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Liverpool vs. Fulham
Liverpool v Fulham
Saturday, 10 November
Kick-off: 1715 GMT
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is pushing for a place in boss Rafael Benitez's line-up.
Harry Kewell is also in contention after another spell on the sidelines.
Fulham duo Paul Konchesky and Elliott Omozusi are banned but Carlos Bocanegra returns from a suspension. Shefki Kuqi could be handed his full debut.
Chris Baird is fit and will return to the starting line-up, but youngster Nathan Ashton has picked up a thigh injury and misses out.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:
"I was happy with the Champions League performance but I have not decided who plays in the next game.
"The situation does not worry me. I can choose from four strikers who I believe are all playing well but I can understand why people ask the question.
"I like to see all my players doing well and I prefer to have the problem of deciding which players will be in the team."
Fulham manager Lawrie Sanchez:
"We have a lot of good forwards here and it's very hard to get into our front line.
"Shefki Kuqi was down the pecking order. As a loan player coming in from a Championship club, he was always going to be 'just in case'.
"But he came in last week and did an excellent job for half an hour. The test now will be if I start him, can he do it for 90 minutes?"
Liverpool (from): Reina, Finnan, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hyypia, Hobbs, Aurelio, Riise, Babel, Benayoun, Gerrard, Mascherano, Sissoko, Kewell, Voronin, Kuyt, Crouch, Torres, Martin, Lucas.
Fulham (from): Niemi, Warner, Stefanovic, Hughes, Bocanegra, Baird, Leijer, Davis, Smertin, Murphy, Seol, Davies, Healy, Dempsey, Kamara, Kuqi.
Liverpool run out for Rafael Benitez' 200th game in charge, four days after thrashing Besiktas 8-0 - the biggest win in Champions League history.
The Merseysiders put their unbeaten Premier League record on the line, against a Fulham side yet to win away, but one who also enjoyed their biggest win of the season last time out (3-1, home to Reading).
This is a match between the draw specialists of the Premier League; six of Liverpool's 11 league games have finished all square, and 50% of Fulham's have also ended level (six of 12).
The Cottagers were the last club to beat Liverpool in the Premier League.
Fulham are chasing back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time in 46 outings; however defeat would take the Londoners' total of losses in this league to 100.
The Craven Cottage club have never won in any competition at Anfield.
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 4th
Lowest could fall: 7th
1. One of two remaining unbeaten clubs in the Premier League, with Arsenal, and one of six still to be beaten at home in the highest league.
2. Undefeated in 12 league games; won five and drawn seven since losing 1-0, away to Fulham on 5 May.
3. Their Premier League games this season have produced the joint lowest aggregate, with West Ham of 23 goals; 17 for, six against. That's 2.06 goals per game.
4. One of only two teams to have conceded six Premier League goals, at one every 165 minutes (two hours 45 minutes). Manchester United are the other club to have shipped just six, at one every 180 minutes (three hours) on average.
5. An opposition player is still to open the scoring in a Liverpool Premier League match this season, although an own goal from Sami Hyypia did give Everton the lead in the Merseyside derby on 20 October.
6. Not conceded a Premier League goal earlier than the 38th minute, and only shipped two in the first half; fewer than any other club.
7. Recorded three goalless draws in the Premier League this season; more than any other club.
8. Five of Liverpool's 10 league defeats last season followed midweek Champions League ties.
9. Drawn their last four league games against London clubs.
10. Of their five league wins this season, only one has been at Anfield. Drawn four of their five home Premier League matches; more than any other club, and unbeaten in nine league outings at Anfield. Won four and drawn five since the 0-1 reverse to Manchester United on 3 March; their only defeat in 40 home league games since October 2005.
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 11th
Lowest could realistically fall: 14th
1. Not achieved successive league victories since beating Sheffield United (h) and Newcastle (a) on 26 August and 9 September 2006.
2. Averaging a point a game so far this season (12 in 12).
3. The 3-1 victory over Reading last Saturday ended a nine-match winless league sequence.
4. Picked up only two Premier League wins so far; home to Bolton and Reading.
5. Lost the lead seven times in league matches this season and beaten in an unequalled three games in which they held the lead. Dropped 15 Premier League points from winning positions, but this is now not the worst record this season; Spurs have failed to hang on to 16 points from matches in which they were winning.
6. Used more players in Premier League competition this season than any other club; fielded 26.
7. Been shown three red cards in Premier League matches this season; more than any other club.
8. Lost 12 of the last 15 Premier League journeys to the north-west, but gained two points from the last three trips. Their only maximum in the 15 league trips to the region was 1-2 v Manchester City on 29 April 2006.
9. One of eight clubs still searching for a first away win in the Premier League.
10. On the longest current streak of 22 matches without an away victory in the Premier League, picking up 11 points from a possible 66 since the 1-2 defeat of Newcastle at St James' Park on 9 September last year. Drawn the last three on the road; 1-1 at Wigan, 0-0 at Chelsea and 1-1 at Sunderland.
KEY PLAYER NOTES
Fernando TORRES is Liverpool's top scorer with seven goals, and top Premier League marksman, with four.
Goalkeeper Jose REINA is the only remaining player to have been on the field for every minute of every one of Liverpool's Premier League matches this season.
Benitez has not named an unchanged starting 11 since 31 October last year (v Bordeaux), and has only done so once in the last 159 matches.
Mohamed SISSOKO will be making his 50th Premier League appearance in Liverpool colours.
Steve FINNAN will be facing a former club. The 31 year old Republic of Ireland international made 207 appearances (172 in the league) and scored seven goals (six league) between November 1998 and his £3.5m move to Liverpool in July 2003.
If on the field from the outset:-
Dirk KUYT will be making his 50th start in a Liverpool shirt.
Clint DEMPSEY and David HEALY are Fulham's joint top scorers with four goals each; only DEMPSEY'S are all Premier League goals.
Fulham boast five players to have figured in at least a part of every one of their Premier League games this season; that's more than any other club (Simon DAVIES, Steven DAVIS, DEMPSEY, HEALY and Diomansy KAMARA).
Shefki KUQI will be playing on his 31st birthday.
Danny MURPHY will be facing a former club. The 30 year old loanee made 249 appearances (170 in the league) and scored 44 goals (25 league) for Liverpool between July 1997 and his move to Charlton in August 2004.
Paul KONCHESKY (one match)
Elliot OMOZUMI (one match)
HEAD TO HEAD
Liverpool have not been short of goals in winning the last three home Premier League fixtures with Fulham, netting three, five and four goals respectively. Ten different scorers netted 11 of those 12 goals, and one was an own goal.
The Cottagers lost 10-0 at Anfield in the League Cup 21 years ago.
Home and away
League (inc PL): Liverpool 22 wins, Fulham 7, Draws 11
Prem: Liverpool 7 wins, Fulham 3, Draws 2
at Liverpool only
League (inc PL): Liverpool 15 wins, Fulham 0, Draws 5
Prem: Liverpool 4 wins, Fulham 0, Draws 2
LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME
Liverpool 4-0 Fulham
9 December 2006 - Ref: Uriah Rennie
Liverpool scorers: Gerrard 54, Carragher 61, Luis Garcia 66, Gonzalez 90
Steve Tanner (Somerset)
You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!
wah, thanks for that
the stats and history points to another Big LFC win
they better not buang again