Liverpool will look to build on Sunday’s impressive FA Cup win at Arsenal when they host Fulham in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final tonight.
Jurgen Klopp’s men overcame a first-half onslaught to secure a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium courtesy of a Jakob Kiwior own goal and a Luis Diaz strike.
That victory edged them closer to Wembley although they will get there sooner if they can see off the Cottagers over two legs.
Fulham have not reached a major domestic final since 1975 and go into the tie as underdogs. They are in decent form, though, backing up the win over Arsenal on December 31 with an FA Cup victory over Championship side Rotherham United.
They also led 3-2 deep into injury-time at Anfield in December when the sides met in the Premier League only for the hosts to edge it 4-3 with two dramatic goals.
Liverpool will be without several key players. Egypt striker Mohamed Sabah is on international duty at the African Cup of Nations while Wataru Endo is away with Japan at the Asian Cup.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has ben ruled out for three weeks with a knee injury with Dominik Szoboszlai, Joel Matip, Stefan Bajcetic, Andrew Robertson, Thiago Alcantara, and Kostas Tsimikas also sidelined.
Virgil van Dijk will return, however, after sitting out the Arsenal game due to illness.
Fulham are without Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey, who are both at the AFCON. Tim Ream faces a late fitness test while Adam Traore is still absent.
Liverpool: Alisson; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Elliott, Gravenberch, Jones; Gakpo, Nunez, Jota
Fulham: Leno; Castagne, Adarabioyo, Diop, Robinson; Palhinha, Cairney; Decordova-Reid, Pereira, Willian; Jimenez
What they Said
Virgil van Dijk on the chance to get to Wembley
“Fulham gave us a really good game last month so we should expect more of the same this time around. They are a good football team who can cause anyone problems so we have to be ready for that.
“The incentive is very clear. We are two good performances and two good results away from a final. It was only a couple of seasons ago that we did well enough to reach three major finals, but if there is one thing I learned in that year it is that you can never get enough of playing in finals with a trophy at stake.”
Marco Silva on the challenge of facing the Premier League leaders
“It’s a great challenge for us, no doubt. It’s a big pride for us to be there, to achieve something that the Club never achieved. But we want more. Really huge respect for Liverpool, the quality they have, how they have been playing, the season they’re having, they are top of the league.”
When and How to Watch
This fixture will be televised live on Sky Sports, and subscribers can stream the match live on Sky Go.
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Having gone trophyless in 2022-23, Klopp will see this as an excellent chance to get some silverware in the cabinet. The loss of Alexander-Arnold will be keenly felt but Liverpool have the attacking force - even without Salah - to take a first-leg advantage tonight.
Fulham won’t be overawed by going to Anfield given their impressive performance there last month but expect Liverpool to edge it.