Roy Hodgson pessimistic over chances for Palace side “still reeling” from the 7-0

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Roy Hodgson was pessimistic to say the least when discussing the chances of his Crystal Palace side spoiling the top-four push for Liverpool in his final game in charge.

His stint at Anfield lasted just six months, and throughout that spell it was without doubt Hodgson was not the right fit for Liverpool.

The 73-year-old has carved out a niche at Palace, however, and after four years in charge will go out on his own terms this weekend, overseeing his last game as a top-flight manager.

A return to Merseyside could see him inflict a crippling blow on his former club, but speaking ahead of Palace’s trip to Anfield, Hodgson was downbeat on their chances.

“We’re not good at playing three games in a week,” he said, with Palace having already beat Aston Villa and lost to Arsenal in the past seven days.

“[With] the makeup of our squad and the players coming back from injury etc., a third game after two very tough ones we’ve had is not the right situation for us to comfortably say yeah, we’re great and put out the same team.”

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)

Palace are likely to be much-changed from the side that lost 3-1 to Gunners in midweek, therefore, and have already suffered the blow of Eberechi Eze being ruled out with a long-term injury.

The likes of Patrick van Aanholt, Nathaniel Clyne, Jairo Riedewald and Jordan Ayew could come in on Sunday, but Hodgson has already doubted Palace’s chances of sealing a win that could keep Liverpool out of the top four.

“I don’t know if we can be good enough to go up to Anfield and win, but I do know that whatever 11 players put that Crystal Palace shirt on, they’ll be busting a gut basically to win,” he continued.

“If we don’t win, it’ll probably be because on the day Liverpool have played better than we did.”

Speaking in the second part of his pre-match press conference, as relayed by the Press Association, Hodgson also admitted that Palace were “still reeling” from their 7-0 loss to Liverpool back in December.

“We’re still reeling from the last game when we were taken apart by them,” he continued.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 19, 2020: Liverpool's Takumi Minamino celebrates with team-mates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We’ve got to try and mobilise enough strength and enough power, determination, desire and pride in our performance to make sure we don’t succumb on this occasion to a heavy defeat.

“But I don’t think that defeat was down to things that we did terminally wrong.

“We were actually on the back end of one of those days when so much went right for them.

“Revenge is not the right word because it would be hard to get that, but we certainly don’t want to find ourselves in a similar position.”

Perhaps it is fitting that ahead of his final game in charge, Hodgson is looking to downplay expectations at Anfield – as he did on an almost-weekly basis while Liverpool manager.

It seems as though Palace will head into Sunday with damage limitation their approach, though Jurgen Klopp will ensure the Reds don’t underestimate the challenge ahead nonetheless.

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