(Reuters) – Crystal Palace must find a way to weather spells of sustained Liverpool pressure in the opening periods of each half if they are to get a result on Saturday, Palace winger Andros Townsend has said.
Liverpool are unbeaten in the league this season and hold an eight-point lead at the top after a 3-1 win over champions Manchester City in their last game. Eight of their 28 league goals have come in the first 15 minutes of each half.
“It’s incredible, I think they make a conscious effort each half to go full throttle for the first 15 minutes,” Townsend told the Premier League website https://www.premierleague.com/news/1496075?sf224019605=1.
“They suss you out for the first 15 minutes and they did that against Manchester City. Even though they were not playing well, they found themselves 2-0 up.”
Townsend said hosts Palace, who sit 12th, would have to play on the counter-attack if they were to have any chance of causing an upset, much like they did in a 2-1 win at Manchester United and 2-2 draw at Arsenal.
“You know you’re not going to get much possession,” he added. “You know you will have to defend for 90 minutes, even as a winger. My main priority … is that I need to be a defender first. If we get counter-attacks, I will attack.
“If you defend well and take your chances at the other side you can definitely pull off a shock, as we have proven many times before.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)