace on Sunday afternoon should all but guarantee Champions League football, with Liverpool finding form at just the right time.

The weekend clash will be Roy Hodgson’s final game in charge of the Eagles, however, and possibly in management, so there is concern that the failed former Reds manager comes back to haunt them one last time.

For our final fan Q&A of the season, we spoke to Palace fan Robbie Scotcher (@RobbieScotcher) to get his assessment of both sides’ season and how the final day could pan out.

 

How would you assess Crystal Palace’s season?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 19, 2020: Crystal Palace's Nathaniel Clyne looks dejected during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I think everyone outside would see it as dull, but…

We beat Man United at Old Trafford, we had an academy kid come through and become a first-team player and we bought a youngster from the Championship who actually became one of our standout players.

Yet again, we kept the same manager all season, we never flirted with relegation, we have one million back-four defensive partnerships, went out in the cups in the first round and lost by seven goals to Liverpool.

Wilfried Zaha got into double figures, Christian Benteke had a renaissance, we played the worst game I think we’ve played in the Premier League against our rivals (Brighton) and beat them in the dying seconds.

So pretty basket case really!

 

Who do you want to replace Hodgson as manager?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 19, 2020: Crystal Palace's manager Roy Hodgson during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I’m not going to bang on about Roy because…you know…read the room.

But not Frank Lampard, basically. It finishes there. I want a young manager with energy and something to prove…and a magic lamp with all the wishes left.

Zero clue who it will actually be.

 

Who have been Palace’s three best players this season?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 29, 2016: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha in action against Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Eberechi Eze, Vicente Guaita and Zaha have been the standouts, in my opinion.

I must give a special mention to Tyrick Mitchell, though, who has broken through into the first team this season.

Joel Ward is still in the first team and also deserves some praise.

 

Have any individuals been poor?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 19, 2020: Liverpool's Naby Keita during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

At some point, they all have, sometimes all at the same time.

The most disappointing thing has been so many injuries – something I’m sure you can all appreciate.

 

Switching our attention to Liverpool, why has their season been such a struggle?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 24, 2021: Newcastle United's Joe Willock celebrates after scoring an equalising goal in the 95th minute during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I think Liverpool‘s struggles have been well-documented – you’re probably bored of hearing it. And you didn’t struggle against us.

Just one of those seasons.

 

Do you think they will be title challengers again next year?

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 19, 2021: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips (C) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It will be an interesting summer.

Man City, Man United and Chelsea will all strengthen and it will be intriguing to see what Liverpool do.

Will they buy a big player? Will one of the front-three leave?

There wasn’t a title challenge this year from anyone, but next time around, I think Liverpool will be one of a few that will be up for it.

 

Looking ahead to Sunday’s game, who do you fear most for the Reds?

Anyone that hasn’t scored or needs to break a record.

There is an enormous difference between the two teams and I like Nat Phillips, even though I’m not sure why.

I don’t think Crystal Palace will fear the fans, but they will come into play. Players like Zaha love the needle.

But I think if the game gets tough they will push the players on. Old school 12th man…if needed.

 

Where do you see the key battles taking place?

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 19, 2021: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (C) celebrates with team-mates Mohamed Salah (L) and Sadio Mané (R) after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We need Guaita to play a blinder and we need to be annoying and frustrating. Can you break that down?

That’s the battle.

 

Finally, hit us with your prediction – are Palace going to spoil the party?

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson headed home Liverpool’s stoppage-time winner at West Brom (Rui Vieira/PA)

This will be a very depleted Palace side with very little to play for. Most are out of contract.

And we are playing against a world-class team at home with their fans in the stadium, in a cup final of sorts to get into the Champions League.

I don’t think there’s a sane person in the world that would consider us winning.

But I always say we will, so 7-0 to Palace.

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