Liverpool vs Fulham: Cottagers can frustrate Klopp's misfiring Reds

Liverpool are on a disastrous run at Anfield and Fulham’s gritty away form suggests Scott Parker’s men can grind out a draw on Sunday

When: Sunday, March 7, 14:00 GMT

How to watch: Sky Sports Premier League

Best bets

Liverpool to draw 1-1 with Fulham at 10/1 (Bet Victor)

Diogo Jota to score first goal at 9/2 (Unibet)

Ivan Cavaleiro to score anytime at 9/2 (Betfair)

Last three Premier League meetings:

Fulham 1-1 Liverpool (December 13, 2020)

Liverpool had the chance to go top of the table but fluffed their lines against a lively Fulham. The hosts were by far the better team in the first half and deservedly led at the break thanks to Bobby Decordova-Reid's fine strike. The lacklustre visitors finally came to life a little after the break and Mo Salah levelled from the spot. Fans were present for this one which helped Fulham's cause but Liverpool were flat - a portent of what was to come over the next few months.

Fulham 1-2 Liverpool (March 17, 2019)

Sadio Mane had scored his 11th goal in 11 games to put Jurgen Klopp's men in front after 26 minutes but former Red Ryan Babel cashed in on a defensive mix-up to net on 74 and pull the hosts level. Liverpool were going for the title at the time so tension was high. They found a winner nine minutes from time as Mane was fouled and James Milner slotted home from the spot to send Liverpool top with seven games to play.

Liverpool 2-0 Fulham (November 11, 2018)

The last time these two met at Anfield and it was far from a stroll. Fulham looked to have taken the lead when Aleksander Mitrovic headed home near half-time. But it was ruled out for marginal offside and 14 seconds later, the ball was in the Fulham net as Alisson's quick throw set Mo Salah away and the Egyptian ran from the halfway line to slot home. Xherdan Shaqiri calmed home nerves with a second on 53 as Liverpool moved onto 30 points after 12 games, two behind Manchester City.

Head-to-head in the Premier League - last 10

Liverpool wins: 7

Draws: 1

Fulham wins: 2

Liverpool scored: 24

Fulham scored: 9

Can Fulham extend Liverpool's disastrous run at Anfield?

The contrast is hard to believe. Liverpool went 68 games undefeated at Anfield in the Premier League. Now they're on their worst run at home ever having lost each of the last five. The alarming thing is that those defeats haven't been unlucky. Okay, Burnley's victory was a bit smash-and-grab but Brighton and Everton both deserved the three points and Manchester City and Chelsea outclassed Klopp's men.

Liverpool's home form is relegation material so can Fulham make it six straight losses? True, they're in the bottom three but here's a stat: Fulham have lost the same number of away games as Chelsea, just four. This is no easy chance for Liverpool to get back on track.

Lack of home goals still the big problem for Reds

While the continuing central defensive injuries and change of partnerships remain a focal point for Liverpool's problems, the truth is that Klopp's men are still solid enough at the back. The goals against column is only three more than second-placed Manchester United and they've conceded fewer goals at Anfield than the Red Devils have at Old Trafford.

The biggest mystery is the lack of home goals. Last season, Liverpool plundered 52 goals at Anfield. This time they have just 22; that's only six more home goals than Newcastle have managed. What's more, that tally has gone up by just one since December 27 - and that was a penalty.

The Reds' frontmen are struggling for home goals
The Reds' frontmen are struggling for home goals

But, dig deeper, and it starts to make sense a little. Look through this Liverpool team and ask yourself a question: where are the goals coming from? Salah still scores plenty but the goals have dried up for Mane and Firmino. The midfield has never been a great source of goals and Virgil van Dijk's absence has also reduced the Reds' potency from set-pieces.

Liverpool's last five Premier League results:

Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City (Salah)

Leicester 3-1 Liverpool (Salah)

Liverpool 0-2 Everton

Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool (Jones, o.g.)

Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea

Scoreline prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Fulham

It's not that Liverpool are hitting the post or raining shots in on goal; they simply aren't creating clear chances against competent defences. That means I can't give them more than a goal here and, unfortunately for the hosts, it may not be enough.

Fulham have managed a pretty healthy five goals in their last four away games and are unbeaten on the road since losing at runaway leaders Manchester City in early December. That seven-game run includes no less than six draws, the one victory also coming on Merseyside against Everton.

Scott Parker has made his team hard to beat on the road
Scott Parker has made his team hard to beat on the road

Given that, there could be some scope to take Betfair's 15/2 about an away win. It certainly appeals much, much more than the 4/9 about Liverpool.

But it's the Draw that appeals most. It's as big as 19/5 at Unibet but the 10/1 at Bet Victor for a 1-1 correct scoreline looks outstanding value.

Goalscorer bets

Salah clearly had the hump about getting withdrawn on the hour mark against Chelsea - and rightly so. It seemed a strange move from Klopp.

That means he could be fired up more than normal although the 4/5 anytime scorer quotes don't get the pulse racing. Mane and Firmino just don't deserve to be backed right now but Diogo Jota looked quite sharp in his comeback on Thursday and his record of five goals in 10 Anfield games suggests he's worth a look.

Diogo Jota can open the scoring
Diogo Jota can open the scoring

The Portguese star will add an element of freshness in attack and is worth a first goalscorer bet at 9/2 with Unibet.

For the visitors, Ivan Cavaleiro has scored in three of his last eight Premier League away games. On those numbers he's a sporting bet at 9/2 with Betfair to find the net.

READ MORE: Liverpool need a spark. Can top scorer Salah find the solution against Fulham again?

Latest Soccer Videos