Fulham - Liverpool Preview: Absence of Suarez unlikely to hinder Reds' potency
The Uruguayan is suspended but his teammates should cover for his absence in front of goal against a struggling Fulham side who have lost their last four
By Scott Binnie
Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise
Kacaniklic, Karagounis, Enoh, Emanuelson
Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique
Lucas, Henderson, Shelvey
Downing, Sturridge, Coutinho
Mladen Petric and Simon Davies remain doubtful for this fixture after both players missed the 4-2 loss to Reading with hip and hamstring problems respectively.
Alexander Kacaniklic is likely to start over Damien Duff on the right after a good performance off the bench against Reading. Steve Sidwell will miss the rest of the season though suspension.
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard misses out after undergoing surgery on a persistent shoulder problem.
Daniel Agger and Joe Allen are also out for the season so Martin Skrtel will come in to the backline while Philippe Coutinho will continue as playmaker.
With no Gerrard or Allen, Jonjo Shelvey could get the nod in midfield – especially after the stunner he scored for the U21s this week.
Luis Suarez is unavailable as he serves his 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Fulham have lost their last four in the Premier League and have won just three of their last 12.
- After a run of six goals in six games at the start of the year, Fulham top scorer Dimitar Berbatov (pictured right) hasn’t hit the back of the net since 1st April – six games ago.
- The Cottagers’ biggest defeat of the season was a 4-0 reverse against Liverpool.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in six in the Premier League, with just one defeat in 11 in all competitions.
- The Reds’ 6-0 win over Newcastle two weeks ago was the fourth time this year they’ve won by a margin of four or more goals, including the 4-0 romp over Fulham in December.
- Fulham did the double over Liverpool last season, the first time they beat the Reds twice in the same season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fulham 0-3 Liverpool
- 16.9 %
Fulham 0-2 Liverpool
- 13.58 %
Fulham 1-3 Liverpool
- 12.89 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 9, 2013||Liverpool 4 - Fulham 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||May 12, 2013||Fulham 1 - Liverpool 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 22, 2012||Liverpool 4 - Fulham 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||May 1, 2012||Liverpool 0 - Fulham 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 5, 2011||Fulham 1 - Liverpool 0|
|Dec 14, 2013||Everton 4 - Fulham 1||EPL|
|Dec 8, 2013||Fulham 2 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|Nov 30, 2013||West Ham 3 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Fulham 1 - Swansea 2||EPL|
|3||John Arne Riise||Defender|
Fulham should be safe from the drop but another point or two would do wonders for Martin Jol’s blood pressure. If they want to end their horrendous run and guarantee their top flight status for next year, they will need the Bulgarian striker to get back amongst the goals.
The Brazilian playmaker has been responsible for seven goals in the eleven starts he’s made since his January arrival from Inter. With Suarez unavailable it will be even more important that the 20-year-old creates some gilt-edged chances for Sturridge and co.
Even without their top scorer, the Merseyside outfit will have too much for their opponents who have struggled to pose much of a goal threat in their recent games. Unless Berbatov finds some form in front of goal, the Cottagers won’t prove too difficult for Brendan Rodgers’ charges.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed