Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has said that Liverpool are underperforming considering the squad of players available to boss Jurgen Klopp and pinpoints their defence as a weakness, The Sun reports.
The Reds head in to their encounter against Palace on Sunday currently lying in 8th position in the Premier League table and presiding over a 12-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Pardew, however, feels Liverpool should be in the top four with the players at their disposal, and has identified their back-four as a problem area they have had for some time.
“I thought that squad was a top-four squad at the start of the season — and I have not changed my mind. There is expectation there, for sure,” Pardew explained.
“We need to try and capitalise on what they are not good at and defending is an issue that club has had for some time and we aim to exploit that.”
With Liverpool not shy when it comes to signing players, some could argue they ought to have a top-four squad, a;though it’s easy to forget how much their nearest rivals are also spending.
Pardew’s comments appear to be a tool used to heap the pressure on newly-appointed Reds boss Klopp, but the popular German has instead often played down the expectations of a top-four finish.
It will take time for the former Borussia Dortmund coach to stamp his mark at Anfield, but in the light of Chelsea’s struggles a top-four finish does seem that little bit more realistic this season.
Palace, in contrast, have gone off the boil a bit in recent weeks and Pardew’s side are now looking for their first league win in four attempts.