PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Liverpool v Fulham – as it happens from Anfield
17:52 GMT, 22 December 2012
Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Liverpool host Fulham at Anfield to conclude Saturday's action. Just two points separate the mid-table sides as Martin Jol's outfit will aim for a repeat of their 1-0 win at the Reds in May. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.
Liverpool 1-0 Fulham (5.30pm)
Click here for the live goals as they go in
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel,
Agger, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Shelvey, Suso, Suarez,
Subs: Jones, Sahin, Henderson, Carragher, Allen, Sterling,
Goal: Skrtel 8.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether,
Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Kacaniklic, Karagounis, Baird, Richardson,
Subs: Stockdale, Senderos, Kasami, Briggs, Rodallega,
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
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21min: Finally some sting from the visitors. Moments after Skrtel has another header saved at the back post, Fulham counter.
Ashkan Dejagah breaks into the box but after feeding Alex Kacaniklic, the midfielder sees his eventual shot blocked.
19min: So sluggish are Fulham that Martin Jol is on the edge of his technical area demanding his side close the ball down more. Liverpool remain as comfortable as you can be.
16min: Fulham can barely string two passes together and their problems could get worse as Sascha Riether has been limping around the pitch in the last few minutes.
13min: Excellent strike from Stewart Downing, whose 20-yard rocket is tipped behind at the near post by Mark Schwarzer.
So fine was the touch that the officials missed it and a goal kick is given.
11min: And there has been no response from Fulham who have given the Liverpool defence very little to worry about. This could be a long afternoon for the Cottagers.
8min: GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 Fulham
Fulham survived the first corner but their atrocious marking is soon shown up again.
A Steven Gerrard corner finds Martin Skrtel free inside the box, who lashes home a strike to make up for his own goal in this fixture last May.
6min: Liverpool win a corner following a jinking run from Jose Enrique, but Jonjo Shelvey's cross is headed over by Daniel Agger.
3min: A quiet start with neither side looking particularly threatening on the ball so far. A decent sized crowd at Anfield also seems very quiet.
Kick-off: Away we go.
17.27: The teams are out at Anfield.
17.24: But Liverpool can move into the top half of the table and into eighth with a win today.
Fulham have 11th place to aim for with three points that would take them above the Reds.
17.21: As touched upon, both sides spectacularly crashed last weekend. Liverpool suffered a shock 3-1 home defeat against Aston Villa, while Fulham suffered the ignominy of being the first team to lose against QPR after a 2-0 defeat at Loftus Road.
Back in the side: Suso is recalled for Liverpool
17.18: Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers spoke to ESPN before the game:
'We have been making steady progress on and off the field. Last weekend was a big disappointment but we have worked well and will look to take three points in a difficult game.
'Joe Allen has played double the amount at this stage than last season but it's important I use him wisely, like wise with young Raheem. I have terrific players chomping at the bit and here is the opportunity for them to do well.'
17.13: Martin Jol certainly believes Fulham can win today but the Cottagers boss conceded his side may be a little short in midfield, speaking before kick-off.
The Dutchman pointed out that Dimitar Berbatov will be the key player for the west London side going forward.
17.10: Full line-ups from Anfield:
Liverpool v Fulham
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Shelvey, Suso, Suarez, Downing. Subs: Jones, Sahin, Henderson, Carragher, Allen, Sterling, Wisdom.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Kacaniklic, Karagounis, Baird, Richardson, Dejagah, Berbatov. Subs: Stockdale, Senderos, Kasami, Briggs, Rodallega, Frei, Tavares.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
17.05: Teenage winger Raheem Sterling is on the bench the day after signing a new long-term contract as Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers makes two changes for the visit of Fulham.
Sterling and Joe Allen are both rested, as Rodgers had suggested this week, with Jose Enrique fit again after a hamstring injury and Suso making his first league appearance since being hauled off after 36 minutes against Wigan on November 17.
Fulham make three changes following last weekend's defeat at QPR with former Liverpool reserve Alex Kacaniklic recalled along with Giorgos Karagounis and Ashkan Dejagah.
17.00: I know it looks like a run-of-the-mill mid-table clash to conclude the last Saturday before Christmas but I can assure you it is much more than that.
In Liverpool v Fulham we have two sides that suffered crushing defeats for different reasons last weekend and both will be desperate for a morale boosting win going into the hectic Christmas schedule.
Conclusion: Liverpool host Fulham at Anfield to bring an end to Saturday's action