It`s hardly the best fixture for the travelling fan, Liverpool away, so close to the festive break and it`s associated financial implications, but beggars can`t be choosers and we`ll go to Anfield hoping to emulate the feats of Aston Villa last weekend. Now whether that is a realistic aim or not remains to be seen.
This fixture reunites Martin Jol with a striker he knows very well. Whilst in charge of Ajax Amsterdam, Luis Suarez made such an impression on Jol that he was made captain of the Dutch side. Talking about a player he knows well, Jol has remarked,
‘He is certainly one of the best strikers in Europe, probably in the world.’
I guess we`d better keep a close eye on him then!
Liverpool Team News:
Brendan Rodgers will be without Oussami Assaida, who has a knee problem but Nuri Sahin and Jose Enrique should feature.
Out injured long term is their summer signing Fabio Borini.
Player to watch: Luis Suarez
The one player in the Liverpool team who has the ability to do that something special and leave us wondering how the hell did that happen!
Fulham Team News:
David Stockdale will be on the bench for Fulham, having been recalled from Hull City, where he was on loan, as Neil Etheridge has a leg injury.
Steve Sidwell will not make the trip, as he is suspended but Martin Jol will be grateful that Sascha Riether has gotten over his knee problem.
But, as Jol explained in his pre-match press conference we do have problems in our midfield area with the boss remarking,
‘We have got a problem in midfield, everyone can see that,’
‘The only one who is there is Chris Baird and he is a defender, we have trained this week and tried to do a certain shape with certain players and we still have the players to do a job.’
Now this could prove interesting!
Player to watch: John Arne Risse
Our Norwegian defender will relish the chance to put on a performance on the ground where he wore the red shirt of Liverpool so many times. What are the odds of John Arne Riise becoming yet another to score a wining goal against a former team?
Match Facts & Stats
Our recent record against Liverpool is something to shout from the roof-tops. Last season, when our records in the Premier League were identical, Fulham did the double over Liverpool. Both games ended 1-0 and the narrow victory, at Anfield, was the first time we`d ever won there.
In the last four meetings Liverpool have won once but even then it took an own goal from John Pantsil to settle the affair.
Looking at Liverpool`s home record this season, gives us encouragement. With 9 fixtures played, they`ve won >b>3, drawn 3 and lost 3, in the process they`ve scored 10 goals and conceded 10 goals.
Fulham`s form going into this fixture isn`t that great with only 1 win from 9 games with 4 draws and 4 losses. On the road, it is slightly worse, in 10 games played we`ve won 1, drawn 4 and lost 5
Our officials, up at Anfield, are:-
Referee – M. Clattenburg
Assistant – S. Child
Assistant – S. Beck
Fourth Official – A. Marriner
Anfield used to have a fearsome reputation. Away teams just didn`t win there. But, in recent years, the balance of power has swung away from the city of Liverpool to rest in Manchester. Nobody walks up those few steps, looks at the THIS IS ANFIELD sign and panic. Teams do go to Anfield and they do come away with a win. Can we earn a victory? Why not, it is Christmas and strange things happen don`t they? I`m going for 1-0 to Fulham with our defence producing an outstanding performance.
Fixtures come thick and fast this time of the year and our next fixture will see us entertain Southampton on Boxing Day.