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Fulham hope for a miracle

last updated Saturday 10th November 2007, 1:17 PM
Lawrie Sanchez
Lawrie Sanchez

Fulham will need to make history if they are to bring their poor away form to an end with victory at Liverpool tonight.

The Cottagers have never managed a win at Anfield and their record away from Craven Cottage in recent times does not bode well.

Their last victory on the road came on September 9 last year as they overcame Newcastle 2-1.

Sanchez is hoping his side can finally end that run and is even more eager to ensure his men put on a better performance than that of Turkish side Besiktas who were beaten 8-0 by the Reds in the Champions League earlier this week.

Sanchez said: "Everyone has seen how good the sides in the top four can be. On their day they can score eight, seven or six, as has been proven.

"You want to test yourself, but they are tough. We know the quality they have but I hope we can get a result.

"We just have to go up there and make sure we don't perform as badly as Besiktas did the other night."

The Fulham boss believes his side face their toughest test of the season when they travel to Merseyside and has been trying to work out what starting XI Reds counterpart Rafael Benitez will field.

The Liverpool boss is likely to make a number of changes from their Champions League romp and that has left Sanchez with more problems than usual to consider.

He said: "It is probably the most difficult team in the league to prepare for because you do not know what side he will put out.

"Rafael Benitez obviously knows what he is doing, but because he doesn't fit in with how we do things in this country a lot of people criticise his rotation.

"But they just won a game 8-0 and we do not know what their starting XI will be so he knows what he is doing.

"It will be a good test of how far we have come. These are great games, the ones you get in football to manage and play in."

At the end of last season Sanchez was in temporary charge of Fulham as they secured top-flight status with a home victory over Liverpool, even though their relegation rivals were furious with Benitez for fielding what they felt was an understrength side.

Sanchez added: "It wasn't a weakened team, it was rotated. And I don't think that result has any relevance now. It is a different situation.

"I think Rafa realises that the League is the thing Liverpool fans want to win more than anything now.

"They have won the Champions League five times so will now be focused on making up the points that they have fallen behind Arsenal and Manchester United."

Sanchez will consider adopting a 4-5-1 formation, giving Shefki Kuqi the opportunity to make his full debut as a lone striker.

Alexey Smertin is also in line for a recall while Chris Baird is back from injury and Carlos Bocanegra returns from suspension.







































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