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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham visit Liverpool ~ Prem MD28 20/21

last updated Saturday 06th March 2021, 10:35 AM

Match Preview

Liverpool vrs Fulham

Premier League Match Day 28 2021 at Craven Cottage

Sunday 7th March 2021     KO: 14:00

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Live on Sky Sports

Fulham Coach Scott Parker
Fulham Coach
Scott Parker
Scott Parker
His Wiki page
Liverpool boss 	Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss
Jurgen Klopp
His Wiki page
Liverpool will renew their search for an elusive Anfield victory when they welcome Fulham to Merseyside on Sunday.

The relegation-threatened Cottagers will be the second West London outfit to visit Anfield in the space of three days following Chelsea's victory there on Thursday night - a fifth consecutive home defeat for the champions.

Scott Parker's Fulham were narrowly beaten by Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night but would have come away from that match feeling that they were worthy of at least a point.

They would have come away with that point had they not had a goal controversially disallowed for handball - a decision which led the global lawmakers IFAB to change the handball law on Friday.

The news comes too late for Fulham, of course, and whether the point they were denied comes back to haunt them remains to be seen, but they are at least still in that conversation with only three points separating them from both Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United heading into the weekend.

Thursday's defeat to Spurs was their first loss in their last six Premier League games and just their fourth in their last 16 outings - a run which began with a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture against Liverpool at Craven Cottage in December.

Fulham are also enjoying their longest ever top-flight unbeaten away record of seven games and, while six of those have ended up all square, the solitary victory in that time did come on Merseyside against Everton.

The Cottagers have also kept more clean sheets in their last five Premier League away games than they had managed in their previous 45 such matches before that, so against a Liverpool team struggling to score at home they will be confident that they have the foundations to come away with something from Sunday's game.

The sudden transformation of Anfield from a fortress to a fertile hunting ground for visiting teams has been scarcely believable, and Fulham will have every reason to feel confident that they could pile more misery on Liverpool this weekend.

Jurgen Klopp watched on as his side slumped to a fifth successive home defeat on Thursday night - the worst run in the club's entire 129-year history, and the first reigning English top-flight champions to suffer that fate.

While that statistic understandably stole the headlines, it is by no means the only damning one when it comes to Liverpool's form at the moment, particularly at Anfield.

The Reds have only scored one home goal in six games so far in 2021, and only managed one shot on target against Chelsea, while their winless streak at Anfield now stands at seven games stretching back to December 16 - having won 32 of their 33 home league games prior to that.

Indeed, home and away Liverpool have now picked up just 10 points from 11 top-flight outings since the turn of the year, a tally which would leave them fourth from bottom in a 2021 league table and has seen them sink to seventh in the 2020-21 standings - four points off the Champions League places.

On paper, a match against a team in the relegation zone should provide an ideal opportunity to end such a torrid run of form, and history suggests that Liverpool should still be firm favourites heading into this contest.

The Reds have never lost a home Premier League game against a newly-promoted side under Klopp, picking up 43 points from a possible 45 in such games, while they have also only lost one of their 23 top-flight home meetings with Fulham.

Indeed, Fulham have only ever scored three Premier League goals against Liverpool at Anfield, failing to find the back of the net in 11 of their 14 such visits, so the hosts have plenty of reasons to be confident that their dire form at Anfield could end this weekend.

That run will have taught Liverpool not to rely on history, though, and Fulham also have plenty of reasons to be hopeful as they search for a victory which could end up lifting them out of the relegation zone.

Head to head

  • Fulham ended a six-match losing streak in this fixture by drawing 1-1 with Liverpool at Craven Cottage in December.

  • The Cottagers' only away win against the Reds came in May 2012, courtesy of a Martin Skrtel own goal at Anfield.

  • Fulham have scored just four times in their past 18 matches away to Liverpool.
  • Fulham have conceded 33 league goals this season, the joint-lowest figure in the bottom half of the table - and two fewer than Liverpool.

  • Scott Parker's team are on a club record seven-match unbeaten away run in the Premier League, although six of those games were drawn.

  • Fulham's last away defeat was 2-0 at Manchester City on 5 December.

  • The Whites have kept three clean sheets in their past five Premier League away games, more than they had in their previous 45 such fixtures.

  • They have won just two of their 26 top-flight away matches against reigning champions (D3, L21), beating Ipswich 1-0 in March 1963 and Manchester United 3-1 in October 2003.

  • Head coach Scott Parker failed to win on all eight of his Premier League appearances as a player at Anfield, losing six of those games.

  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one short of 100 Premier League appearances.
  • The Reds have lost five consecutive home games for the first time in their history. They are also the first reigning English top-flight champions to do so.

  • They have gone nine hours without scoring from open play at Anfield in 2021, with their only home goal this year a penalty converted by Mohamed Salah against Manchester City.

  • Jurgen Klopp's side have lost each of the last seven league matches in which they have fallen behind, and have not gained a point from a losing position since December's 1-1 draw at Fulham.

  • Liverpool have drawn successive games against newly-promoted opposition, ending a run of 18 consecutive league victories in such fixtures.

  • The Merseysiders have failed to score a first-half goal in 11 of their past 12 league matches.

Source Barney Corkhill at SportsMole/BBCSports
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