LIVERPOOL VS FULHAM: PREVIEW
Liverpool have won each of their last four league fixtures, seeing them rise into 5th position. The Reds host Marco Silva’s Fulham side tomorrow night (7pm GMT kickoff) aiming to keep this recent winning run going. Here’s the match preview.
Last time out at Anfield, Jürgen Klopp oversaw another madcap last gasp victory as Tottenham Hotspur were put to the sword. An unbelievable start had seen the Reds go 3-0 up inside 15 minutes. However, a collective drop in standards allowed the North Londoners get back into the game.
Worryingly, not even halftime could arrest the slide. Spurs emerged from the break intent on fighting their way back. The Reds were as passive as they were dominant in the opening quarter of an hour. Spurs deserved to pull it back to 3-3.
Diogo Jota was the calmest man inside Anfield when in the 95th minute, he collected Lucas Moura’s attempted backpass before firing into the bottom corner. His iconic celebration will no doubt evoke fond memories in years to come.
That game had everything that’s been great, poor and curious about this season. The side threatened to blow Spurs away just as they had done to Manchester United, Rangers, Bournemouth and Leeds. They then showed the fragility that has seen them fall so far off the pace this campaign.
The curious part was they were still able to overcome the ignominy of blowing a three goal lead (with an Evertonian netting the late equaliser for his very first goal all season), to go up the other end and net the winner like it was just another Saturday.
It’s been a bonkers season, and it all started with tomorrow night’s opponents. Fulham on opening day was perhaps a sign of what was to come. Marco Silva’s men twice took the lead, with the Reds having to fight hard to even leave with a point.
Fulham gave the Reds a game, with their midfield trio of Palhinha, Reed and Pereira proving more than a match for the Liverpool trio that started the last Champions League final. Aleksandar Mitrovic was also a handful, terrorising the backline throughout and scoring twice.
The Londoners have enjoyed a strong campaign after securing promotion in grand style under Marco Silva. They’re comfortably midtable, sitting 10th in the table – 5 points clear of Palace in 11th and 5 behind Brentford in 9th.
They’ve played some wonderful stuff at times this season, enjoying a run in the FA Cup before falling to Manchester United in the quarter finals under controversial circumstances. Unfortunately, star man Mitrovic was handed a hefty ban following that game.
The Serb remains unavailable as he continues to serve his suspension. In the six games since he was banned, the Cottagers have lost four times, winning just twice. Manager Jürgen Klopp hasn’t had it his own way against Fulham since taking charge of the Reds.
In five meetings, the German has only overseen two victories. In fact Liverpool have failed to beat Fulham in any of their last three meetings (2 draws, 1 defeat). The Cottagers ran out 1-0 victors on their last trip to Anfield, bookending a nightmarish run of six home defeats on the spin for the Reds.
Diogo Jota is a doubt with a back injury. The Portuguese international has not trained since netting a stoppage time winner against Spurs. Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita meanwhile have resumed light training but still remain unavailable.
Thiago Alcantara requires surgery on a hip problem and has been ruled out of the season as a result. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calvin Ramsay and Stefan Bajcetic are all out.
For Fulham, Andreas Pereira (leg), Layvin Kurzawa (knee), Tim Ream (arm) and Willian Borges (muscle) are all out through injury, whilst their topscorer, Mitrovic, serves the seventh of his eight game ban.
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