Fulham host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, with the champions looking to continue their excellent league form against the erratic newly-promoted side.
Here’s everything you need to know about that clash at Craven Cottage:
Scott Parker’s side will be no doubt be doing everything in their power to avoid a repeat of their last top-flight adventure, yet it already seems like they’re destined to be in and around the relegation scrap come the end of the season.
The Championship play-off winners have put in some positive displays of late, particularly in the 2-1 win over Leicester City two weeks ago, yet they still look to be struggling defensively despite a number of summer additions at the back.
That being said, they do have a top-quality goalkeeper at their disposal in the form of Alphonse Areola, the former PSG stopper in fine form despite seeing his side succumb to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City at the weekend.
Fulham have now picked up just seven points from their opening 11 games and are currently just a point outside of the bottom three, with the chances of adding to their tally seemingly unlikely against last season’s title winners.
For that clash with Liverpool, Parker should have a relatively full squad to choose from, although summer signing Kenny Tete remains a long-term absentee.
It’s testament to both Liverpool’s squad depth but also their mentality that they’ve been able to continue to perform despite suffering a staggering amount of injuries over the past few months.
Although Jurgen Klopp has vented his frustrations regarding the hectic schedule and its impact on his players, the German surely must be delighted that his side have continued to put in excellent displays despite the absence of a number of key men.
Class from Kelleher again last night 👐 pic.twitter.com/cVwFmlicpR
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2020
The weekend saw the Reds put four past a usually watertight Wolves defence to leave them level on points with leaders Tottenham going into a busy Christmas period.
That relentless run of games will surely test their squad depth to the extreme, yet they’ve already proven to be more than capable of managing, with their only league defeat still that bizarre 7-2 thrashing at the hands of Aston Villa.
As for the Champions League, with their place in knockout stages already secured, the Reds fielded a much-changed side against FC Midtjylland and were held to a draw after VAR denied Takumi Minamino a late winner.
That result saw Mo Salah become Liverpool‘s all-time leading European goalscorer with 22 goals, the Egyptian overtaking club legend and current Rangers boss Steven Gerrard.
Fulham 1-2 Liverpool, 17 March 2019
The two sides last met just over a year and a half ago, with Fulham edging towards relegation, while Liverpool were still fighting it out with Manchester City for the title.
The Reds took an early lead through Sadio Mane, before former Liverpool man Ryan Babel gave his side hope of snatching a point, the Dutchman capitalising on a Alisson and Virgil Van Dijk mix-up to slot home.
Unfortunately for Fulham, however, they couldn’t quite hold on, as James Milner dispatched an 81st minute penalty after Sergio Rico’s foul on Mane in the box. That result took Liverpool to the top of the table, yet they were eventually usurped by Pep Guardiola and City, while the Cottagers suffered relegation after just one season back in the Premier League.
Fulham: Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson; Reed, Anguissa, Loftus-Cheek; Lookman, Decordova-Reid, Cavaleiro.
Liverpool: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Jones, Keita; Mane, Firmino, Salah.
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch the match on Sky Sports Main Event.
What time is kick off?
Sunday 13 December, 16:30 GMT
Fulham – 8/1
Liverpool – 3/10
Draw – 9/2