They might have both bowed out of the Premier League title race and seen their dreams of playing European football dashed, but with the chance to pick up three valuable points (for different reasons) this week, expect both teams to still be very keen to get a win in this one.
The Cottagers might be up in 12th position but, given the closeness of the table this year, are only two points away from 17th-placed Newcastle United. And with a difficult fixture next weekend as well, Fulham will know that they aren't safe from being relegated this season until they have some more points on the board, which they'll no doubt be looking to do here.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will be looking to chase down their Merseyside rivals in Everton and finish above the Toffees this year. They were behind Everton last season on the league table and would be desperate to avoid that happening again in 2013.
So there's still plenty to play for in this match, and the action will no doubt still be very intriguing indeed. Who's going to emerge triumphant from Craven Cottage?
Read on for a full preview of the match including all the need-to-know details, live viewing information, analysis, predictions and a whole lot more!
Date: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Start time: 10:00 a.m. ET (3:00 p.m. British time)
Venue: Craven Cottage, Fulham, England
Live Stream and TV Information
According to Live Soccer TV, FoxSoccer 2Go will provide coverage and a live stream of this game throughout the United States.
Coverage can also be found via talkSPORT radio.
Recent Form and Previous Meetings
The two form lines coming into this one could not be more different, with Fulham losing their last four matches and going winless through their last six. Perhaps most alarming is the fact they've only managed to score in two of those six games, with one of them coming against the then-last Reading.
The Reds, on the other hand, are undefeated in their past six, and whilst they might only have two wins to their name, they've been very tough to beat of late. They'll know that they probably won't be able to catch the Toffees this season on the league table, but they'll be looking to finish strong and cap off a good first year at the club for Brendan Rodgers.
The two met at Anfield just before Christmas in 2012, with Liverpool walking away with a comfortable 4-0 victory on the day. They had 23 shots in that game (per WhoScored) and will be looking to continue such attacking dominance when they met this weekend.
Key Players to Watch for Both Teams
Fulham: Mark Schwarzer, GK
When they played Liverpool earlier in the year, it really wasn't a good day out for the Australian goalkeeper, who made some simple errors in the big loss.
He'll no doubt be looking for a big improvement here, and with the Cottagers likely to face plenty of attacking firepower from the Reds, the 40-year-old shot-stopper will need to be on his best game here—something that he has done well this season.
Without Schwarzer, there's no doubting that Fulham would be much closer to the relegation zone, and their future in the Premier League would not be as secure.
Look for him to again play a key role in this one.
Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho, LW
Coutinho was a great pickup by Rodgers over the winter transfer window, and he's quickly adjusted into the Reds' style of play. And now, with Luis Suarez suspended, Coutinho should see himself with plenty of opportunities to push forward and run at defenders—something he thrives at on the left wing.
The 20-year-old has four assists and two goals in his 10 appearances to date, and was strong going forward against Everton last week, even to no avail.
A constant threat wherever he is on the pitch, look for the Brazilian to harass Fulham's defense here and weave his way into an opening or two—something that could lead to great success for Daniel Sturridge at the top of the attack or perhaps for Coutinho himself.
Three Stats to Consider
1. Liverpool have lost just one of their last seven away Premier League games.
18. Fulham have conceded the first goal in 18 Premier League matches so far this year and are yet to win any of those games (four draws, 14 losses).
8. Fulham have not won any of the eight games they've played in the Premier League this year without midfielder Steve Sidwell (two draws, six losses). Sidwell is suspended from this fixture.
Even away from home, it seems unlikely Liverpool will lose this one.
The Reds have been in a good run of form of late, and whilst they will be without several key players for this match, they should have enough to beat Fulham.
Expect the Cottagers to be up for this one in their last home game of the year and provide great resistance to the men from Merseyside early on. However, as the game carries on, expect the Reds to find good momentum going forward and end up toppling their opponents in the end.
Prediction: Fulham 0, Liverpool 1
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