August 18, 2017 / 12:26 PM / a year ago

Palace look to Benteke to exploit Liverpool defence

LONDON (Reuters) - Crystal Palace are hoping their former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke will be able to exploit the Anfield club’s perceived defensive weakness from set pieces in Saturday’s Premier League game.

Britain Soccer Football - Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Selhurst Park - 26/4/17 Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke arrives for the match Reuters / Dylan Martinez Livepic

The powerful Belgian has scored five times in three league matches at Liverpool as an opposition player, including two when Palace won there in April.

Meanwhile Liverpool conceded three goals at Watford last weekend and were widely criticised for defensive laxity.

“Christian showed his importance last season,” the Palace manager Frank de Boer told a media conference on Friday.

“Hopefully he can do that again for us. We know set pieces are important, they’re important to all teams in the Premier League.”

The London side began the season with a shock 3-0 home defeat by promoted Huddersfield Town in the Dutchman’s first league game as manager since replacing Sam Allardyce in the close-season.

“Hopefully the negative impact of the 3-0 loss is gone,” De Boer added.

“It will be a difficult game at Liverpool but we’ll do our best.

“Liverpool are very dangerous in attack. Juergen Klopp has selected the players to capitalise on winning the ball in key areas.”

Palace, who will be without the injured forward Wilf Zaha, have an excellent recent record at Liverpool and if they can pull off an upset would become the first visiting team to win four successive matches there in the top flight for over 80 years.

Last season’s 2-1 win followed other victories by 2-1 and 3-1 in the preceding seasons.

Reporting by Steve Tongue; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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