With Manchester City on FA Cup duty, Liverpool can return to the top of the Premier League with a victory over Fulham. George Pitts takes a look at the betting.
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Fulham v Liverpool (1415 kick-off, Sky Sports Premier League)
Back down to earth for Liverpool after another fantastic Champions League match to add to the history books.
Jurgen Klopp's men took a goalless draw back to Bayern Munich for the last 16 second leg and they emerged 3-1 winners against the Bundesliga giants at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. A Sadio Mane double, either side of Virgil van Dijk's header, helped them join Man City, Man United and Spurs in the last eight - where they'll face Porto.
At such a key point of the season, Klopp will have to get his side's focus straight onto Sunday's big game, and to also consider rotation as the games continue to come thick and fast.
With Man City in FA Cup action against Watford, a good motivation for the Reds is the fact that victory at Fulham will see them return to the top of the Premier League until at least the following Saturday - when the Cottagers then have to host Man City.
Back-to-back games against the title challengers, after playing Chelsea and Leicester, is a tough hand that caretaker manager Scott Parker has been dealt with since replacing Claudio Ranieri at the helm.
Time is running out on their bid to avoid relegation, with west Londoners 13 points from safety with eight games to go.
Parker knows the enormity of the task in hand, saying before the Leicester defeat that 'we'll give it a go' and survival is not 'mission impossible'. Considering their next two opponents, Parker can only afford to take it game by game.
Prediction: Fulham 1-3 Liverpool (Sky Bet odds: )
The Reds will be made to work but should run out strong and convincing winners in the end. The Cottagers have lost half of their home games this term, conceding 28 goals in 14 games, and Klopp will make sure his side are focused on the task in hand after Wednesday's high. They have been at times efficient when required this season, though they will have to do it without Jordan Henderson who injured his ankle in Germany in midweek. They should have few issues to take a two-point lead at the top, but Fulham can at least have something to cheer about with a goal.
Best bet: Liverpool to be leading after 30 minutes at 5/4
It can be tricky to find value in a Liverpool win, so this price above evens looks appealing. The Merseysiders have started well in their last three Premier League wins, leading after half an hour in all of them. They have scored 20 goals in the first 30 minutes while slow starters Fulham have conceded 27 in that time frame.
Goals/Stats: Ryan Babel 1+ shots on target at 13/8
There is the easier option of looking at one of Liverpool's front three to score, but the price on Ryan Babel to get an effort on target is eye-catching. The Dutchman will play against the Reds for the first time since leaving them in 2011 and will no doubt be keen to make an impression. The 32-year-old will be playing a supporting role behind Aleksandar Mitrovic and has averaged two shots per game in the Premier League since arriving in January. While a goal could be a tough ask at 5/1, the 13/8 price on him to get a shot on target is much more appealing.
- Fulham have lost their last five Premier League meetings with Liverpool since a 1-0 win at Anfield in May 2012.
- Liverpool have won their last two Premier League away games against Fulham – they’ve never won three in a row on the road against the Cottagers in the top-flight.
- None of Fulham’s 13 Premier League home meetings with Liverpool have finished as a draw, with the Cottagers winning five and losing eight.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League games against promoted sides (W10 D1), winning the last eight in a row. They’ve scored 31 goals and conceded just four in that run since a 0-2 loss at Hull in February 2017.
- Fulham have lost nine of their last 10 Premier League games (W1), including each of the last six in a row. They’ve not lost more consecutively in the top-flight since a run of 11 in February 1962.
- Liverpool have conceded more goals in their 10 Premier League games in 2019 (9) than they had in their 20 such matches before the turn of the year this season (8).
- Liverpool’s last three Premier League away games have finished level, with the last two ending 0-0. They last drew four in a row on the road between April-August 1996, while they’ve never had three consecutive goalless draws away from home in the top-flight.
- Fulham have lost a league-high 17 Premier League matches by a margin of two or more goals this season. The most a side has ever lost by 2+ goals in a 38-game season is 19, by Fulham themselves in 2013-14.
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has had a hand in 12 goals in his last eight Premier League appearances against newly-promoted sides (6 goals, 6 assists).
- Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has scored eight goals in his last eight Premier League games, though just one of these has come away from Anfield.
Odds correct as of 1700 GMT on 14/03/19