Anfield, 17:30 Saturday
Anfield opens its doors to supporters one last time this season, as Liverpool host Crystal Palace in the penultimate game of the Premier League campaign on Saturday. With the Reds only realistically competing for Europa League qualification, and Crystal Palace likely to finish between 11th-13th, there is little on this game from a footballing perspective – Steven Gerrard’s final Anfield appearance dominated the headlines however, as the Liverpool Captain prepared to bid farewell to his adoring supporters prior to his departure for the MLS. Gerrard has scored home (Premier League, 2013/14) and away (League Cup, 2005/06) against the Eagles during his career, and will be desperate to sign off in style in front of the adoring Kop.
Last season’s penultimate-weekend meeting between the sides, remains fresh in the mind of both sets of supporters – Liverpool, clinging on too title hopes, led 3-0 midway through the second-half before a Dwight Gayle-inspired Palace, celebrating an excellent season, stormed back to level the score late-on, all but ending the Reds’ valiant charge. The season’s end is significantly more timid for both – following a decent run, three defeats in the last seven (and just 8 points from their last five) have ended Liverpool’s Champions League hopes, whilst Crystal Palace have followed four straight victories with four straight defeats since extending their top-flight stay became a formality.
Meetings between Liverpool and Crystal Palace appear to be adopting unlikely classic-status, and Steven Gerrard’s impending departure ensures that there will be great interest in this match-up, just as there was a year ago.
Ahead of Saturday’s Anfield meeting, The Redmen TV spoke again with Matt Woosnam of Palace fan-site Five Year Plan – thanks to Matt for providing his insight an opinion:
Despite a poor first half of the campaign and a drop-off since all but achieving safety, you’ve had another decent season of top-flight consolidation – is the Club geared up to really establish itself at this level now, or is that a myth beyond the top six or seven anyway?
Matt: “With the shrewd financial planning of the owners which saw the club record a profit of around £23 million last season, we are now in a good position to kick on and improve the team with quality. This summer will see a lot of players leave and only three or four come in. If we can sign a good striker in the summer (a bit like you!) then I think there’s a great chance to push on. But I don’t like to think of it in terms of establishing ourselves as a Premier League side. No-one has a divine right to be in this league, but I’d like to think we can look towards the middle of the table rather than the bottom of the table. But there’s definitely a great chance to become a club that has the potential to remain in the league for the forseeable future.”
How much of a shock was Tony Pulis’ eleventh-hour resignation, and what do you identify as the reasons for the poor form under Neil Warnock?
…Continued at: http://www.theredmentv.com/blog/p/16160
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