Liverpool FC will look to continue their run of top form in domestic play when they travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham in English Premier League play. The Reds are unbeaten in their last 11 matches overall, including their last nine in the Premiership.
The Cottagers, on the other hand, are languishing at 15th in the league table, though they've managed draws in each of their last two EPL fixtures, most notably a 1-1 finish against Arsenal.
Fulham will look to play spoiler to Liverpool's renewed hardware hopes to kick off the month of December.
Where: Craven Cottage, London, England.
When: Monday, December 5th at 3:00 p.m. ET
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Live Stream: ESPN3.com, SuperSport Internet 3
Player To Watch for Fulham: Clint Dempsey
For American soccer fans, this match will be all about Clint Dempsey. The star striker for Team USA has been in good form for Fulham this season, as he's tied for the club lead in goals and assists with three apiece.
The Cottagers have struggled to score, having been shut out five times in league play alone so far and, as such, will need Dempsey to create opportunities for his teammates if they're to have any chance to beat the Reds.
Player To Watch for Liverpool: Luis Suarez
Liverpool aren't exactly juggernauts when it comes to putting the ball in the net either, even though they sport one of the slickest strikers in the EPL in the person of Luis Suarez. Luisito hasn't put much of a dent on the score sheet since his fearless start to the 2011-12 campaign.
However, his creativity with the ball and mere presence on the attack has opened up opportunities for the likes of Andy Carroll and Charlie Adam to celebrate putting the ball through to the back of the net.
Key Matchup: Suarez and Craig Bellamy vs. Fulham's back line
One of these days, Suarez and Bellamy are going to be rewarded for their efforts up front for Liverpool. What better time, place and opponent than Monday in London against Fulham?
Not that the Cottagers will necessarily abide the desires of the Reds attackers. As poorly as Fulham have performed offensively this season, they've been just as oppositely terrific in defence, having surrendered more than two goals only once in EPL competition.
If the Cottagers hold tight in front of goal, they may well pull out yet another surprising result against a top-flight club.
What They're Saying
The sweetness of Liverpool's 2-0 victory over Chelsea in Carling Cup competition on Tuesday was embittered by a season-ending injury to midfielder Lucas Leiva. The Brazilian tore a ligament in his knee on a challenge against the Blues. He confirmed the bad news via Twitter on Thursday:
The Reds have recalled Jonjo Shelvey from his loan to Blackpool to fill Lucas' roster spot while Jay Spearing is expected to assume more playing time in his absence, at least until Kenny Dalglish finds a suitable replacement in January—as soon as he stops kicking himself over selling Raul Meireles to Chelsea over the summer.
Meanwhile, Fulham remain plagued by speculation over the future of Moussa Dembele. The 24-year-old striker has been mentioned in connection with a move to Tottenham, with the player himself going so far as to characterize the Spurs as a "step higher" at one point.
According to ESPN Soccernet, Cottagers boss Martin Jol, who used to stroll the touchline at White Hart Lane, insists that Dembele isn't going anywhere:
"Maybe someone told you about Tottenham, I don't know. But there is a lot of interest in good players, and I've got a few. It's up to us to keep them here, and that's what we're trying to do. I think Dembele could develop into one of the best."
Prediction: Liverpool 1, Fulham 0
The Reds have actually played their best football away from Anfield this season. This match figures to be a physical one, filled with fine tackling and physical challenges between two of the better defensive clubs in the EPL this season. In the end, though, look for Luisito to have a hand in the lone goal of the game—in Liverpool's favor, of course.