Why Rodgers should start this Liverpool player against Crystal Palace

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana impressed during his 10-minute cameo in the 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in midweek.

Liverpool attacking midfielder Adam Lallana appears in good shape following his recent struggles with fitness and should be in line to start the FA Cup encounter against Crystal Palace.

The Reds have a number of important games coming up, starting with a trip to Selhurst Park in the FA Cup, before taking on Beskitas in the Europa League and Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium in the Premier League.

Three matches in seven days is going to be a big ask, and boss Brendan Rodgers will need to play his cards right in order to come out with three victories which could go some way to defining their season.

An FA Cup triumph this season would represent a huge coup, and it has become a very realistic trophy to win given the astounding shocks in the third and the fourth rounds of the competition.

Rodgers should prioritise this match against Palace over Thursday’s clash against Besiktas at Anfield, therefore a strong frontline and the inclusion of attacking midfielder Lallana is a must.

The 26-year-old made a slow start to life on Merseyside, but the Reds’ switch in system and a return to their high-pressing game has brought out some startling performances from him over the past six weeks.

  Goals per GameShots per GameKey Passes per GameTouches per GameAccurate Passes per GameBall Recoveries per GameAppearancesMins Played
Adam Lallana 0.33 2.33 1.5 46.5 24.67 4.33 6 413

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Lallana has become an influential figure in the Reds’ first team since the festive period and has contributed greatly as a creative force.

The Englishman has scored two goals in his past six matches, averaging 2.33 shots and 1.5 key passes per game, while also working hard defensively, illustrated by his impressive high average of ball recoveries.

The former Southampton midfielder started on the substitutes' bench against Tottenham Hotspur in midweek, but his introduction late on sparked a late rally and it was his assist which handed Mario Balotelli the chance to score the winner.

Fitness is key for Lallana right now, and his inclusion on Saturday – followed by a midweek rest - will stand him in good stead ahead of next weekend’s crunch Premier League clash at Southampton.

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