Fulham – Liverpool Preview: In-form Reds aiming to further title push

Fulham will hope for more Premier League heroics when they host Champions League-chasing Liverpool at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.

Rene Meulensteen came away from former club Manchester United with an unlikely point on Sunday after a thrilling encounter at Old Trafford, as Darren Bent secured a 2-2 draw in the 94th minute.

While they may have travelled to face a United side low on confidence, Liverpool will be flying high after their own weekend exploits.

Four goals in the opening 20 minutes helped them to a 5-1 crushing of table-toppers Arsenal at Anfield, knocking the London club off the summit and boosting Liverpool’s European and title-winning hopes.

Liverpool have won their last three meetings with Fulham, scoring 11 goals in the process, and dominate the head-to-head record between the clubs in the Premier League with 15 wins from 25 fixtures.

However striker Bent believes the point at the champions proves they can mix it with the league’s top sides and hopes to take momentum into their midweek game.

“Our performances over recent weeks have not been as good as we would have liked,” he told the club’s official website. “But we’ve shown signs in those games that we are playing some good stuff.

“This is hopefully massive for us and hopefully we can kick on now and get some points on the board.

“A lot of people probably wrote us off and said we would get beat by three or four, but we showed we are a strong side and we can live with the best of them and we can kick on.”

Despite Sunday’s morale-boosting draw, Fulham come into the game in woeful form – without a league win since New Year’s Day – and they also have the division’s worst defensive record by a distance, having conceded 55 goals in 25 matches.

And that may well excite Liverpool, as only Manchester City have scored more than Brendan Rodgers’ men this term – with star strikers Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez particularly enjoying recent meetings Fulham.

Suarez has four goals in as many outings against the men from west London, while Sturridge netted a hat-trick to secure a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage last season.

Meulensteen will have a full complement to choose from, though Kostas Mitroglou’s fitness is still being carefully monitored as he awaits his Fulham debut.

The Dutchman made a number of surprise changes to his side at Old Trafford, though the likes of Muamer Tankovic, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Dan Burn all impressed in the draw.

Daniel Agger is closing on a Liverpool return, and is set to step up his recovery from a calf injury this week, though Wednesday will come too soon for him.

Mamadou Sakho (hamstring) and Glen Johnson (various injuries) both also remain sidelined for the Merseysiders, as do Lucas Leiva and Jose Enrique (both knee).

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