Its back to the bread and butter for The Reds on Sunday after Wednesday night’s Champions League heroics against Bayern Munich.
Liverpool travel to London to take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday. Form Labs are here to provide their betting preview for the clash with their top tips including some enhanced odds which are available on site.
It’s plain to see who arrives in the better form with the Cottagers losing 10 of their last 11 across all competitions as they conceded at least twice in each of these games, even if they have shown greater character in the two games under caretaker boss Scott Parker so far. They’ve also been roundly beaten by the all the ‘Big Six’ outfits this term, losing all 10 encounters as eight came by at least a two-goal margin. By contrast, we’ve won 14 of 15 unbeaten matches with bottom-half sides this term as the exception came in the recent Merseyside derby, with nine of these victories coming by at least two clear goals as we’ve netted a minimum of three times in six of the last eight of these.
Fulham were far too open early on in the season under Slavisa Jokanovic and the appointment of Claudio Ranieri was meant to shore things up at the back. However, while the Italian threw out the pretty passing triangles in favour of a more robust and direct approach, it didn’t achieve results and the Fulham faithful were left scratching their heads at the lack of game time for English starlet Ryan Sessegnon, as well as the deployment of Tom Cairney out on the wing – with the captain having been instrumental in the centre during their promotion campaign. Scott Parker has seen fit to restore old methods will Fulham having nothing to lose at this stage, though they may well make our task an easier one if they come out and play against the high press.
The Champions League win over Bayern saw Jordan Henderson come off after just 13 minutes after rolling his ankle, while Klopp may also be deprived of another central midfielder as Naby Keita missed the midweek action and didn’t even make the 21-man squad. However, the German need not fret over his options with Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum clearly established in the first team. This may be an occasion to use them as a double pivot and put Xherdan Shaqiri into the side, or alternatively he can deploy Milner in the middle with those two guaranteed starters. With the international break around the corner, there shouldn’t be undue concern over the state of the engine room.
Nothing has really changed for Fulham in the injury department, but it’s worth noting the long-term absence of centre-back Alfie Mawson, who is set for a second consecutive relegation after going down with Swansea last term. He was however one of their more consistent performers and Fulham have struggled badly without him, losing 89% of the 18 games he’s missed compared to just 42% of the 12 he’s started.
There’s not much hope for Fulham at this stage of the season and the best Scott Parker can aim for is to restore some pride. However, our boys will be full of confidence having just beaten Bayern 3-1 on their own patch, and given Fulham’s record when facing anyone of real quality, we ought to be able to see them off comfortably. They’ve lost both halves in four of their last six and in over half their encounters with the ‘Big Six’, including against us earlier in the campaign, and we expect to do so again.