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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham welcome Liverpool ~ LC_Semi ~ 2ndLeg ~ 23/24

last updated Wednesday 24th January 2024, 10:11 AM

Match Preview

Fulham vrs Liverpool

League Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg at Craven Cottage

Wednesday, 24th January 2024    KO: 20:00

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Live on SkySports

Fulham manager Marco Silva
Fulham manager
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
His Wiki page
Liverpool boss 	Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss
Jurgen Klopp
His Wiki page
Fulham and Liverpool renew hostilities for the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night both fighting for the right to earn a Wembley date with Chelsea.

The Cottagers managed to draw first blood in their opening encounter at Anfield two weeks, only to become the Reds' latest comeback victims in a 2-1 loss, but the die is far from cast.

If December's seven-goal spectacular was anything to go by, Fulham required no lessons in putting the ball in the back of the Anfield net - even if that Premier League extravaganza ended in a 4-3 win for Liverpool - and Marco Silva's men stunned the Kop into silence through Willian just 19 minutes in.

The ex-Chelsea man made the most of an uncharacteristic Virgil van Dijk blunder, and Fulham's rigid defensive structure held out until Curtis Jones's highly fortuitous, deflected equaliser, which came mere moments before Cody Gakpo completed a quintessential Reds turnaround.

The introductions of Gakpo and chaos agent Darwin Nunez - who ended the night with two assists to his name - proved to be Fulham's downfall at Anfield, but there was no sense of doom and gloom among the travelling fans, as their first-ever EFL Cup semi-final tie is far from a foregone conclusion.

Aiming to become the 37th different team to compete in the EFL Cup final, Fulham must buck an unsightly trend that has bedevilled many first-leg losers before them, as only 25% of teams to suffer defeat in the opening semi-final match successfully turned the tie around in the second meeting.

The Cottagers' morale levels were not refilled during a West London derby with Chelsea three days later, where Cole Palmer's spot kick sent Fulham back to Craven Cottage empty-handed, but Silva's men now welcome their Merseyside foes to a ground where they have triumphed in five of their last six matches in all tournaments.

Not since September 2007 have Fulham been beaten in a home EFL Cup match while plying their trade in the top flight, but from the nine previous campaigns in which Liverpool have won the first leg of an EFL Cup semi-final, the Reds have advanced to the final in eight of them.

Only Middlesbrough in the 1997-98 season have denied Liverpool a place in the trophy match in such circumstances, and the nine-time champions are now just 90 minutes away from a record-extending 14th appearance in the EFL Cup final as they continue to chase a fantastic four pieces of silverware.

Eleven days passed between Liverpool's slender beating of Fulham and latest Premier League match with Bournemouth, where a similar tale arose to that of the first leg, as the Reds were frustrated in the first half at the Vitality but polished their finest shooting boots for the second period.

Two strikes from Nunez and Diogo Jota's own brace propelled Jurgen Klopp's crop to a resounding 4-0 success on the South Coast, allowing the Reds to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table to five points over Arsenal, Manchester City and Aston Villa with a fifth win on the trot in all tournaments.

Each of those victories has seen the Reds bag at least a pair of goals, and since Christmas Day, Klopp's side have come up trumps in three successive away fixtures versus Arsenal, Burnley and Bournemouth without conceding a single goal. The same cannot be said for their last two trips to Craven Cottage - which ended 1-1 and 2-2 respectively .


Source Ben Knapton at SportsMole
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