Fulham vs. Liverpool: 10 key things to know ahead of the first of 6 must-wins

Liverpool face another awkward Premier League clash at Fulham on Sunday, but only a win will do for the Reds in the title race.

Fulham vs. Liverpool

Premier League (33) | Craven Cottage
April 21, 2024 | 4.30pm (BST)

Jurgen Klopp‘s side have had a real wobble of late, not least at home to Crystal Palace last weekend, but more slip-ups cannot be afforded now.

On Sunday, Liverpool head to a Fulham side with little to play for this season, but that’s not to say it won’t be a tough assignment.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.


1. The first of six probable must-wins

BERGAMO, ITALY - Thursday, April 18, 2024: Liverpool's lm' waves to supporters after the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between BC Atalanta and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Liverpool’s Europa League dream over, it is now sole focus on the league and these six mammoth remaining fixtures this season.

The likelihood is that the Reds will have to win every game to have any chance of glory, given Man City‘s relentlessness and kind run-in.

That starts at Fulham on Sunday, but huge improvements are required if Liverpool are to get close to finishing with a 100 percent record.

Without being too negative, current evidence suggests that points will be dropped in more games than not.

Klopp’s reign can’t go out in a whimper, though, so here’s hoping the German and his players have a legendary last hurrah in them.


2. Fulham Premier League also-rans this season

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 12, 2023: Fulham's manager Marco Silva during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Fulham FC at Goodison Park. Fulham won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are battles going on at the top and bottom of the Premier League, as well as the top four race, but Fulham aren’t involved in any of them.

Marco Silva’s side have been one of the more forgettable teams in the division this season, but that’s a compliment if anything.

Fulham sit 12th in the table heading into the weekend action, with Silva turning them into an established top-flight outfit.

The Cottagers have already won at home to Arsenal this season, which should act as a real warning sign to Liverpool.

Form – Last 5 in all competitions

Fulham (most recent L-R): W, L, L, D, W
Liverpool: W, L, L, D, W


3. Who’s injured for Liverpool?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 14, 2024: Liverpool's Conor Bradley is treated for an injury during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are again no new fitness concerns for Liverpool, which is one of the main positives on show currently.

Conor Bradley is still missing after suffering an ankle injury at home to Palace last Sunday, and his return to training is pencilled in for the start of May.

Nothing has changed regarding Joel Matip, Thiago and Ben Doak, all of whom likely won’t play again this season, while Stefan Bajcetic is working his way back to fitness after a run out with the under-21s.

Otherwise, Klopp has a fully fit squad to choose from.


4. Time to rotate the XI?

BERGAMO, ITALY - Thursday, April 18, 2024: Liverpool players line-up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between BC Atalanta and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp made three changes in the 1-0 win away to Atalanta on Thursday and you would not be surprised to see more rotation at Fulham.

Ibrahima Konate struggles to play matches in quickfire time and this would be a fourth in a row, so Jarell Quansah is likely to be preferred at the back.

Wataru Endo ought to come back in at the base of the midfield, allowing Alexis Mac Allister to push further up the pitch.

Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones are both struggling for top form, so it is easy to see either making way for Harvey Elliott.

Darwin Nunez may return to the attack, but in fairness to Cody Gakpo, he has been one of Liverpool’s better players of late and Diogo Jota ought to be in the running.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Elliot, Mac Allister; Salah, Diaz, Jota


5. How will Fulham line up?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo (L) and Liverpool's Luis Díaz during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fulham picked up an impressive 2-0 win away to West Ham last weekend and have had all week to prepare for Liverpool.

There is no reason for Silva to make changes to his team, especially given the result last time around, so the Cottagers could be unchanged.

Tosin Adarabioyo will again be a key man at centre-back, having enjoyed a strong season, while Liverpool-linked midfielder Joao Palhinha is a colossal tackling machine.

No player in the Premier League has made more tackles (130) this season.

Meanwhile, Alex Iwobi and Willian could be on either flank, with the impressive Rodrigo Muniz leading the line, scoring eight goals in 14 Premier League starts in 2023/24.

Possible Fulham XI: Leno; Castagne, Adarabioyo, Bassey, Robinson; Lukic, Palhinha; Iwobi, Pereira, Willian; Muniz


6. “We have to start turning it around”

When previewing the clash and run ahead, Klopp knows close to perfection is needed to stay in the title race:

“The thing is clear: if you want to be champion in the Premier League, you have to be close to perfection.

“And if we are not perfect, you have to deal with the setbacks in the best possible way or in the perfect way – and that’s what we are now doing.

“So we had a setback week, if you want, with three games we didn’t like too much, the results especially, and now we have to start turning it around.”


7. Past Craven Cottage thrillers

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 12, 2014: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring the third goal against Fulham from the penalty spot during the Premiership match at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There’s something about Liverpool and late drama at Fulham, with two Premier League classics standing out.

Yossi Benayoun’s last-gasp strike back in 2008/09 felt like it had put the Reds in control of the title race, in what was a moment for the ages.

Admittedly, Liverpool didn’t win the league that season, but it was still a goal that will be forever cherished.

Similarly, Steven Gerrard‘s stoppage-time penalty at Fulham in February 2014 felt like a huge goal, but Man City eventually prevailed in the title battle.

The Reds haven’t lost at Craven Cottage since December 2011, when Clint Dempsey scored the only goal, but they were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw there on the opening day of last season.

A nice serene win this time around would be much appreciated!


8. Did you know?

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the UEFA Europa League, quarter-final second leg match at the Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo, Italy. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2024.

Liverpool’s profligacy in front of goal has been well-documented of late and once grim statistic sums up their struggles.

The Reds have now failed to score a goal from open play in their last 337 minutes of action, going back to Luis Diaz‘s opener at Man United in the league.

Since then, only two Mohamed Salah penalties have been scored, which is a damning indictment of how wasteful Liverpool have been.

It’s not like they haven’t created a ton of chances in that time!


9. Pawson takes charge at Craven Cottage

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 21, 2023: Referee Craig Pawson shows a yellow card to Everton's Ashley Young during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 243rd Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Craig Pawson has been confirmed as the referee for Sunday’s game, in what is his third Liverpool match of 2023/24 to date.

The first was the 2-0 win at home to Everton in the Premier League, which saw him send off Ashley Young, and the second was the 3-0 victory over Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round.

Pawson was also the fourth official in the dramatic 2-1 win away to Newcastle earlier in the campaign, when Virgil van Dijk was shown an extended ban for his treatment of the officials.

Meanwhile, Tony Harrington is on VAR, Richard West is his assistant at Stockley Park, and Sam Allison is on fourth official duty.

Marc Perry and Wade Smith are Pawson’s assistant referees.


10. Follow the game with TIA

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: A general view before the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fulham vs. Liverpool is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 4pm (BST), with kickoff at 4.30pm.

Harry McMullen is on hand to provide you with minute-by-minute updates on TIA’s matchday live blog, keeping you company from 3.45pm.

Come on you Reds!