12/4/2011 11:17:00 AM
only two teams to take points off Manchester City in the Premier League this
season meet on Monday night, but that doesn't mean you should expect an even
match when highflying Liverpool travel to struggling Fulham.
are now playing with uncommon energy and a confidence thanks in no small part
to the return of (King) Kenny Dalglish. They currently sit sixth in the table
and are just five points off third place Tottenham. Expect plenty of Liverpool
fans to have been watching Newcastle's game against Chelsea on Saturday as Newcastle and Chelsea occupied the
two spots above Liverpool on 26 and 25 points respectively.
While Liverpool can
only hope to move up the table one spot at best, Scousers will also be very
aware that right behind them, tied on points but with a worse goal difference
is Arsenal, who take on relegation fodder Wigan on Saturday. The table makes
bleak reading for the London club with just two wins, one home and one away, to
their credit, they sit 15th in the table just three points above the relegation
zone, but with Bolton, Blackburn, Wigan, Wolves and Sunderland all competing
for the three relegation spots Fulham shouldn't worry about their Premier
League survival (just yet). Odds on Fulham going down are 150/1, but they are
also dead last (tied with QPR) at 150/1 to be the top London team come May.
are unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions and are being touted
as a sleeping giant this year, as it’s surely just a matter of time before the
form of Luis Suarez is properly rewarded; with goals scored and games won.
Fulham seem to be having to learn to walk (draw) before they can run (win)
again under former Tottenham boss Martin Jol. Their tally of 12 points is their
joint-worst record (after 13 games) ranking alongside their total in the
2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons. Things have started to look up (a little) as the
Cottagers did come away from the Emirates Stadium with a 1-1 draw last weekend.
Both teams have been in action in non-league competitions midweek, with Fulham
faring worse. In their latest Europa League match a two minutes from time goal
off FC Twente substitute Marc Janko meant 10-man Fulham took no points from
their penultimate group stage match and now must win their final game to
guarantee a spot in the last 32. The strain that all these additional games has
put on Fulham’s league form is clear to see, so an exit from that competition
might actually be welcomed by some fans.
Around the same time Liverpool were
having no problems defeating Chelsea in the Carling Cup, thanks to a
five-minute spell in the second half where Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly both
scored. That victory was Liverpool’s second over Chelsea (at Stamford Bridge)
in ten days and took Dalglish's unbeaten record against Chelsea (as Liverpool
manager) to 13 matches.
might be tempted to have a bet on the away side winning to nil at 12/5, as
Fulham have failed to score in six of their last eight Premier League games
against Liverpool. Also in 20 Premier League games between the two clubs (going
back to 2001), the Cottagers have won just three. If you fancy a HUGE bet, have
a punt on a genuine rout as Liverpool beat Fulham 10-0 in a League Cup
second-round match at Anfield back in 1986, that’s at 450/1, if you can find it.
Recent history is also in Liverpool’s favour as Fulham’s poor home form (W1 D4
L3) started with a 2-5 defeat by Liverpool back in May, that score is available
at 150/1. Liverpool’s last defat was in September when they went down 4-0 to
“Super” Spurs, while Fulham’s last victory was a 2-0 away win over Wigan on
bookies favour Liverpool
home win is at 5/2 and away win is at 11/10, even a draw seems unlikely at
12/5. Everything may favour Liverpool but, the little voice that whispered that
Newcastle would take something away with them from Old Trafford last weekend is bigging up Fulham. Stranger things have happened, and the EPL always seems to
throw up at least one shock result so I’m backing Fulham to confound
expectations and turn me a tidy profit.
A shock home win! 2-1 to Fulham, available at 10/1.