Liverpool may have thrashed fellow title contenders Arsenal in their last game, but this next test will pit them against a side who have also caused a recent upset. Fulham’s draw with Manchester United has at least given them a chance of survival, although they’ll have it all to do as they face a Reds side in the confidence of their lives.
Fulham’s defensive display in that game at Old Trafford was one of the best they have orchestrated this term, even if their manager René Meulensteen labelled their opponents’ tactics as “straightforward”. However, to say that their relegation woes are over would be a complete exaggeration, with the Craven Cottage outfit still having it all to do if they are to avoid the trap door this year. The Cottagers are currently four points adrift of safety at the bottom of the division and while that point against United has aided their cause, their recent overall record is still poor. Prior to that draw, they had lost three games on the bounce with one of those being against Sheffield United in the FA Cup. Having also lost three of their last four home games, it will now be interesting to see if that result at Old Trafford was just a mere flash in the pan.
Liverpool meanwhile still hold mild title aspirations, even if the Reds are seven points away from current leaders Chelsea. Nevertheless, they could close that gap to just four with the right set of results this week, although Brendan Rodgers’ main aim must be to surely cement a top four finish which would gift them Champions League football next term. Some have described Liverpool’s attacking play as the best in Europe, which is hardly surprising when you look at the style they exerted in their 5-1 demolition of Arsenal. That win means that the club are unbeaten in 2014, while on the road they have won two of their three away games this year.
As for team news, Fulham fans will probably have to wait before they can set eyes on new signing Kostas Mitroglou who is still struggling with a knee injury. It’s bad news at the opposite end of the field as well, with the Cottagers also without Fernando Amorebieta due to a fitness problem. It’s mixed for the visitors on the other hand, with Brendan Rodgers firstly without Jose Enrique, Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho due to injury. However, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson will both return to the reckoning after recovering from their respective problems.
Fulham may have recorded an unlikely point at Old Trafford in their last match, but we don’t think lightning will strike twice. They’re up against an in-form Liverpool side and we just don’t think the Cottagers will be able to deal with their attacking prowess. With that, our tip will be a 3-1 victory for Brendan Rodgers’ side.