This game shares equal importance for both teams, but for very different reasons. Can Fulham get a win that could save their season? Or will it be business as usual for The Reds?
Home games are Fulham’s only hope
It’s starting to look like mission impossible for Fulham. Although not mathematically relegated by any means, it’s hard to see them escaping the jaws of the drop. They’re 13 points from safety as it stands, that’s only four more points than they’ve managed in the entire of the Premier League season. Their huge issue has been their away form, they’ve won no games on the road all season, and have only taken two points. Craven Cottage is far from a fortress but if they have any hope, it’s in front of their own fans.
There is effectively not enough home games left in the season to save them, realistically, so they will have to gather points on the road, but that spark could be ignited by getting a result against title chasing Liverpool on Sunday.
Fulham gave it a real good go at Anfield earlier in the season and had a goal disallowed immediately before Salah sprung clear to score. The offside goal was scored by Aleksander Mitrovic, who is Fulham’s shining light in this desperate season. The big Serb has 10 goals this campaign, with eight of them coming at home. He’ll be a handful for Liverpool’s defence and with Dejan Lovren coming back in to the line up after some injury issues, we may see Mitrovic targeting him in an attempt to get some joy.
A true disparity
There so many extreme parallels that can be drawn between these two, beyond just their respective league positions. Fulham have the second poorest attack in the league, only Huddersfield have scored less goals than them, and they face off against the league’s strongest defence. Liverpool have only conceded 17 goals in their 30 Premier League matches, compare that to Fulham, who have shipped 68. In that category they are head and shoulders above the rest of the division, they’ve conceded 11 more than Cardiff, who have the second worst defensive record.
In the past 10 games Fulham have conceded at least two goals in every single one, and have been behind at half time and full time in their last six Premier League matches. A Liverpool win and over 1.5 goals is priced at 1.3. You could bolster that by moving up to over 2.5 goals, which has been a feature in eight of Fulham’s last 10 Premier League fixtures.
Whereas Aleksander Mitrovic has netted 10 goals and been Fulham’s main output, Liverpool have them flowing from all over the pitch. Mohammed Salah has 17, Roberto Firmino has 11 and the man of the moment; Sadio Mane has 16. Mane is in devastating form. Off the back of his two goals in midweek to secure Champions League qualification he’ll be eager to maintain his form. Especially away from home as only three of his 16 league goals have come outside of Anfield. He’s at 4.5 to score first or 1.91 anytime.
Liverpool should cruise through this
Nothing is every guaranteed in football, least of all in the Premier League. But a team as destructive as Liverpool, playing a team as fragile as Fulham can only go one way for me. Fulham’s defence have struggled all season long to keep sides at bay. Bayern Munich couldn’t handle Liverpool in midweek, their movement and pace was a sight behold and I fear that a heavy defeat here could seal Fulham’s fate, if you believe it hasn’t been sealed already that is.
Liverpool win and over 2.5 goals @ 1.62
Sadio Mane to score first @ 4.5
Liverpool -2 @ 2.63
Liverpool to win to nil @ 1.91