HomeFulham v Liverpool: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

Fulham v Liverpool: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction


The State of Play

Liverpool remain in the hunt for four pieces of silverware, and Wednesday offers the Reds their first chance to reach a major final this season as they face Fulham in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final tie.

For long periods of the first leg a fortnight ago, Fulham looked like they may take a surprise lead back to Craven Cottage as Willian stunned Anfield into silence with his opening goal.

However, the second-half introductions of Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo changed the complexion of the game, and the Dutchman joined Curtis Jones on the scoresheet as Jurgen Klopp’s men turned the game on its head to claim a 2-1 win.

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Fulham – who have only ever featured in one previous domestic cup final, losing to West Ham in the 1975 FA Cup showpiece – now face an uphill task.

With the away goals rule no longer used in the EFL Cup, Wednesday’s hosts must win by two clear goals to advance without needing extra time or penalties, though boss Marco Silva would surely take an additional period if offered it before kick-off.

Fulham also troubled Liverpool in the Premier League last month, taking a 3-2 lead into the final three minutes at Anfield, though there was more Merseyside heartbreak for them as late efforts from Wataru Endo and Trent Alexander-Arnold handed the Reds a dramatic 4-3 victory.

Will it be a case of third time lucky for Silva’s men on Wednesday, or will Liverpool keep their hopes of a Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup quadruple alive?

Team News

Fulham have no new injury problems ahead of Wednesday’s match, though former Wolves winger Adama Traore remains unavailable after enduring an injury-hit start to life in west London.

Calvin Bassey, Alex Iwobi and Fode Ballo-Toure are still at the Africa Cup of Nations, so Fulham’s lineup could look very similar to that which began the first leg on Merseyside.

Liverpool have received a major fitness boost ahead of the game, with Andy Robertson set to travel to London after recovering from a shoulder injury which has kept him out since October. He could come straight in at left-back, with Konstantinos Tsimikas around two weeks away from a return.

Jones should feature after his precautionary withdrawal from Sunday’s 4-0 rout of Bournemouth, but this game will come slightly too early for Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai, both of whom are expected to return for Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Norwich City.

Caoimhin Kelleher has started all four of Liverpool’s EFL Cup games this season, and the Irishman should take Alisson’s place between the sticks for this one.

Expected line-ups

Fulham: Leno; Castagne, Adarabioyo, Diop, Robinson; Palhinha, Cairney; Wilson, Pereira, Willian; Jimenez.

Liverpool: Kelleher; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Mac Allister, Jones; Jota, Gakpo, Nunez.

What they said

Fulham boss Silva on the role of the home fans:

“They are going to be crucial, they are going to play a big part. We need them behind us. In these types of games, the crowd can make a big impact.

“We had good examples at Anfield with the two games we played there. We were playing so well and, in tough moments for Liverpool, they were always there and pushed their team forward. That’s what we need from our fans. I’m sure they will be with us and they will play a big part in it.”

Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders on the importance of reaching the final:

“Playing finals is one of the most important things for a team to develop – and winning them!

“Playing a semi-final in January is great and being able to reach Wembley, one of the most iconic stadiums in the world, is unbelievable. All of these things have an impact on our development.

“I said it two years ago when we played all four competitions until the end, for players it creates a constant opportunity; maybe they are not playing now, but in two weeks they know they are going to play so they train in a different way. That’s really important.”

When and how to watch

Wednesday’s game takes place at Craven Cottage with an 8pm local kick-off time, and it will be screened live in the UK on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football from 7pm.


Fulham have already shown they can cause Liverpool problems, and with Silva’s team needing to attack the second leg and Liverpool only having two days of rest to their opponents’ 10, expect the hosts to make a strong start.

However, Liverpool’s greater depth could prove to be the difference again, just as it was in the first leg. With the likes of Nunez and Jota in brilliant form, we’re backing Liverpool for another 2-1 win, which would be more than enough to send them to next month’s final.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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