Venue: Craven Cottage
Kick off: 3:15PM
Second-from-bottom faces second-from-top this afternoon when struggling Fulham welcome title-chasing Liverpool to Craven Cottage.
On paper, Liverpool could not have picked many kinder away fixtures for the chance to move top of the table.
Manchester City will remain in control of the title race regardless of what happens, but Liverpool could land a psychological blow to the champions by leading the way going into the first international break of the year.
A one-point deficit and inferior goal difference means that only victory will be enough for Liverpool to achieve that, but Jurgen Klopp’s side should be full of confidence following their European exploits in midweek.
The Reds travelled to fellow five-time Champions League winners Bayern Munich and pulled off a 3-1 victory to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the competition – after which not a single person associated with the club would have agreed with the sentiment that a European exit would benefit their Premier League title hopes.
The English crown is still the one they crave above all others, though, and it is their form away from home on the domestic front that has left them playing catch-up having at one stage enjoyed a seven-point lead at the top.
Liverpool have drawn their last three Premier League away games, failing to score more than once in any of them and drawing blanks in each of the last two, away to Manchester United and Everton.
Away stalemates in derby matches like that would not usually be classed as poor results, but they were costly dropped points and Liverpool will be thankful that their final four away games this season all come against bottom-half teams.
The Reds still have all three of the promoted teams left to play in their final nine games of the campaign, and they are unbeaten in their last 11 top-flight games – including eight straight wins – against clubs that have come up from the second tier, scoring 31 goals and conceding just four in the process.
There are still tough tests to come – namely Tottenham and Chelsea in their next two home games – but it is on the road that 13 of their 17 dropped points have come so far and they cannot afford for that figure to grow against such an out-of-form opponent this weekend.
Fulham however look increasingly doomed with 13 points now separating them from safety.
With the teams above them picking up regular results in the scrap for safety, the Cottagers have not managed a single point since January 29, losing each of their last six Premier League games.
The problems stretch back further than that, though, and it has been a miserable 2019 overall for the club so far with 10 defeats from 11 games across all competitions.
Indeed, Fulham have had more managers than they have had wins this calendar year, with Scott Parker the latest to be charged with the increasingly impossible job of pulling off a great escape.
Realistically Fulham will need to win at least six of their final eight games to stand any chance of staying up, which considering they have only won four of their 30 so far, looks like a fanciful goal – particularly as their next two come against Liverpool and Manchester City.
Fulham possible XI: Rico, Odoi, Nordtveit, Ream, Bryan, Seri, Chambers, Cairney, Babel, Mitrovic, Sessegnon.
Liverpool possible XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Lallana, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.