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Premier League

  • January 26, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 40466
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Premier League Preview: Liverpool - Fulham

Premier League Preview: Liverpool - Fulham

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.

TEAM NEWS

Liverpool

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.

Fulham

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.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
34Martin KellyDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
2Glen JohnsonDefender
11Dirk KuytStriker
28Christian PoulsenMidfielder
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
11Maxi RodríguezMidfielder
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
42Peter GulacsiGoalkeeper
22Danny WilsonDefender
6Fabio AurelioDefender
10Joe ColeMidfielder
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
54David NgogStriker
12Dani PachecoStriker
-David StockdaleGoalkeeper
6Chris BairdDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
5Brede HangelandDefender
4John PaintsilDefender
2Clint DempseyStriker
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
4Steve SidwellMidfielder
16Damien DuffMidfielder
8Andy JohnsonStriker
30Mousa DembeleStriker
38Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
3C. SalcidoDefender
2Stephen KellyDefender
27Jonathan GreeningMidfielder
-Diomansy KamaraStriker
11Zoltán GeraMidfielder
29Simon DaviesMidfielder
Players to Watch
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Fernando Torres is yet to hit his peak this campaign, as he has been off colour on a few occasions this season. But playing a team that has been poor away from home for a few season now should give the Spaniard enough confidence to believe that he could score and regain his form.
Mark Schwarzer
Mark Schwarzer
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Mark Schwarzer will likely be put to the test at Anfield, as the Reds have been a force to reckon with in their own backyard. But his command over the team’s back line has been commendable, as the Cottagers lie in 17th place and have yet only let in nine goals on their travels.

The veteran will need to be at his best if his side are to take away anything from this game.
Prediction
Liverpool simply have too much quality in their squad not to win this game, particularly as they are playing at home.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 0

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