COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Liverpool must not underestimate the threat of former striker Christian Benteke as they prepare to face Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Benteke’s Liverpool career never really got going and it would be fair to say the striker failed during his time at Anfield.
The £32million man was under immense pressure to perform after producing heroics at Aston Villa the season before but the Liverpool shirt always appeared to weigh heavily on his muscular shoulders.
However, since joining Palace in the summer, Benteke’s form has been revitalised and his influence on the team has become paramount.
In seven league appearances for Palace Benteke has scored three goals – just seven less than the total he scored in a year while at Liverpool.
Benteke’s aerial threat has returned and he demonstrated this with a sublime hat-trick for Belgium when they thrashed Gibraltar 6-0 at the beginning of the month.
The £27 million fee Palace paid for Benteke seems to have paid off so far, despite concerns his confidence had been slashed during an unsuccessful spell with Liverpool.
The striker could come back to haunt Liverpool on Saturday though, with his aerial prowess proving to be the biggest threat.
Liverpool’s back line have struggled to deal with set-pieces and the majority of their 11 goals conceded in the league this season have come from situations where a high ball has been played into the box.
With Loris Karius in goal, Liverpool have inexperience at the back and they could be exploited by Benteke, who will no doubt be hungry to make amends for his poor Reds career.
In other Liverpool news, former midfielder Xabi Alonso has given his verdict on the influence of Jurgen Klopp.