Sunday, December 04, 2011

Reds Aim To Equal Record

Liverpool head to Fulham on Monday knowing a win would equal a club record of away successes.

In all competitions it is six victories in succession away from home - a win at Craven Cottage will equal the club record of seven set between December 1981 - February 1982 and again in January - March 1988.

Head to Head (league only):

At Fulham: Liverpool 10 wins, Fulham 8 wins, 6 draws.

Overall: Liverpool 27 wins, Fulham 8 wins, 13 draws.

Last season the Reds achieved a league 'double' over Fulham. They won 1-0 at Anfield back in January (John Pantsil OG) but saved their best for the return at Craven Cottage in May winning 5-2. It was Liverpool's biggest ever win at Fulham.

In that game Maxi scored his second hat-trick in 16 days with Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez also finding the net. Moussa Dembele and Steve Sidwell scored for the Londoners.

Overall in the Barclays Premier League Liverpool have won six and lost four at Fulham, while home and away have won 12 and drawn four of the 20 meetings.

Liverpool's biggest win over Fulham in the league came in November 1955 when they won 7-0 at Anfield.

There has not been a draw between the teams at Fulham in the Premier League.

Liverpool's biggest loss at Craven Cottage came in both October 2009 and April 1956 - losing 3-1.

Prior to Maxi last season the only Liverpool player to score a hat-trick against Fulham was Billy Liddell in September 1954 at Anfield.

The Reds have kept six clean sheets in the last eight games with Fulham.

Liverpool are looking to record back to back league wins at Fulham for only the third time in their history.

Steven Gerrard scored his first Liverpool goal 12 years ago on December 5 in a 4-1 home win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Liverpool is unbeaten in the last eight league games (four wins, four draws) - their best run for two-and-a-half years.

They have won their last three away games in the league. The last time they won four in a row was in May 2009 when they won the last five of that campaign.

In those last three away victories they have conceded just one goal in total.

The Reds have won four on the road in the top flight this season - more than any team outside of the top three going into this weekend's fixtures.

Liverpool has won more points away from home (12) than they have at Anfield (11) this season.

Luis Suarez is searching for his first league goal in the Premier League for two months. His last came in the win at Everton in a 2-0 win.

He is Liverpool's leading scorer in the league with four goals. Next highest is own goals with three.

Both of Andy Carroll's league goals this season have come away from home (Everton and West Brom).

Jose Enrique is the only outfield player to have appeared in every minute of the Reds' 13 league games this season.

Jamie Carragher was sent off on this ground two years ago (along with Philipp Degen). All three of Carra's dismissals in a Liverpool shirt have come in London.

Dirk Kuyt's last league goal for Liverpool came on this ground last May. His next goal will be his 50th in the English top flight.

Maxi has scored 10 goals in his last nine starts in all competitions.

No team has scored more than once against Liverpool in the last eight league games and none in the last 11 in league and cup.

The Reds have kept three clean sheets in the last five games - against West Brom and Swansea in the league and Chelsea in the Carling Cup.

Liverpool is unbeaten in the last 11 games since losing at Tottenham in the league 11 weeks ago.

This is the Cottagers' 28th game of the season already - half of them coming in cup games.

The only Fulham player to score a hat-trick against Liverpool is Roy Dwight, who did so in 1956.

Fulham have scored only five goals in the last eight meetings home and away and six in the last 10, with five coming in the last two Craven Cottage clashes.

They have lost their last two games at home this season, beaten 3-1 by both Everton and Tottenham.

They last lost three in a row in the Barclays Premier League in front of their home fans in April 2002 when Liverpool and Tottenham were amongst the teams to win in that sequence.

Fulham have won just once at home in the league - beating QPR 6-0. They have drawn with Aston Villa, Blackburn and Manchester City. In that game with City they were 2-0 down early in the second half.

Of their 11 league goals scored at home this season six have come in one game.

That 6-0 win over QPR was their first win of the campaign and came in their seventh league game.

In that thrashing of QPR Andrew Johnson became the first Fulham player to ever score a Premier League hat-trick.

They have won just one of the last six games in the league and none of the last three since winning 2-0 at Wigan at the end of October.

The last two goals scored by Fulham in the league have been own goals - Younes Kaboul of Spurs and Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen.

They have won just eight of the 48 league meetings with Liverpool.

Martin Jol is Fulham's 26th post-war manager and their seventh since 2000.

He has never beaten Liverpool as a manager in seven games - three draws and four defeats - all with Tottenham, taking three points out of 18.

There has only been one goalless draw between the teams in a league game at the Cottage - in 1962-63.

Clint Dempsey has now scored a record 38 Premier League goals for Fulham. His first goal came against the Reds in May 2007 after coming on as a substitute.

Mark Schwarzer has kept five clean sheets in the Premier League this season - only Michel Vorm (Swansea) has kept more.

Leading scorers (league in brackets):

Liverpool: Suarez 7 (4), Carroll 3 (2), Maxi 3 (1), Adam 2 (2), Bellamy 2 (1), Gerrard 1 (1), Henderson 1 (1), Johnson 1 (1), Kelly 1 (0), Kuyt 1 (0), Skrtel 1 (1), own goals 3 (3).

Fulham: Johnson 11 (3), Dempsey 5 (3), Zamora 5 (3), Murphy 4 (1), Duff 3 (0), Sidwell 2 (0), Dembele 1 (1), Briggs 1 (0), Hughes 1 (0), Ruiz 1 (1), own goals 3 (3).

Pardew: Liverpool Are Playing To Andy Carroll's Strengths

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes that Liverpool is not playing to Andy Carroll's strengths.

The young hitman made a record £35 million move from the Magpies to Merseyside during last season's winter transfer window, but has scored only four league goals since his big-money move to Anfield.

During the week the 22-year-old also missed a penalty in a League Cup clash against Chelsea, though Liverpool eventually won the tie 2-0.

"I think Andy Carroll’s a fantastic player and I don’t think Liverpool play to his strengths if I’m honest," Pardew said on the Sky Sports 'Goals on Sunday' program.

"You give him the ball in the right areas and he’ll finish, no question."

"I watched them in the week, Liverpool, and they put two crosses into the box: Luiz fouled him for a penalty which wasn’t given, and then Alex handballed it and they got a penalty.

"But they just don’t deliver the sort of balls that he wants really. He’s good on the floor, he’s decent, he’s a decent striker but he’s not top level."

When quizzed as to whether Carroll needs to adapt to Liverpool's style of play or vice versa, Pardew said: "Well something’s got to help him I think if he wants to be a success there, because I think with the movement and the players they have he doesn’t get the deliveries in that box that brings out his strength.

"Andy’s going to feed on those situations. The modern era that we’re in there’s less crosses and there is more movement and there is trickier play and Andy perhaps needs to adapt his game to fit in there."

The Newcastle boss added that in his opinion, left-back Jose Enrique, who also left the Toon for Liverpool, may not be ideally suited to provide the service from the flanks that the young hitman needs.

"I had an issue with Enrique putting the ball into the box for him [Carroll]," Pardew said. "He wants to feel his way in, find a route in there – don’t get me wrong he’s a fantastic player – but he wasn’t the type of full-back who wants to get the ball out of his feet and put it in the box."

Pardew is backing Carroll to make it to the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

"He’s a terrific player, I felt sorry for him when he was left out of the England squad," he said. "I still feel in the European Championships that he should be included, I believe he’s a potentially good player for England."

Kenny Dalglish's Drop Of Poison

Kenny Dalglish dropping in-form players is the hardest part of his job now that he’s back as Liverpool boss.

Since Dalglish last managed at Celtic a decade ago, squad size and quality has increased massively.

And the Scot, whose first stint in charge at Anfield lasted six years until he quit in 1991, says letting down players who are performing well is a nightmare.

Take Maxi Rodriguez. The midfielder has started just one Premier League match this season and that was at Chelsea a fortnight ago when he scored the opening goal.

Ten goals in his last nine starts, dating back to last season, would normally give any player automatic selection. But not unlucky Maxi or several other stars.

Dalglish said: “It’s never easy to leave anybody out – it’s the hardest part of management.

“They train all week and want to play but until somebody allows us to put 20 on the pitch we’re going to have a problem.

“I don’t think they really understand but you have to pick a team.

“I don’t get any enjoyment out of leaving anybody out of the team.

“You can sympathize with them if they feel disappointed but you’d be disappointed if they weren’t disappointed.”

Dalglish Calls For Clinical Reds

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has called on his side to be more clinical to turn draws into wins.

The Reds have drawn their last four games at Anfield to see precious points slip through their fingers in the race to finish in the top four.

Liverpool's away form so far has been excellent and they head in to Monday's clash with Fulham with a chance of equalling a club record of seven successive away wins in all competitions.

Dalglish believes Liverpool deserves to have more than the 23 points on the board and he has called on his players to be more clinical in taking their chances.

"We were delighted with the way we played but I think we set our standards a little bit higher than drawing against people," said Dalglish.

"I think we deserve better than that, I think we are better than that, and it's up to us to stand up and be counted and start winning games.

"We've done fantastically well and in most of the games we've played at home I think we should have come away with three points. To the players' credit their performances have been top notch."

Dalglish is expecting a tough test against Martin Jol's Fulham and he is hoping for a repeat of their 5-2 success at Craven Cottage last term.

"Fulham have done well. It's difficult when there's a change in management and obviously that's their third one in a short space of time," added Dalglish.

"We know it's going to be a very difficult game. We also know we went there and won 5-2 last year but we got our reward for that by getting three points - we'll only get what we deserve on Monday."

Liverpool Prepare £4m Offer For Chelsea's Experienced Striker

Liverpool are planning a surprise move for Chelsea forward Nicolas Anelka as manager Kenny Dalglish attempts to further strengthen his squad in the January transfer window and secure a top four finish.

The France international had a short spell at Anfield back in 2002 under Gerard Houllier but the French manager decided not to take up the option to sign the striker and instead brought El Hadji Diouf to the club.

Dalglish knows that he can pick up the striker for a minimal fee as he is out of contract at the end of the season and Anelka is keen to leave the club as he has slipped behind the likes of Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge.

With Romelu Lukaku also now at the club, Anelka's time at Stamford Bridge is certainly coming to an end and director of football at Liverpool, Damien Comolli, hopes to persuade Daglish to make a £4million offer for the forward.

Liverpool have dominated a number of games this season but have often struggled to finish off sides, especially at Anfield where they have drawn with Norwich, Manchester City, Norwich and Manchester United.

The Reds have the likes of Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy, while Dirk Kuyt can also play upfront but tends to start most games on the right side of midfield.

According to, Liverpool are desperate to secure Champions league football and are ready to change their normal transfer policy of signing young players to bring the Frenchman to the club.

Riise Claims To Have Made Peace With Bellamy

Fulham defender John Arne Riise insists that he has no hard feelings towards Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy.

During Bellamy's previous stint at Anfield, he was alleged to have attacked left-back Riise with a golf club. At the time, both players were understood to have been fined two weeks' wages by the Merseyside club.

But now the Norwegian says that the pair have put the past behind them, and all that remains is some friendly banter.

"We shook hands and settled it very quickly," Riise said, according to The Sunday Mirror.

"I came up against him earlier this month when Norway played Wales. We were winding each other up about it all. It’s always good to catch up with 'Bellers'."

He added: "Liverpool have signed a great player for nothing."

Liverpool travel to London to take on Fulham on Monday at Craven Cottage, as they look to build on an unbeaten streak that has stretched to eight games.

LFC Get Southend Or Oldham In FA Cup

Liverpool has been drawn at home to either Southend United or Oldham Athletic in the third round of the 2011-12 FA Cup.

The draw was made by Gianfranco Zola and ex-Everton midfielder Li Tie at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Among the highlights was Manchester United being drawn away to Manchester City.

All third round ties are due to be played on the weekend of 7-8 January, 2012.

Reds Frustrated By Stoke

Liverpool U18s warmed up for the FA Youth Cup with a frustrating 0-0 draw with Stoke City at the Academy on Saturday afternoon.

Mike Marsh's men had gone into the game on the back of two impressive victories in Manchester but could not kick-start their campaign on home soil as they struggled to break down a stubborn Potters rearguard.

The young Reds made a slow start and it was the visitors who almost stole in front inside five minutes when Jack Nardiello forced Tyrell Belford into a smart save.

The hosts responded and Adam Morgan saw a long-range effort deflect just wide before Josh Sumner warmed the palms of the Stoke 'keeper with a rising shot from 30 yards.

Liverpool dominated the remainder of the first 45 and Marc Pelosi was particularly impressive with some marauding runs down the left as they put pressure on the City defence without creating any real openings of note.

It was the same story following the interval and Morgan, substitute Raheem Sterling and Pelosi all had chances to break the deadlock.

The USA U17 captain then hit the post and Nathan Quirk blazed over from 10 yards as Marsh's charges were forced to settle for a share of the spoils ahead of the trip to Swansea City on Tuesday night.