Liverpool come off the back of an impressive victory at Wolves hoping to make it two wins in five days as they come up against a resurgent Fulham at Anfield.
Saturday saw both sides continue their recent upturns in form with comfortable wins with Fulham downing Stoke 2-0 at Craven Cottage and the Reds outclassing Wolves 3-0 at Molineux.
That result was the first win for returning manager Kenny Dalglish and he will be hoping that his team can start to build some momentum as the Premier League season starts to reach its climax.
But if Liverpool fans thought this would be a guaranteed three points a few weeks ago then they will have surely changed their tune after Fulham picked up an impressive seven points out of nine to lift them out of the relegation zone.
Mark Hughes faced a difficult task as he took over from Roy Hodgson at Craven Cottage and after winning just two of his first 15 games the Welshman faced the chop. But while his side’s form picked up, his predecessor continued to struggle with the pressure that comes with the Anfield job and was relieved of his duties.
Both sides have got a severe case of the away day blues and have won just twice on the road between them which will make tomorrow’s trip to Merseyside even more difficult for the West London outfit. Having failed to win his first home game since returning Dalglish will be chomping at the bit to get three points and you can be sure that his players will come out all guns blazing to make sure he gets his wish.
Having reverted back to 4-2-3-1 and the pass and move principles that gave Dalglish so much success as a player, Liverpool are starting to hit top form and fans are starting to see the best of the likes of Fernando Torres and Raul Meireles who are suited to a passing game rather than the direct approach of Roy Hodgson.
Meireles in particular showed just how good he can be if played in the right position and Dalglish had nothing but praise for the Portuguese midfielder after his man of the match display against Wolves. He said:
“It takes a wee bit of adjusting getting up to speed with the Barclays Premier League and he’s getting up to that level; he’s a talented footballer.
“Since I came in Raul has been really impressive. He made the first goal and his strike was fantastic. He scored last week and I am sure that has given him confidence to go forward.”
The biggest threat to LFC’s shaky defence will be USA forward-cum-midfielder Clint Dempsey who has filled the void left by the injured Bobby Zamora to become Fulham’s top scorer this season with 8 league goals. Two of those came in Saturday’s win over Stoke and Hughes said of Dempsey’s recent goal-scoring exploits:
“Clint`s been great for me since I came here. He’s had an impact in every game he`s played. It`s been hard on Zoltan Gera because I`ve chosen Clint ahead of him, but because Clint`s done so well for me it`s been unfortunate for him.”
Liverpool will have captain Steven Gerrard back from suspension for the encounter and he is expected to come into the team to give the Reds a real boost. Gerrard’s inclusion will probably be the only change for the Dalglish’s team as he sticks with the rest of the side that demolished Wolves. Visitors Fulham are expected to be unchanged.