Preview: Fulham vs. Liverpool – prediction, team news, lineups

Having competed in Europe for the final time under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool resume their quest for Premier League supremacy on Sunday, travelling to mid-table Fulham.

The Reds’ Europa League journey ended at the hands of Atalanta BC in midweek, while Marco Silva’s men have had a week to dissect an eye-catching 2-0 triumph over West Ham United.

Match preview

Had it not been for the efforts of a beleaguered Lukasz Fabianski, Fulham could and probably should have posted a more emphatic margin of victory against a West Ham side pre-occupied with Europa League thoughts, but Silva’s troops were perfectly happy to declare at two.

Both of the Cottagers’ strikes at the London Stadium came via the boot of Andreas Pereira, who firstly capitalised on a Dinos Mavropanos error to fire home into the roof of the net, before making an untracked run into the box and tapping in from Alex Iwobi’s low cross in the second period.

By virtue of ending a three-game winless run in the top flight, Fulham are now assured of their Premier League status for 2024-25 and can enjoy a stress-free stroll to the finish line in 12th place in the rankings, just two points behind Brighton & Hove Albion in the top half having played a game more.

Success on the road last weekend was a collector’s item for the Cottagers, though, as 28 of their 42 points in the current Premier League season have been won on home soil, and only the top six sides have performed better on their own patch than Silva’s men in 2023-24.

Newcastle United may have come away from Craven Cottage with a 1-0 success to their name on April 6, but it has been 12 months since Fulham lost back-to-back Premier League matches on familiar territory, and fitness will be on their side against a drained and downcast Liverpool.

Preview: Fulham vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Winning the battle but losing the war, Liverpool’s 1-0 success over Atalanta BC in the second leg of their Europa League final proved meaningless in the grand scheme of things, as La Dea comfortably advanced to the final four thanks to last week’s exceptional 3-0 Anfield annihilation.

Mohamed Salah’s early penalty offered hope of another astounding European turnaround for the men in red, but the Egyptian was then guilty of squandering a brilliant chance to reduce the aggregate arrears further, and Jurgen Klopp’s men – akin to the manager’s admission when he announced his exit – simply ran out of energy in the second half.

Encouragement ought to have been taken from the manner of Liverpool’s first-half display in Bergamo, especially after last weekend’s humbling 1-0 Premier League home defeat to Crystal Palace, where Eberechi Eze condemned the Reds to their first Anfield loss in the top flight for 18 months.

However, with leaders Manchester City in FA Cup action and Arsenal – who are only ahead on goal difference – facing a tricky away assignment of their own at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool could restore the smiles on their fans’ faces at Craven Cottage, where victory may be enough to temporarily rise to the top.

Going seven halves of football without a goal from open play may cause some alarm within the Reds’ ranks, though, and while Klopp’s men prevailed over Fulham at Anfield in December’s Premier League clash (4-3) and over two legs in the EFL Cup semi-finals (3-2), Silva’s men gave them a brilliant run for their money.

Fulham Premier League form:

Liverpool Premier League form:

Liverpool form (all competitions):

Team News

Preview: Fulham vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Nineteen Premier League teams have at least one stricken player in the infirmary at this moment in time, with the only exception being Fulham, who once again boast a fully-fit squad for the visit of Liverpool.

As a result, Silva will surely see no need to alter the winning formula from last weekend’s beating of West Ham, especially when taking into consideration the volume of chances his side created, so Harry Wilson should accept a spot on the bench against his old team.

The hitherto red-hot Rodrigo Muniz endeavours to end a three-game goal drought on Sunday, while London Stadium hero Pereira pulls the strings in the number 10 role, after becoming the first Cottagers man to score twice in a Premier League London derby away from home since Dimitar Berbatov did so against Arsenal in 2012.

While Liverpool’s treatment room has cleared out significantly, the Reds remain without long-term trio Ben Doak (knee), Joel Matip (knee) and Thiago Alcantara (muscle), while Conor Bradley will take a couple of weeks to recover from the ankle issue he picked up last weekend.

There is also a question mark over Stefan Bajcetic’s availability after the 19-year-old – who returned from a calf problem for the Under-21s last Friday – failed to make the trip to Bergamo, and Klopp conceded after Thursday’s win that both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alexis Mac Allister were running on empty.

Joe Gomez and Wataru Endo should therefore ready themselves for recalls to the first XI, while Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota – at opposite ends of the big chances converted spectrum – could freshen up the attacking trident.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Leno; Castagne, Adarabioyo, Bassey, Robinson; Palhinha, Lukic; Iwobi, Pereira, Willian; Muniz

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Endo, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, Jota

We say: Fulham 1-1 Liverpool

Only Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool themselves can boast a better home defensive record than Fulham this season – the Cottagers have shipped under a goal a game on average in their last 15 Craven Cottage contests – and Silva’s men have already pushed Liverpool all the way three times in 2023-24.

It has now been over five hours since the Reds last scored from open play, and even though Klopp can counteract Europa League fatigue with a plethora of changes, we can envisage home specialists Fulham holding out for a point to further harm their visitors’ title ambitions.

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