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Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Premier League: Fulham vs Liverpool; The Ox is back!

A trip to Craven Cottage awaits for Liverpool on Sunday and it is always a trip which brings a truck load of drama.

Normally the game at Fulham’s ground comes later on in the season and has Liverpool supporters dreading every second due to being involved in a title race.

In the 2013/14 season Steven Gerrard had to score a last-minute penalty to win 3-2 and in the 2018/19 season James Milner had to score a late penalty to secure the victory.

So, the theme is late penalties but hopefully it is not as stressful this time round.

Fulham have been one of the worst teams in the league so far with only seven points and have got the relegation favourite tag due to it but obviously that means nothing coming into the game.

Klopp seemed to disagree with the this in his press conference about Fulham as he said: “The performances they showed were not rewarded with results but they will go for everything.”

One Liverpool player who has not made a single appearance this season but has been pictured back in full training is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

After suffering another horrendous setback, the English international may finally be able to take to the pitch in this campaign against Fulham.

But with every bit of good news there is always some bad news, certainly this season anyway.

As Klopp confirmed that The Ox is back, he also had to confirm that Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota have suffered knocks with some Portuguese outlets reporting that Jota will be missing for two months which begs the question why did he play in midweek?

Of course, more minutes means more rhythm which is ever so important but realistically there was no need to risk Jota for 87 minutes and Mohamed Salah for the whole game.

But with what everything Jurgen Klopp has done for this club I am sure we can let him off with one.

Another injury returnee is number one goalkeeper Alisson Becker who came through a training session fine but even if he is not available there needn’t be any worry with Caoimhin Kelleher being flawless in the three games he has played.

The lad from Ireland or the Queev is now Liverpool’s second choice goalkeeper meaning the likelihood of Adrian playing again for Liverpool is very low.

So, if Alisson is not 100%, even though he seemed to be, Kelleher will be a fine enough deputy.

There were many changes in the dead rubber midweek game so the strongest line-up should be restored on Sunday with the front three licking their lips.

Especially Sadio Mane who is enduring a poor barren run for his standards.

The winger has only scored once in the past 12 games, but his performances are still at the highest-level tormenting full backs for fun.

A poor Fulham defence though may be Sadio Mane’s chance to get a goal or two with Firmino having gone on a similar run this season.

The Brazilian seems more like his usual mad self after a brilliant scissor kick pass on the halfway line to send Mane down the line against Wolves

A mad Brazilian is what every team needs and when Liverpool’s is on form, he is a joy to watch, hopefully he will have Fulham’s back five on strings.

On paper this game is already done but anything can happen in this league and the worst thing to happen is to underestimate a side which Klopp knows all too well from his early years at the club.

But Liverpool’s form has been fantastic, and they will need to win to keep the pressure on Spurs who they will face after their trip to London.

Written by Elliot Thompson

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