Verdict: Liverpool win
Best Odds: 3/4
Looking to finish the job and punch their EFL Cup final ticket on Wednesday night, Liverpool will travel to Craven Cottage.
Starting with the hosts, while Fulham might have signed off 2023 with a stellar 2-1 victory at home against title contenders Arsenal, Marco Silva’s side have largely struggled with their consistency this season. Last seen getting hit with a toothless 1-0 loss at the hands of west London rivals Chelsea, the former Everton boss has seen his squad lose four of their previous six appearances across all competitions. Slumping to a 2-1 defeat when they travelled to Anfield for their first leg showdown on January 10th, the Cottagers will be more than aware that they face a real challenge here. However, despite being tipped as a landslide underdog on Wednesday night, Silva’s men will take plenty of positives from their recent success on home soil. Extending on their FA Cup adventure earlier in the month as they secured a 1-0 victory against Championship outfit Rotherham, the west London outfit have won five of their last six contests at Craven Cottage – a run that stems back to November 4th.
Both away with Nigeria at this month’s Africa Cup of Nations, Fulham will be unable to call upon the duo of Calvin Bassey and Alex Iwobi on Wednesday night. Likewise, still dealing with an extended thigh injury and not making a single appearance across any competition since November 12th, former Wolves attacker Adama Traore will not feature here.
Notching five Premier League strikes this season, Mexico international Raul Jimenez will spearhead Silva’s charge at Craven Cottage. Handed a rest against Chelsea last time out, ex-Leicester defender Timothy Castagne could make a full return at right-back.
As for the visitors, while Liverpool might have missed out on a crucial Champions League ticket last season, Jurgen Klopp’s side have come roaring back this time around. Last seen putting in another rampant performance as they breezed their way to a 4-0 romp away at Bournemouth, Jurgen Klopp’s side are riding a major wave of momentum. Leading the chase at the top of the Premier League table and tipped as a leading title contender in 2024, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has seen his high-flying squad win all of their previous five appearances across all competitions by an aggregate score of 14-3. Opening the New Year with an action-packed 4-2 victory against Newcastle, Wednesday’s guests will be looking to finish off their EFL Cup job at Craven Cottage. Landing that 2-1 victory when they welcomed Fulham to Anfield for their first leg battle on January 10th, Klopp’s men are rightfully tipped as a standout contender in west London.
Suffering a hamstring injury while away with Egypt at this month’s Africa Cup of Nations and returning to Liverpool for further treatment, attacking talisman Mohamed Salah will not feature here. Likewise, all still dealing with respective injury issues, Klopp will be unable to call upon the likes of Andy Robertson, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Joel Matip and Dominik Szoboszlai.
Both bagging a brace away at Bournemouth over the weekend, the attacking duo of Darwin Nunez and Dieogo Jota will spearhead Liverpool’s charge in west London. Ireland international Caoimhin Kelleher could replace Alisson between the sticks at Craven Cottage.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Fulham and Liverpool met for their first leg showdown on January 10th, Klopp’s side collected a 2-1 victory at Anfield.
- Likewise, the Reds have won all of their last three meetings against Fulham by an aggregate score of 7-4.
- Liverpool have won all of their previous five appearances across all competitions by an aggregate score of 14-3.
- The Cottagers have lost four of their previous six domestic appearances across all competitions.
- Liverpool have not suffered a single domestic defeat away from Anfield since way back on September 30th.
Sat in pole position to punch an EFL Cup final ticket on Wednesday night, Liverpool will simply be looking to finish off the job here. Winning all of their previous five appearances across all formats by an aggregate score of 14-3, Klopp’s side will also be excited by a stellar record against Fulham. Including a 2-1 victory when they welcomed to Cottagers to Anfield for their first leg meeting on January 10th, Liverpool have lost just one of their last 12 meetings against Wednesday’s hosts – a run that stems all the way back to May 2012. While Silva’s side might have continued to shine with their recent performances in west London, we are expecting a lively away win here.
Verdict: Liverpool win
Best Odds: 3/4