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Liverpool V Fulham at Anfield : Match Preview

Updated 21 Dec 2012 15:01:19

Liverpool V Fulham at Anfield : Match Preview

Liverpool V Fulham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Enrique back for Reds

Defender Jose Enrique returned to training this week after a hamstring injury and comes back into contention for the visit of Fulham.

Midfielder Nuri Sahin is fit after surgery on a broken nose but winger Oussama Assaidi is out with a knee problem.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken about the need to rest forward Raheem Sterling and if he does Suso would be his likely replacement.

The visit of Fulham signals a sequence of five matches in 16 days but Rodgers has warned his players they cannot afford to think they can ease up.

He said they should not even consider protecting themselves for the forthcoming run as that was a decision for him and his backroom team.

"I always focus the players on the next game," he said.

"It is our job to maybe look at the teams in advance of the games as it's obviously a busy period and the players are human beings.

"You have to prepare the teams and look at the physical recovery in between but that is for the staff and the management to do that.

"The players' focus is purely on the next game because it is irrelevant what will happen at Stoke and QPR, you have to take care of Fulham."

Fulham manager Martin Jol remains confident his side can claim a positive result despite his severely depleted midfield resources.

Steve Sidwell's one-match ban for collecting five yellow cards, as well as Bryan Ruiz and Mahamadou Diarra still sidelined with injuries, means Fulham will be without the majority of their central midfield players for the Barclays Premier League clash at Anfield.

A run of just one win in the club's last nine league outings mean Fulham are now only five points clear of the relegation zone.

Jol remains upbeat about the league position but knows a result at Liverpool, followed by a string of players returning to the fold, would be a timely boost.

"It is about winning games so if we can pull a few games together and have a few wins we will be fine again - but we need to come up with solutions and results," he said.

"It is a constant worry, that is why a lot of managers in the Premier League will tell you they need 40 points as soon as possible.

"There are so many points to gain and so many games to play, I would be worried if we were in the bottom three but now my first worry is the (injured) players and getting them back.

"We have got a problem in midfield, everyone can see that.

"The only one who is there is Chris Baird and he is a defender, we have trained this week and tried to do a certain shape with certain players and we still have the players to do a job."



PA

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