Liverpool will be aiming to get back to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday when they entertain Fulham at Anfield.
The Reds earned a deserved draw at Manchester City last weekend thanks to a fantastic second-half strike from Trent Alexander-Arnold. They are third in the table with 28 points from 13 games.
Meanwhile, Fulham came out trumps in the 3-2 thriller against Wolves at Craven Cottage on Monday evening which ended their four-game winless run in the Premier League. The last-minute win over Gary O’Neil’s side should give the Cottagers some much-needed confidence heading into the game against Liverpool.
With an exciting clash expected at Anfield, here are the key battles that could have a big say in the game.
#Alexis Mac Allister vs Andreas Pereira
Alexis Mac Allister is expected to start in a deeper midfield role as usual on Sunday. The Argentine had a solid game against Man City last weekend, evading the press on a number of occasions and initiating attacks from the base very well. His calmness and composure on the ball will give Liverpool a platform to build and sustain phases of play against Fulham.
But Fulham have Andreas Pereira in the advanced role and the Brazilian has the qualities to upend Liverpool’s plans all by himself. He may have not been as productive as last season but the 27-year-old remains a crucial component in Marco Silva’s side.
If Mac Allister can limit Pereira’s influence in the final third by limiting the space and time afforded to him on the ball, Liverpool will find it easier to progress the ball through the middle.
#Caoimhin Kelleher vs Willian
A point at the Etihad Stadium was well deserved for Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp after the game said injuries to goalkeeper Alisson and forward Diogo Jota overshadowed the result. Alisson had a game to forget against Man City and appeared to injure himself after clearing the ball. He is set to be out for around two weeks, which should open the door for Caoimhin Kelleher to start in goal on Sunday.
Kelleher has been restricted to only cup games again, with the Reds’ second-choice shot-stopper managing only five appearances so far this season. Given the Northern Irishman has not played much, Fulham could look to unsettle him whenever they get an opportunity.
Willian, who netted two goals including the winner against Wolves on Monday, could look to test Kelleher often with his rasping, accurate long shots. Cutting in from the left, the Brazilian will find ways to have a pop on Liverpool’s goal and sting Kelleher’s palms. In return, he will need to be ready for Fulham’s advances and try to keep a clean sheet at home.
#Mohamed Salah vs Antonee Robinson
Mohamed Salah continues to be Liverpool’s primary source of goals. He has already netted 10 goals and supplied five assists on top of that in 13 league games this campaign. Undoubtedly, the Egyptian will be the Reds’ biggest threat going forward.
Meanwhile, Antonee Robinson has done a good job for Fulham—both defensively and offensively. However, he will have his work cut out defensively against Salah, especially during transitions. Salah will also need to make sure that Robinson doesn’t get many chances to bomb down the flank and make delicious crosses into the box to attack.
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