Pulis relishing Reds test

  • Last Updated: May 4 2014, 13:21 BST

Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis is urging his players to show no fear when they face up to Liverpool's world-class forward line on Monday.

Tony Pulis: Demanding a performance from his players on Monday
Tony Pulis: Demanding a performance from his players on Monday

The Reds can return to the top of the Barclays Premier League for 48 hours at least with a win at Palace, who have already guaranteed their top-flight status for another season.

The Eagles will need to contain Liverpool's ferocious duo Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, who have scored 50 league goals between them this campaign, and Pulis wants his players to relish the challenge.

"There's not many occasions where you play against such great players and when you do I think it's more of a challenge and something to look forward to and enjoy - not something to be afraid of," Pulis said.

"Without a shadow of a doubt Suarez is one of the best forwards in the world.

"He's unbelievable, he's got unbelievable balance - people always talk about what he can do technically but great players have great balance.

"They can move themselves off angles at full pace and he can do that.

"He's got that awareness and everything that goes towards being a great player."

Suarez excelled from the moment he arrived in England in 2011 but Sturridge took longer to find his feet in the Premier League.

Manchester City and Chelsea both struggled to get the best out of the England speed merchant before Liverpool made their move in January 2013.

Sturridge has netted 25 goals in all competitions this season already and Pulis believes Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers deserves credit for the 24-year-old's success.

"Sturridge has been outstanding this year," Pulis said.

"He's obviously travelled and been around a few clubs - it didn't fall for him at Chelsea but Brendan has got the best out of him.

"A lot of people thought his best position was coming off the line out wide and I think at Liverpool he has done that as well and done really well.

"You have to give credit to Brendan for going and getting him and backing him to be a success which he has been."

Palace's resurgence since Pulis took over in November has been built on a mean defence that has kept 12 clean sheets during his tenure.

The Eagles have also shown speed on the counter-attack and penetration out wide but Pulis admits his own team's attacking flair is often overlooked.

"It doesn't worry me what anyone says," Pulis said.

"My view is you play to what you've got and the strengths you've got and do the best you can with what you've got.

"Yannick Bolasie has been outstanding for us, Jason Puncheon has been oustanding, Cameron Jerome and Marouane Chamakh have been very, very good.

"If there is a criticism of the team it's that we haven't taken as many of the chances we've created that we should have.

"That would be a fair criticism but those attackers have worked hard without the ball as well. We attack as a team and we defend as a team."