EPL

Fulham v Liverpool: Klopp unconcerned by Salah's scoring form

By Sports Desk April 19, 2024

Jurgen Klopp is not overly worried by Mohamed Salah’s slight dip in form, as the Liverpool manager turned full focus to the Reds’ Premier League title challenge.

A bad week for Liverpool was capped off on Thursday when, despite a 1-0 win over Atalanta, they slumped out of the Europa League 3-1 on aggregate following a heavy defeat at Anfield in the first leg.

That loss on April 11 came three days before a 1-0 home reverse to Crystal Palace, which saw Liverpool’s league title hopes take a dent – they are now two points behind Manchester City with six games remaining.

What has not helped their course is that talisman Salah – who netted an early penalty against Atalanta but squandered a big chance later in the match – has scored just three times in the league since returning from a hamstring injury he sustained while playing for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Klopp, though, is confident Salah will soon be back at his best.

“I am not particularly concerned,” he said ahead of facing Fulham.

“That’s what strikers do, that’s what happens to strikers, that’s how it is. We have to go through this, he has to go through that. He is one of the most experienced players we have in the squad.

“We will go through that but that’s pretty much all. It’s not that Mo didn’t miss chances before in his life, that’s a part of the game. I am not particularly concerned.”

Reflecting on the task at hand now for his side, Klopp added: “Disappointed that we did not go through [in Europe] but not frustrated or angry.

“Now we can focus on the league and that’s what we will do. We have a few days to recover, we will do that, and then will travel the day after tomorrow to London and will play Fulham, which will be tricky but we will give our absolute all.

“That’s our competition now. I saw a good reaction from my side, we had not a great week last week obviously. This, if we want, was the start for the rest of the season with a good result and a good performance and that’s how we see it.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Fulham – Andreas Pereira

Pereira has been involved in four goals in his last four Premier League appearances (two goals, two assists), with his brace against West Ham more than he had netted in his previous 34 games combined (one).

Indeed, Pereira has more goal involvements than any other Fulham player since the start of last season (seven goals, 13 assists).

Liverpool – Mohamed Salah

Salah may not be firing on all cylinders from a goalscoring perspective, but he is proving to be Liverpool’s creative hub.

Only Martin Odegaard (68) and Bruno Fernandes (59) have created more chances from open play in the Premier League this season than Salah (58). He has created at least four open-play chances in five different games this season, with Roberto Firmino the last Liverpool player to do so more times in one season (10 in 2016-17).

MATCH PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL WIN

The Reds might have had a bad week, but Opta’s model still fancies their chances of returning to winning ways.

Liverpool have scored in each of their last 19 away Premier League matches, the longest current run of any side. That being said, since losing 3-0 to Brentford in their first home Premier League game this season, Fulham have conceded just 13 goals in their last 15 games at Craven Cottage (0.9 per game). With six clean sheets at home so far, the Cottagers last had more in a Premier League campaign in 2010-11 (nine).

Marco Silva’s team have scored 49 Premier League goals this season, having netted 55 last season. The last time the Cottagers scored 50+ goals in consecutive Premier League seasons was in 2003-04 (52) and 2004-05 (52).

However, Fulham have won just one of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D2 L8), winning 1-0 at Anfield in March 2021.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Fulham – 20.85%

Liverpool – 53.1%

Draw – 26.1%

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