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First Team

Benteke Believes Reds Match Will Be 'Good Test'

30 March 2018

Christian Benteke is encouraged by the mood in the Eagles camp as he prepares to face his former club on Saturday lunchtime when third place Liverpool visit Selhurst Park.

The striker believes that the squad can take the momentum from the victory at Huddersfield Town a fortnight ago and pick up enough points in their final seven games of the season to win their relegation battle.

“The feeling is really good, after our big win against Huddersfield the boys are more than motivated and we have our main player back and a full squad with quality and just want to finish well and that is what we are going to do.”

Wilfried Zaha returned from his second spell out this season through injury in that victory in the side’s last outing and Benteke has no doubt what a difference the winger makes to the Eagles chances of winning a game when they take the field.  

“I think on his day he is one of the best wingers in the Premier League, he can do everything, he can score, pass, can defend as well and works really hard for the team.

“Most of our play is based on him and that is why he is so important to us and it’s hard for us to create chances without him. He can bring two or three men against him so makes space for other players and we would be higher in the Premier League if he had been fit all season.”

On Saturday Christian is set to make his 26th appearance of the season and having only scored a couple of goals is a stat which he is disappointed with but because of the team’s situation this campaign he has had to change his role, a part of the game which he accepts when the final result is more important than personal gain.  

“It is frustrating in terms of goals because I didn’t score the amount that I can but I have been more involved in team play and have been trying to help the lads by doing some hard work for the team, provide assists for the boys and now I have seven games to go.

“We have been in the relegation battle and the manager has wanted us to stay more solid and more compact so we are not thinking about ‘Christian has to score’ because we just want to win and get some points so as a striker it is hard because you want to score but you have to think about the team first and then about you.”

The 27 year-old comes up against now comes up against a club where he spent just over a year and has no regrets about his time at Anfield but now goes into Saturday’s game hoping that home advantage will prove decisive as Palace battle crucial points.

“It’s going to be a great game and will be a good test for us again, the last one against one of the big teams this season so we need to look forward to it and enjoy the match. It is going to be tough but we are playing at home so everything is possible.

“I don’t have regrets about my time at Liverpool because everything happens for a reason, I just tried to enjoy my time there and be part of the family.”   

Watch the full interview with Christian now or if viewing on the App go to Palace TV on the bottom menu. 

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