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Liverpool can build momentum over Christmas, says Christian Benteke

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Christian Benteke insists Liverpool can build momentum during the busy Christmas period and pick up crucial points.

The Reds have hit a dull patch of form and picked up just one point in their last three games, and most recently lost 3-0 away at Watford on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's men currently sit ninth in the Premier League but are only five points away from fourth placed Spurs.

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Liverpool host surprise league leaders Leicester City on Boxing Day and the Foxes found success in their most recent trip to Merseyside last weekend where they beat Everton 3-2.

Although Benteke admits that the match on December 26 against Claudio Ranieri's men will be a stiff task, the Belgium international is relishing the hectic schedule.

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“It's a special period because you have Christmas and New Year and a lot of games coming up,” the 25-year-old told Liverpoolfc.com. “It's a chance for us to win some games.

“Everyone knows that we have a very big squad with a lot of quality. We have to try to put that quality together.

“They [Leicester] won't just sit back and wait for a mistake.

“They will want to play and show that they have the quality to play. That's why they're first in the league.

“The Premier League is the strongest league in the world. You can see this year it's really strong.

“Of course we have to respect them but when we play them we have to do everything to try to get the three points.

“I'm feeling good and I want to play because it's a big game. But it's up to the manager and I respect his decision.”

Poor Form

Since his £32.5 million summer move from Aston Villa, Benteke has yet to hit the ground running at Anfield.

The former Genk man has scored just five goals in 18 appearances for Liverpool and has not netted since his side met Bordeaux in the Europa League almost one month ago.

Benteke put in a dismal display in the Reds' shock 2-0 loss against struggling Newcastle United earlier this month and wasn't much better in the Merseyside outfit's 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion on home soil one week later.

Klopp showed his frustration with Benteke by dropping him to the bench against Watford and the 6'3" striker did not emerge until the 75th minute when the game was already done and dusted.

Does Not Suit Style

What Benteke has failed to show at Liverpool is his willingness to adapt to the new style of play.

At Aston Villa, he was the main man and both Paul Lambert and Tim Sherwood catered around his attributes. They got balls into wide areas that searched for the head of the Democratic Republic of Congo-born forward which allowed him to use his physical presence to dominate defenders in the box.

Benteke scored 42 Premier League goals in 89 appearances for an Aston Villa side who fought relegation for the three years he was there and gained a ruthless reputation.

Sherwood warned that Benteke may not have success if he joined Liverpool during the summer and it seems that he was right.

“We cross more balls into the box than any other club in the league and Christian has said that he feeds off crosses,” Sherwood said.

“There’s no point going to a club where they don’t cross the ball. All he’s got to do is look at history and see what has happened to players who have left other clubs."

Klopp insists his side move off the ball and create openings around the back; however, Benteke is a target-man who wants the ball into his feet and can play it backwards before using his power to get himself into the box.

Deja Vu

Many Kopites were suspicious of Benteke's move when it was announced. In recent years, they'd witnessed players with a similar profile as his flop on the main stage.

First it was Andy Carroll before both Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli failed to prove their stock. Those three men are very similar to Benteke in terms of their physical size and preferred style of football and the trio all did not cut the mustard and were soon moved along.

There've been rumours that Benteke could be set for a move away from Liverpool as early as January. With Danny Ings injured for the rest of the season and Daniel Sturridge's fitness being unreliable, it's unlikely that will be the case, but he does have to improve significantly.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Christian Benteke
Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Football

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