Brendan Rodgers could scarcely have picked a better team for Liverpool to put their 2-0 loss to Arsenal last weekend behind them than an insipid Fulham side who travel to Anfield.
Martin Jol said this week that he doesn’t fear being sacked but that may saw more about his lack of phobias than his job security as the Londoners have languished this season losing six of their opening ten fixtures and putting in performances that will have Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge licking their lips.
side have conceded 15 goals in the league so far this season and could be much worse off had Manchester United not lost some of their hunger when they went up by three in the opening half hour at Craven Cottage last weekend and to make matters worse Sascha Riether has since been handed a three game ban for his stamp on Adnan Januzaj.
The Dutchman’s last expedition to Anfield ended in a 4-0 thrashing and with Rodgers looking to show that last week’s loss hasn’t left any lasting marks it could be a similar result again.
The Liverpool manager has said he is confident of guiding them back to the Champions League, “If you look at where we’re at, if you’re averaging two points a game, you would like to think you would get into the Champions League.
“Come Saturday, if we can get another three points, which we’ll be fighting hard for, that would take us above that.
“We’re just treating every game as an important game for us in our quest this year. We just need to keep focusing and keep our concentration.
“We’ve got some players coming back now, like young Philippe Coutinho, who adds a genuine quality to our game. My history as a coach shows that I love players with personality and technique. This is a player that has got a high level of technical ability and a strong personality.”
Rodgers also welcomes back Glen Johnson to his defence which should provide for some of the width that was sorely lacking against the league leaders but with the visitors showing a deference to superior opposition so far this season as can be seen from the near walk over handed to United Rodgers’ men should be in for an easy afternoon.
Jol has been undone by organised teams, such as Cardiff City, this season so if Liverpool can keep the structure which has seen them through tricky games so far they should come away with a handy three points.
History is also on the Reds’ side as Fulham have not won only once in this part of Merseyside in their last 32 trips, and that was thanks to a Martin Skrtel own goal.