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Fulham v Liverpool Preview – Premier League – 31 October 2009



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Fulham v Liverpool
English Premier League
Craven Cottage
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Kick-off: 1500 GMT

Three days after their Carling Cup exit to Arsenal, Liverpool return to the capital on the back of five defeats from their last six league and cup games.

Should the Reds win at Craven Cottage, they will have five points fewer than at the same stage last season, when they claimed 26 points from their opening 11 games.

Fulham have won one of their last five league games.

Watch Fulham vs Liverpool live in the Premier League by signing up to view the best football feeds online with the Live Sport Network.

Fulham Preview

Fulham’s Simon Davies has an outside chance of returning from a foot problem but Danny Murphy (knee) is still out. Kagisho Dikgacoi sits out the match as he completes a three-game suspension.

Fulham showed resilience to hit back from two goals down at Manchester City but the biggest post-match talking point was Bobby Zamora’s glaring miss.

Fulham have failed to score in their last four games against Liverpool (L3, D1). Clint Dempsey was the last Fulham player to net against the Reds, scoring the only goal at Craven Cottage on 5 May 2007. Liverpool fielded a makeshift line-up for that match, which preceded the Reds’ Champions League final against AC Milan.

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Liverpool Preview

Liverpool expect top scorer Fernando Torres to start at Craven Cottage but captain Steven Gerrard remains doubtful with a groin problem. Javier Mascherano returns after serving a one-game ban against Arsenal, while Alberto Aquilani should be on the bench after an encouraging cameo in midweek.

The League Cup may not have been one of Rafael Benitez’s priorities at the start of the season, but the loss to an inexperienced Gunners side halted much of the momentum garnered from last Sunday’s win against Manchester United.

Despite the Reds’ struggles, their league form – four wins from six games – has just about kept them in touch with the Premier League pace-setters.

Six months ago the Reds left it late to secure victory at Craven Cottage, with Yossi Benayoun’s injury-time strike keeping their title hopes alive. In-form Benayoun has been one of the few sources of invention in the Liverpool midfield this season. But the return to fitness of Alberto Aquilani, who impressed off the bench at Arsenal, could give the Reds another creative outlet.

Rafael Benitez’s side have won four of their last six league games. However, they have lost their last two away games in the top flight (at Chelsea and Sunderland).

Liverpool have netted 24 goals in 10 league games so far. At the start of the weekend, only Arsenal (29) had a better record.

Fulham v Liverpool Prediction

With Fulham in indifferent form and Liverpool buoyed by their win against Manchester United, there’s room for the title pretenders to dominate the game and keep up pressure on the league leaders.

Liverpool need to win this game, keeping in mind that both Chelsea and Manchester City face relatively easy opponents and only Tottenham look like dropping points this weekend.

It’s going to be a tough game for Fulham, and their recent form hasn’t helped at all.

Prediction: Fulham 0-1 Liverpool

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Watch Fulham v Liverpool Live Online

Watch Fulham vs Liverpool live in the Premier League by signing up to view the best football feeds online with the Live Sport Network.