Liverpool host relegation-threatened Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, with three points essential in the top four battle.
Liverpool vs. Fulham
Sunday, March 7, 2021 – 2pm (GMT)
Premier League (28)
Referee: Kevin Friend
Is this all just a bad dream now?
Liverpool’s disastrous season suffered yet another big blow on Thursday night, as Chelsea won 1-0 in richly deserved fashion at Anfield.
Not only was the result hugely damaging in the Reds’ quest to qualify for the Champions League, but it also meant they have lost five home league games in succession for the first time ever.
Every time a glimmer of positivity arrives, another shocking defeat is never far away and Jurgen Klopp‘s men are now at a point where they simply can’t afford to lose many more games.
The weekend visit of Fulham would have been a home banker this time last year, but this is a very different Liverpool side we are watching.
They are frail, injury-ravaged and seemingly there for the taking in most matches, so Scott Parker and his struggling team will be eyeing a shock.
The Cottagers’ form has been improved in recent months, allowing the great escape to become possible, but Liverpool must get the better of them on Sunday.
If not, the Reds’ world will cave in that little bit more.
Just when it appears as though Liverpool’s rotten luck with injuries may be easing, Klopp is on-hand to confirm another fitness issue.
Ozan Kabak looks like the latest addition to the treatment table, with the manager confirming that he is a doubt for the weekend action.
A centre-back berth appears more likely for the Brazilian, though, considering there are more midfield options than defensive ones.
Klopp has an otherwise fit squad to pick from, barring the obvious long-term casualties, and it could be that rotation is on the cards at Anfield.
Fulham have no new injury problems to worry about, so Parker may opt to field this XI that lost 1-0 at home to Tottenham on Thursday.
Possible Fulham XI: Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson; Reed, Lemina; Loftus-Cheek, Lookman, Cavaleiro; Maja
Last 5 at Home to Fulham (All Competitions)
Won 2-0 – November 2018 (Salah, Shaqiri)
Won 4-0 – November 2013 (Amorebieta OG, Skrtel, Suarez x2)
Won 4-0 – December 2012 (Skrtel, Gerrard, Downing, Suarez)
Lost 1-0 – May 2012 (Skrtel OG)
Won 1-0 – January 2011 (Pantsil OG)
Did You Know?
Liverpool’s front three have been a shadow of their former selves as a unit this season, with one painful statistic summing up their woes.
Incredibly, the trio have scored just eight times in open play at Anfield in the whole of 2020/21, in all competitions, which is almost impossible to comprehend.
Mohamed Salah and Firmino have three apiece – the former is easily the least culpable and has scored five home penalties – while Mane has found the net just twice on home soil.
Imagine being told that back in September!
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Fulham – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking to the media on Friday, Klopp was full of praise for Fulham, highlighting the threat they will pose:
“For Fulham, a difficult start but in the last few weeks for sure they’ve got more points than we’ve got and that says everything so it will be a tough one.
“It’s a football-playing team. They have an incredible possession record for a team in that area of the table so they tried their way and it looks like it will work out.
“I hope we can have a little bit more possession and can create more problems for them but we have to be ready for a proper game because we shouldn’t make the mistake to judge Fulham because of their position in the table.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Liverpool vs. Fulham will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event, with coverage from 1pm (GMT) on the former, ahead of the 2pm kickoff.
Ben Twelves is in charge of our matchday live blog, keeping you entertained and up-to-date from 1.15pm.