Preview: Fulham’s Tough Test at Liverpool

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Liverpool v Fulham – The Premier League Preview

With their successful Europa League group stage campaign now behind them, Liverpool must concentrate on the Premier League and their hopeful ascent back to the top of the division. Manchester City have their £115 million charge related issues to contend with at some point this season, whereas Arsenal will soon start to feel the full force of Champions League fatigue, something Mikel Arteta has not had to contend with since his arrival as the Gunners manager. Jürgen Klopp must see this transitional year as an opportunity to win major silverware, whether that be in Europe or at home, and must now start to hunt down all available points. Fulham arrive this Sunday with a desire to survive, and I just hope that Liverpool invite them in with a clear intention to cause three points worth of damage.

The Fulham Availability

In terms of availability, Rodrigo Muniz, Adama Traore, and Issa Diop are ruled out for the trip north. Joao Palhinha is now available after a one-game suspension, which is a huge boost for the visitors. Fulham come into this game on the back of a good home win, as they overcame visiting Wolves 3-2. Prior to that, a 3-1 loss away to the impressive Aston Villa, followed a very disappointing 0-1 home defeat to the inconsistent Manchester United. The West London outfit currently sits 14th in the Premier League, with 15 points taken from their 13 games played. Marco Silva already has a solid ten-point gap between his men and the relegation places, therefore will now start to build towards a hopeful mid-table finish.

A Predicted Line-Up for Fulham

GK – Bernd Leno RB – Timothy Castagne RCB – Calvin Bassey LCB – Tim Ream LB – Antonee Robinson CDM – João Palhinha CM – Saša Lukić ACM – Andreas Pereira RW – Alex Iwobi CF – Raúl Jiménez LW – Willian

In a 4-2-3-1 system, Fulham will be looking to outwork and outmuscle their richer opponents, with opportunities limited. Harry Wilson will be keen to garner solid minutes against his former employers, whereas João Palhinha will be hoping to impress potential future paymasters.

The Liverpool Availability

Third-placed Liverpool will be very happy with 28 points garnered from their own 13 games played. A very welcome and impressive 1-1 draw away to Manchester City represents Liverpool’s last league outing, after a comprehensive 3-0 win at home to Brentford. That win came following a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Luton.

In terms of those available, Thiago Alcântara and Stefan Bajčetić are still sidelined until late January, which is the timeline set out for Andy Robertson also. Alisson Becker is out until the visit of Manchester United on the 17th December, whilst Diogo Jota could be out until February.

Liverpool’s Expected Line-Up

GK – Caoimhin Kelleher RB – Trent Alexander Arnold RCB – Joël Matip LCB – Virgil van Dijk LB – Kostas Tsimikas RCM – Dominik Szoboszlai CDM – Alexis Mac Allister LCM – Curtis Jones RF – Mohamed Salah CF – Darwin Núñez LF – Luis Díaz

In a 4-3-3 (hybrid) system, Liverpool’s German manager will be hoping for the same attacking display from their most recent Europa League contest. Game management can be engineered and players preserved, though only once games are safely won, which will be the first half intention from Liverpool.

How Will This Contest Play Out

The home team should stride into the game with a desire to overwhelm and outscore Fulham by a convincing margin. The levels of performance and experience in the Anfield ranks should be too much to handle, as the six-time European champions start to remember who they are and what they can achieve.

Player to Watch – Darwin Núñez

Score Prediction: Liverpool 3 – 0 Fulham

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