Pulis not surprised by Liverpool rise

The Crystal Palace manager believes "people forget" how much Liverpool have spent to assemble their title-chasing squad and insists their title challenge should be no surprise
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis insists it should be no surprise that Liverpool are contending for the Premier League title.

Liverpool finished 28 points behind champions Manchester United in the 2012-13 campaign and were also well outside of European contention.

22/1 Crystal Palace are 22/1 with Bet365 to beat Liverpool 1-0 at Selhurst Park
There was significant improvement early this season from Brendan Rodgers' men, as they entered the New Year just inside the top four, before they burst into life with an 11-match winning streak beginning in February.

Despite Liverpool's dominance surprising some, Pulis - who has commandeered Palace to safety after a dire opening under Ian Holloway - says Liverpool are simply reaching expectations set by their large transfer spending.

"If you look at Liverpool, it is on a different level from this football club in every way, shape and form," Pulis told reporters.

"I think there has been a lot of investment in Liverpool. I think people forget.

"When Kenny (Dalglish) was there, they spent over £100m. I think Brendan has spent over £100m, they are paying players in excess of hundreds of thousands of pounds a week.

"I think the biggest bonus for Liverpool has been the fact that they have had no cup competitions or Europe to worry about so they could focus from week to week so that certainly helps you.

"Is it a surprise they are title contenders? No, not when you look at Daniel Sturridge and the quality they have got up front. They will score goals."

Liverpool were beaten by Chelsea last weekend and Pulis' Palace can further shatter the Reds' title ambitions when they host them at Selhurst Park on Monday, with Rodgers' side unable to drop more points if they are to hold off Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

And Pulis refuted the notion Palace might not be worried about playing to win against the title aspirants, as the London club have already secured Premier League football for next season.

"I care about this game and I am sure the players do. It is our last home game of the season so it is very, very important that we try and finish on a high," he said.

"That is our tribute to the supporters for the way they have got behind us this year. We owe them a performance - and everyone in the Barclays Premier League a performance."