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January 27, 2011 1:30 AM IST
Anfield — Liverpool
Referee:‬ L. Probert‎
Attendance:‬ 40466‎
52′ (OG) John Pantsil

Liverpool - Fulham Preview: Steven Gerrard Set To Return To Action After Three-Game Suspension

By Sam Bisby



The home team have an almost full bill of health with just Milan Jovanovic (illness) and Jamie Carragher (shoulder) unavailable.

Captain Steven Gerrard returns from suspension and will be hoping to carry on the Merseyside club’s positive progress since the second coming of club legend King Kenny.

Possible starting XI: Reina; Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Kuyt, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi; Gerrard; Torres.


The visitors for the rescheduled match are without four players, all with long-term injuries, and include Dickson Etuhu (hamstring), Matthew Briggs (ankle), Bobby Zamora (broken leg) and Philippe Senderos (Achilles).

Also, Mark Schwarzer’s Australia are through to the semi-finals of the Asian Cup and play on Tuesday night against Uzbekistan and so will not be available either, leaving goalkeeper David Stockdale to once again fill his boots.

Possible starting XI: Stockdale; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Baird; Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff; A Johnson, Dembele.

Return of ‘El Nino’

Fernando Torres is back to his scoring self it seems with three goals in two games for Liverpool and has shown solid signs of his early days at the Anfield outfit where ‘The Child’ was scoring goals for fun.

The two goals he scored at the weekend against Wolves marked his 62nd and 63rd on his 100th league appearance for the Red half of Merseyside. However, Torres has quite a bit to go to even start thinking about breaking into the top 10 goal scorers for the team with Jack Parkinson occupying 10th place with 130 goals and current team-mate and captain Steven Gerrard in ninth with 140.

New year, new Fulham

The opening month to 2011 has seen the west London club collect three wins and one draw in the five games that they have played so far since the New Year and is easily the best form they’ve had all season (even if one of the games was a 6-2 thrashing of League 1 side Peterborough).

Striker Andy Johnson has found himself some form after his comeback from injury and is playing some good football which included a goal against Wigan, his first in the Premier League for almost two seasons.

New signing Steve Sidwell made his debut on Saturday and impressed new manager Mark Hughes, but will have to wait until he begins to break into the Fulham midfield with squad staples such as Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu. However, don’t be surprised to see him feature at some point during the game.

Ten of the best for Liverpool

Liverpool’s second highest win in their history came against Fulham when they met in the second round of the League Cup in September 1986 with a final score of 10-0.

Steve McMahon scored four of the goals on that day with Ian Rush and John Wark both scoring two each and Ronnie Whelan and Steve Nicol scoring the other two.

The win remains Liverpool’s best performance in any domestic competition and is still Fulham’s worst ever defeat in their history.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
34Martin KellyDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
2Glen JohnsonDefender
11Dirk KuytStriker
5Christian PoulsenMidfielder
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
11Maxi RodríguezMidfielder
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
42Peter GulacsiGoalkeeper
22Danny WilsonDefender
6Fabio AurelioDefender
26Joe ColeMidfielder
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
54David NgogStriker
12Dani PachecoStriker
13David StockdaleGoalkeeper
6Chris BairdDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
5Brede HangelandDefender
4John PaintsilDefender
2Clint DempseyStriker
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
7Steve SidwellMidfielder
16Damien DuffMidfielder
8Andy JohnsonStriker
30Mousa DembeleStriker
-Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
30C. SalcidoDefender
2Stephen KellyDefender
27Jonathan GreeningMidfielder
-Diomansy KamaraStriker
22Zoltán GeraMidfielder
29Simon DaviesMidfielder
Probable Lineups
Pepe Reina 25
Martin Kelly 34
Martin Skrtel 37
Daniel Agger 5
Glen Johnson 2
Dirk Kuyt 11
Christian Poulsen 5
Raúl Meireles 14
Maxi Rodríguez 11
Steven Gerrard 8
Fernando Torres 9
David Stockdale 13
Chris Baird 6
Aaron Hughes 18
Brede Hangeland 5
John Paintsil 4
Clint Dempsey 2
Danny Murphy 13
Steve Sidwell 7
Damien Duff 16
Andy Johnson 8
Mousa Dembele 30
Editor's Prediction
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