FULHAM VS. LIVERPOOL
| Sunday, December 13th |
Premier League | Craven Cottage
4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST
The Reds may see some timely returns to their team when they travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham on Sunday. Alisson Becker and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could both feature. Sad news for Caoimhin Kelleher, who made the most of his opportunity taking over between the posts for in Alisson’s absence.
Liverpool will look to break their poor spell of away performances in London. They haven’t won away from home in the Premier League since their trip to Stamford Bridge on September 20th. In the following four league away matches, they conceded 11 goals while losing once against Aston Villa and drawing the next three. Fulham have only won two league games in total this season, one home and one away, and currently sit in 17th place.
After feeling that rush of adrenaline that comes from having actual fans in the stands for the first time in months, the Reds will feel in from the other side. 2,000 Fulham fans have been cleared to attend the match.
The big question of the day will be if Klopp plans to rest players with an eye towards the midweek clash with Tottenham. Diogo Jota picked up a knock and will likely not be risked. Mohamed Salah was the only player in Klopp’s preferred attacking trio who went a full 90 minutes against FC Midtjylland. Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino both in off the bench in the second half. It could be that Salah gets a break this time around.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Oxlade-Chamberlain can hopefully make it to the bench, but probably won’t start. It’s believe that Alisson will be ready by Sunday, so he should slide right back into his spot. However, it’s possible that Klopp takes a more conservative approach and entrusts Kelleher for one more game.
The list of Liverpool’s injured players alone could probably finish in the top six. Jota and Kostas Tsimikas are both doubtful after picking up knocks in Denmark. Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara, Joe Gomez, James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri remain out of the team for the time being.
Fulham, meanwhile, with no European football to contend with, have a healthy squad to take on the Reds. Only Kenny Tete and Terence Kongolo are doubtful.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “When I do the analysis for a game, we now are on matchday 11 and I didn’t see all 11 games, but I saw the last three. Yes, of course, they are growing and that is a normal process, by the way, and when you see then the number of points in that area of the table, it is not that somebody is already out of the race or something like that. They all have all the chance to stay in [the league] and Fulham is even in a slightly better position than others.”
Scott Parker: “That’s what our game’s about, playing with that passion and dynamism that fans bring. We’re fortunate that we have fans in our stadium this weekend, and we’re looking forward to that. It was a long, hard season last year and there was a crucial part of that season when we were getting promoted at Wembley, where our fans were not there to enjoy it. We’re looking forward to it, I’m sure they are as well, and hopefully it gives us that little bit more.”
Referee: Andre Marriner. Assistants: Scott Ledger, Simon Long. Fourth official: Keith Stroud. VAR: Lee Mason. Assistant VAR: James Mainwaring.
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM 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.