Heading to Selhurst Park always feels like a bit of an awkward family reunion as a Liverpool fan. First there’s Roy Hodgson at the helm, and despite only being at Anfield for six months, it was a reign that most won’t soon forget. Then there’s the players on the pitch: Mamadou Sakho, Martin Kelly, and Christian Benteke are all likely to make an appearance in Monday night’s game.
Benteke, in particular, had a weak last season, but former manager Jürgen Klopp remains aware of the threat he poses in the air and around the box.
“Everybody who thinks about writing Benteke off makes a big mistake, because his obvious skills are always there,” Klopp said, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Crystal Palace on Monday evening. “Even if he didn’t score too often last season, he always has opportunities. It’s a big challenge to defend set-pieces when Christian is around. He will score goals this season, there’s no doubt about that.”
The bigger goal-scoring threat for Liverpool is likely to be the effervescent Wilfried Zaha, who signed a new contract with Crystal Palace over the summer. Klopp declared this coup “like a new signing” for Palace, saying, “There were no spectacular signings but if you want you can see Zaha as a spectacular transfer. I think they are pretty happy that Wilfried signed a new contract. He’s very important and last year was probably the best example of that.”
The Reds don’t always have the best time at Selhurst Park, but after their excellent opening game win against West Ham, and with players like Henderson, Fabinho, and possibly even the injury-prone Joël Matip ready for action, they are still the favorites to come away victorious on Monday night.