Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is quietly determined to defy Liverpool on Wednesday, but admits his side could struggle against a team which “crush anything that comes before them”.
Liverpool sit 20 points clear of Manchester City and need five points from eight games to lift the Premier League title.
Their procession to the title is built on 27 wins from their first 29 games, including the late victory over Palace in November, secured via Roberto Firmino’s late winner.
“I don’t like to talk about advantages when you are playing a team that are obviously better than you,” Hodgson told Sky Sports ahead of the reverse fixture at Anfield.
“They are so far ahead of us in the table and have had such a fantastic season. It’s basically just a trot to the title as far as they are concerned.
“It is disappointing, I suppose, for teams like ourselves that have to go up and play them, that they don’t show any signs of relenting in any way.
“They still seem determined to crush anything that comes before them. All we can do, really, is try get our game together and put up as good a performance as we possibly can.
“You relish facing Liverpool and Manchester City not because you think we’ll have an easy game, you relish it because it proves to you that you are at the very top level of football you can reach in England.”
HODGSON IMPRESSED BY JORDAN AYEW
Hodgson also praised Ghana international striker Jordan Ayew, who has scored nine Premier League goals for Crystal Palace this season – more than the likes of Firmino or Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli.
“Jordan has been very good. I have seen a constant improvement in his game,” added Hodgson.
“He has always had the attitude and desire and now he’s fitting in better and better here. All the work he has been doing is now being crowned by scoring and making goals.”
Hodgson briefly managed Liverpool in 2010-2011, a stint followed by spells with West Bromwich Albion and eventually England.
The 72-year-old left his post with the Three Lions in 2016 and joined Palace the following year.