Sam Allardyce urges Christian Benteke to keep his focus at Liverpool
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 21/04/17 11:03pm
Christian Benteke has been warned not to allow his desire to prove a point to Liverpool to affect his focus when Crystal Palace visit Anfield.
Sunday's fixture, live on Sky Sports, represents Benteke's first visit to Anfield since his £27m summer transfer ended a miserable 12 months in which he struggled to establish himself after joining Liverpool from Aston Villa for £32.5m.
Following Jurgen Klopp's appointment as Brendan Rodgers' successor, Benteke became a peripheral figure who only appeared a substitute during the Europa League final and completely missed the final of the Capital One Cup.
But Allardyce's arrival at Palace has sparked an upturn in the striker's fortunes and he has played a key role in their survival bid with three goals in the last four games.
Allardyce said: "I don't want him to get over zealous about trying to do something a bit special that may harm the team's performance.
"Trying to do that last dribble or trying to do that last flick or trick to show (Liverpool) what they might be missing. Great if it comes off, but if it doesn't it can be costly.
"If you go back to one of your old clubs you always want to show what you might be missing.
"I'd like to see him carry on playing the way he has been, certainly in the last six, seven or eight games. Since he came back from international duty, the goals are coming back.
"He's working much harder and he's creating more opportunities for himself, the players are creating more opportunities for him to score. He will want to do very well but I don't want him to lose what he's been offering the team by trying to do too much."
The terms of Mamadou Sakho's loan agreement means he is ineligible to play against his parent club, but James Tomkins has been declared fit and James McArthur and Loic Remy have also returned to contention.
Their availability comes as Palace begin a period of three matches in seven days, when they host Tottenham and then Burnley after returning from Anfield, and when the manager plans to rotate his team.
"We have got six games to save ourselves, but we want to do it as quickly as possible," Allardyce said.
"If we are going to do it in the next three games it will be pretty difficult, and my problem is when we come to Burnley they won't have played for a week when we play them.
"It means I am going to have to pick a side for Sunday, then a different side for Wednesday and then for Saturday, because I certainly won't be able to play the same team for all three. We have proved that we can't cope with that."
Watch Liverpool v Crystal Palace on Super Sunday. Coverage begins on Sky Sports 1 HD at 4:15pm.