Liverpool Need To Watch Out For Old Boy Benteke!


Clubs should always be wary of former players who feel they have a point to prove.

This weekend sees Liverpool travel down to London to face Crystal Palace, with the Eagles now boasting former Reds striker Christian Benteke in their ranks.

The big Belgian forward spent a year at Liverpool last term before moving to Palace in a deal worth close to £30m. In that single season for the Merseyside club he only managed ten goals in forty-two appearances.

To put it simply, Benteke didn’t fit new boss Jurgen Klopp’s system and the German gaffer didn’t see that changing anytime soon.

When signing for Palace in August, Benteke told of his determination to do well for his new employers:

‘I really want to show what I can do this season.’

In Alan Pardew, Christian has found a manager willing to play to his strengths and who also believes in the forward. Those are things that were clearly missing during his time in the north west.

Pardew recently said this about his hitman:

‘Christian is playing with a smile on his face. Every player wants to play, especially great players like him.’

He’s started well for his new side, scoring three times in seven Premier League appearances. Benteke’s goals have also come with points (two wins and a draw).

All three of his goals in a Palace jersey have come through headers and that might be worrying a few in the Liverpool squad.

The Liverpool faithful won’t be looking forward to the trip to Selhurst Park as their record against Palace isn’t the best. None of them will forget the fifth of May 2014, when the Reds threw away a three goal lead in the last ten minutes and ended up drawing the game 3-3. That effectively ended Liverpool’s title aspirations that season.

Ironically enough they ended their hoodoo last season with a 2-1 win over Palace in the capital with that man Benteke scoring a winning penalty deep into injury time.

The battering-ram centre-forward might not have fitted in to Klopp’s style but the German’s side also hate playing against players of that ilk. While they’ve made an impressive start to the season, Liverpool still have a questionable defence especially when it comes to defending crosses and set-pieces.

New goalkeeper Loris Karius, like Simon Mignolet before him, doesn’t seem able to command his box and often looks suspect when balls are thrown into the penalty area. While Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are in no way the worst defensive partnership in the league, they also aren’t the best in the air and seem to lack that warrior spirit when facing bully-boy strikers.

They will have their hands full this Saturday as they try and shut out Christian Benteke, who along with Andy Carroll (another former Red) is probably the best attacking threat with his head in the Premier League. Palace also possess they likes of Wilfried Zaha, Jason Puncheon and Yohan Cabaye who will do their upmost in supplying the target man with all the ammunition needed to sink the Reds.

Thankfully for Liverpool they have a lot going for them in their own attack and maestros such as Philippe Coutinho, Saido Mane and Roberto Firmino can unlock any defence they come up against when they are on form.

So it’s certainly not a guaranteed home win.

But I can assure you that Mr Benteke will be up for this challenge and he’ll be determined to show Jurgen Klopp just how effective his style can be!

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