Liverpool vs Fulham
| Sunday, November 11th |
Premier League | Anfield
12PM GMT/7AM EST
Liverpool look to rebound from a terrible performance in Belgrade midweek when they host Fulham at Anfield. The biggest team news is that both Jordan Henderson and Naby Keïta are available for Jürgen Klopp to use on this weekend after both have spent several weeks on the trainer’s table. This is excellent news for those who felt that Liverpool’s midfield has been lackluster without Henderson’s leadership and Keïta’s attacking instincts guiding them.
Despite this recent ebb in their performances, Liverpool are still unbeaten in the league while newly promoted Fulham are strong contenders for getting the drop this season. Slavisa Jokanovic’s men are propping up the table, having only earned five points and scored 11 goals in the first 11 games of the season. Liverpool, meanwhile, have only conceded one goal at Anfield in the league this season.
It’s likely that Roberto Firmino will return to the starting line-up after being replaced by Daniel Sturridge in Belgrade. With Manchester City running away with the goal difference, this would hopefully be a good game to try and cut into that lead a bit.
But that’s a bit of putting the cart before the horse. Let’s first make sure that Liverpool wins that game. With the defense solid, the creativity and link up between the midfield and attack is the Reds’ biggest concern. A stagnant midfield has failed to help ignite the considerable talent in Liverpool’s attack, and a fix is needed — the sooner, the better.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Keïta; Mané, Shaqiri, Salah; Firmino
It won’t be surprising to see Keïta start on the bench after being carried off the pitch on a stretcher while playing for Senegal less than a month ago. If he is relegated to the bench, we can hopefully expect to see him earn some minutes in the second half. This could also be a good match for Henderson to stamp his mark on alongside Gini. Then, of course, there’s Fabinho and Milner to choose from as well. Klopp is spoiled for choice, but the trick is finding the right combination to get the best results.
Dejan Lovren is also available for Klopp, while Gomez was a doubt after dealing with an Achilles issue. The English international is available, but Klopp will likely see this one as a good chance for him to rest. On the other hand, if Gomez really is 100% fit, then it may be him in Lovren’s place, or the boss may choose to play Gomez at right back again instead of Alexander-Arnold.
With Shaqiri fresh after remaining on Merseyside instead of traveling to Serbia, it’s likely that he finds his way into the starting XI for this one.
Klopp has a full strength squad, aside from some who may not yet be at match fitness. Though, of course, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains sadly unavailable.
Fulham, on the other hand, will be without Kevin McDonald and Joe Bryan.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “The season so far-wise, points-wise in the Premier League, has been really successful.
“But it doesn’t really feel like that because there are two reasons in comparison with last year: free-flowing football in a few games and Man City and maybe Chelsea and a few others play a very good season as well.
”It feels a bit like this season can only be a success if we become champions this year. In a year our competitors are the champions of last year, the champions of two years ago, a more refreshed Arsenal and a more experienced Tottenham and Manchester United.
Slavisa Jokanovic: “My mentality is always the same. I want to find brave people around me. We must move out of our comfort zone, push harder and be more competitive.
”After a tough two-and-a-half years in the Championship, we cannot give up now. We must show ambition and pride.”
Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Adrian Holmes, Mick McDonough Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh
Kickoff is set for 12PM GMT/7AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.