Premier League Preview: Liverpool v Fulham
By Football News
Brendan Rodgers will be expecting a response from his Liverpool side when struggling Fulham travel to Anfield on Saturday.
The Merseyside club were beaten 2-0 by Premier League leaders Arsenal last weekend and are now five points adrift of Arsene Wenger's side.
But the visit of Martin Jol's struggling charges presents an opportunity for Rodgers' men to get back on track.
Liverpool did the double over the London club last season, scoring seven goals in the process.
England striker Daniel Sturridge did the damage at Craven Cottage in May with a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory.
Sturridge is the joint leading scorer in the top flight this season with eight goals and Jol's side will have to keep him quiet if they are to end a run of three consecutive defeats in all competitions.
Rodgers is boosted by the return of England right-back Glen Johnson, who missed the defeat at Arsenal after suffering an infection in his jaw.
"Glen Johnson will be fit," Rodgers said.
"He's fine. He's trained this week - it was just one of those peculiar things that happened.
"Maybe if it had been a day earlier, he may have been able to play (at Arsenal). But he's fine for the game and has looked good in training this week."
Under-pressure Fulham boss Jol insisted he is not fearing the sack after coming in for criticism following the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United last weekend.
The Dutchman has seen his side win just three Premier League games this season and they are only two points better off than third-bottom Norwich City.
But Jol is confident he can turn the Craven Cottage club's fortunes around and ensure they start climbing the table.
"We experienced this before at this club over the last 10 years, so hopefully we will get results," he said.
"Look at Cardiff City; they were in the same position then they won the derby game against Swansea City and now they're fine.
"So that's what we look for, we look for a few results. You have to start somewhere to get wins under your belt and then go from there. We need a few surprise results and maybe we can start against Liverpool."
Skipper Brede Hangeland (leg) could return, but fellow defender Sascha Riether starts a three-match ban following his stamp on Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj.
Striker Hugo Rodallega (groin) is also ruled out, along with full-back Matthew Briggs (hernia).