The Crystal Palace fans are feeling apprehensive in the Transfer Tavern ahead of a huge fixture against Liverpool tomorrow afternoon.
Roy Hodgson has steered The Eagles in the right direction since taking charge at the club, but his side’s failure to take any points from their fixtures against Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea in recent weeks has left them dangerously close to the bottom-three with just 7 fixtures left to play this season. Palace face another of the top-six clubs once again tomorrow afternoon in a clash which could have decisive consequences at both ends of the table.
Hodgson will be hoping that his side can rediscover the spirit of ‘Crystanbul’ and dig out a valiant performance against one of the most lethal attacking side’s in European football right now. All of Palace’s players will need to be at the very top of their game, but Wilfried Zaha’s individual performance could prove to be the most crucial to their result.
Zaha (valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt) has already made an instant impact since he returned from a knee injury in March by providing an assist against Chelsea and playing a starring role in Palace’s priceless victory over Huddersfield. The 25-year-old is by far the clubs most devastating attacking outlet, and if Palace are to enjoy any success against Liverpool’s defence today they will need him to be top form.
The statistics speak for themselves, The Eagles have failed to collect a single point when Zaha has been sidelined through injury so far this season, so his importance to the team cannot be expressed highly enough. Zaha’s ability to run directly at his opposite number and prise open defences with his blistering pace and quick-feet is a valuable weapon which helps to create space for his teammates, and no other player on Palace’s books can boast the same level of talent in this regard.
Since Virgil Van Dijk arrived at the club, Liverpool’s defence has solidified and become much more difficult to break down, and considering Christian Benteke is struggling for form this season, it’s absolutely imperative that Zaha brings his A-game to Selhurst Park tomorrow afternoon.