Jurgen Klopp has insisted “every game is like a Champions League qualifier” for his Liverpool team between now and the end of the season.
The Reds head to Selhurst Park eighth in the Premier League table, seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham but with two games in hand.
The league looks like Liverpool’s best route to Champions League qualification for next season following a 5-2 defeat in the first-leg, round of 16 fixture to Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Liverpool drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace at Anfield in August and Klopp knows the return fixture won’t be easy on Saturday evening.
He said: “Yes this game will be a tough one, but for us every game now is like a Champions League qualifier. Nobody knows if we can do it because that’s in our hands, but three points will take us in the right direction.
“Three points, that’s our Champions League right there.”
Goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah put Liverpool 2-0 up in 15 minutes against Madrid until the visitors rallied to score five goals in response. Klopp said the night was “not really helpful” but that his team have now been preparing for the trip to Palace where they will “hopefully do the right things and get some points.”
The German highlighted some positives taken from the midweek defeat ahead of the Red’s trip to London: “I don’t know a lot of teams who would have used our few mistakes like Madrid did, now we play against Crystal Palace and we respect them a lot, but we have to cause them problems.
“They’re incredibly difficult games, really tough with a good atmosphere. I really respect a lot about what they are doing because it’s really tough in London between all the massive clubs and finding a way over the years through their youth department. They have some really interesting players.
“They’re a really cool club in a really cool stadium. I only ever remember super difficult games against them.”
Klopp believes the key to having a successful end to the season is in stability. He said: “Everything has an influence on confidence, nobody gives you confidence, you have to let it happen.
“If you cut out all of the disappointment from the whole world, then you have to try to focus on the good things, and you go from there. We’ve got a lot of good things, but they’re not stable yet.
“We need to find some consistency in the way we play. We have to start believing in ourselves.”
Klopp emphasised not pushing players too hard who are returning from injuries such as Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and Ibrahima Konate: “We have to make changes, we will make changes. But it’s not like you can come back after a long injury and it just clicks again.
“With Virgil as well, everyone expects Virgil, (to be) pretty much like a robot. He played most games last year, played every game in the World Cup for his country. He gets injured and he comes back and plays and plays and plays.”
Liverpool face Crystal Palace on Saturday (Feb 25) at 19:45 KO on Sky Sports Premier League.