Fresh off the back of a pulsating 4-3 victory over Spurs at the weekend, the Reds host The Cottagers midweek in the Premier League. We preview the game with our Liverpool vs Fulham prediction.
Liverpool vs. Fulham: Quick Stats
- Liverpool are predicted to win this match against Fulham by the Opta supercomputer (64.3% chance of a victory).
- The Reds are aiming to secure a fifth win in a row for the first time since May 2022.
- Fulham have lost seven of their last nine games in all competitions (W2).
Liverpool often finish strongly, as Tottenham will attest to after Diogo Jota fired in a 94th-minute winner in the remarkable seven-goal thriller at Anfield on Sunday. That bodes well for the Reds, who have won 11 of their last 12 Premier League games in May (D1), having not lost in the fifth month of the year since going down 1-0 at Chelsea in 2018. Only Manchester United (23 between 1993 and 2000) have had a longer unbeaten run in May in the competition.
After his passionate reaction to Jota’s goal and subsequent words about the referee, Jurgen Klopp could be watching this one from the stands, trying to mastermind Liverpool’s first win against Fulham since March 2019 as he ices his hamstring and carves “Paul Tierney smells” into the back of the seat in front of him – with his team having not beaten the Cottagers in their last three meetings (D2 L1). Liverpool have not gone four games without a win against Fulham since December 1967.
The day of the week could indicate that a home victory is likely, with Liverpool having won their last eight Premier League games played on a Wednesday, scoring 22 goals and conceding just three. They have scored more Premier League goals on Wednesdays than any other side (220), while only in games played on Friday (2.3) do the Reds have a higher goals-per-game average than Wednesday (1.8).
It is difficult to imagine Fulham boss Marco Silva getting quite as animated as Klopp, as it could potentially mean a hair moving out of place, but he will need to figure out how to punch up on Wednesday. Fulham have lost seven of their last eight Premier League matches against teams starting the day above them in the league table, winning the other 1-0 against Brighton and Hove Albion in February.
The eight-game suspension of striker Aleksandar Mitrovic for his own disagreement with a referee has not helped Silva’s men of late, while joint-second top scorer Andreas Pereira is out for the remainder of the campaign with a leg injury and club captain Tim Ream will miss the rest of the season with a fractured arm.
That makes other joint-second top scorer Manor Solomon one of the likelier bets for a goal at Anfield, having scored four in the Premier League, though only from 14 appearances (four starts). The Israeli forward actually has a better goals-per-90 rate than Mitrovic (0.72 to 0.55). Whether Silva starts him over the in-form Harry Wilson is another matter, though.
Mohamed Salah put his recent penalty problems behind him on Sunday, having previously missed against Bournemouth and Arsenal, with his successful spot-kick against Spurs meaning he has been involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances (nine goals, two assists), the most of any player in England’s top-flight since the start of March.
In terms of team news for Liverpool, Naby Keita and Stefan Bajcetic will certainly miss while Roberto Firmino is a doubt with a muscle injury.
Fulham 2-2 Liverpool: 6 August 2022 (Premier League)
On the first Saturday of the season, Fulham started brightly while Liverpool looked a shadow of the team that had beaten Manchester City in the Community Shield a week earlier.
Mitrovic rose above Trent Alexander-Arnold to meet a Kenny Tete cross at the back post to nod the hosts in front at Craven Cottage before debutant Darwin Nunez came off the bench to equalise.
Just as it looked like Liverpool would push on for the win, the outstanding Mitrovic was felled in the box by Virgil van Dijk, before dispatching the penalty past Alisson.
Salah levelled things again but it was a game that left Fulham the happier of the two, edging things on xG (1.3 to 1.2) even though Liverpool had slightly more attempts (11, four on target to nine, three on target).
Liverpool come into this game on the back of four-straight wins, following five without a victory in all competitions (D2 L3). It is their longest such run of the season, having last won at least four in a row in May last year (six).
After a convincing 6-1 win at Leeds United, they were made to work hard for one-goal victories at home to Nottingham Forest and away to West Ham, before that incredible 4-3 success against Spurs at Anfield.
It was a fast start on Sunday, with the Reds going 2-0 ahead within the opening five minutes of a Premier League game for only the third time, and the first since March 1996 against Aston Villa, before making it 3-0 soon after. A Tottenham Hotspur comeback saw former Everton man Richarlison equalise in stoppage time, but there was still time for Jota to have the last word, scoring Liverpool’s 41st 90th-minute plus winning goal in the Premier League, at least 11 more than any other side.
While it has been an impressive season back in the top-flight for Fulham, there has been a bit of a wobble of late, losing seven of their last nine in all competitions.
Silva’s men put up a good fight against title favourites Manchester City at Craven Cottage on Sunday, with Carlos Vinicius equalising after Erling Haaland had claimed his 50th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot. A stunner from Julian Alvarez was enough to clinch it for City.
City (four) are the only team in the league to have drawn fewer than Fulham’s six this season, which is interesting as they currently have a perfect zero goal difference , having scored 45 and conceded 45, suggesting they can be somewhat all or nothing.
Immediately following the World Cup, the Cottagers travelled well, winning three of their first five away league games following the break and keeping four clean sheets (D1 L1). They have lost three of their last four on the road though (W1), conceding at least once on each trip.
Liverpool: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold has somewhat divided opinion this season. Does having an absolute wand of a right foot make up for his much-maligned defensive abilities? Well, his manager has done something about that by allowing him to job share with Fabinho as he plays a kind of hybrid right-back/midfield role. One some might call a “false two” position.
And it has worked, going forward at least. The 24-year-old has claimed at least one assist in each of his last five Premier League appearances (six overall), having only recorded two in 27 league appearances this season prior to his role alteration.
Alexander-Arnold could join Cesc Fabregas and Mesut Ozil as one of only three players to have assisted a goal in six consecutive appearances in the league’s history should he manage another against Fulham.
Fulham: Joao Palhinha
It would be safe to assume that Fulham will need to do a lot of defending at Anfield, and in Palhinha, they have someone who seems to enjoy doing it more than most.
The 27-year-old has been a revelation since arriving from Sporting CP last year, tackling anything and everything that comes into his line of sight.
Palhinha has attempted more tackles than anyone else in the Premier League this season (123) well ahead of second-placed Moises Caicedo (91) and has also won more than anyone (70), ahead of the next best, Pascal Struijk (50).
Only three players in the league have competed in more duels than his 401, and none of them come close to his success rate of 60.35%.
Liverpool vs Fulham Prediction
The Opta supercomputer unsurprisingly makes Liverpool big favourites for this clash ahead of kick-off, giving Klopp’s men a 64.3% chance of making it a fifth win in a row, while the visitors are handed a 13.4% chance of becoming just the second Premier League team after Leeds to take all three points from Anfield this season.
A draw is given a 23.3% chance, which was the outcome when they last met, so it is not out of the question that Fulham can escape with a point, though of course will be without Liverpool’s tormentor at Craven Cottage last August, Mitrovic.
Liverpool’s hopes for the top four and Champions League football remain slim, still seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester Utd having played a game more. The supercomputer gives the Reds just a 6.1% chance of finishing fourth, and a somewhat optimistic (Opta-mistic?) 0.4% chance of finishing third. Fifth place is by far the likeliest landing spot for Liverpool, with the model estimating a 76.8% chance of that.
Currently in 10th spot, and five points adrift of both ninth and 11th, the supercomputer believes Fulham will finish where they are, giving a 10th-place outcome a 63.3% chance. If there was a beach outside Craven Cottage, Silva and his men may well be lying on it.