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Liverpool seek Fulham fillip

sports Updated: Dec 17, 2010 09:26 IST

AFP
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Liverpool may be faltering on all fronts at the moment, but a Premier League game against Fulham at Anfield on Saturday provides them with the opportunity to prove their critics wrong.

Roy Hodgson welcomes his former club to Merseyside with both clubs in dire straits for different reasons and with the Liverpool manager's position looking increasingly precarious.

Liverpool were appalling in their goalless draw with FC Utrecht in the Europa League on Wednesday and were no better last weekend, when they lost 3-1 to Newcastle United at St James' Park.

Yet despite their current wobble, left-back Fabio Aurelio maintains the Christmas period can be a fruitful time for Liverpool, four points in front of a Fulham side flirting with the relegation zone.

"It is very important we get a good result on Saturday, especially because we are playing at home," he said.

"Hopefully, we can start a run of great results and the team can get some wins together.

"We know Fulham are a tough team and we respect them, but we have to show them we are Liverpool, we are playing at home and need the three points.

"We need to win every game we play at home in the Barclays Premier League but we also need to start getting some good results away from home."

Fulham have failed to score in five of their last six league games against Liverpool and failed to score in seven of their most recent nine league visits to Anfield, including the last four.

They have also not won in 26 consecutive Premier League away games.

Those statistics underline how grave their current predicament is but Fulham boss Mark Hughes is convinced they can turn the corner.

Chris Hughton and Sam Allardyce's respective sackings by Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers in recent weeks prove that no Premier League manager is safe, but Hughes maintains that he is not overly concerned about being shown the door.

"It's a case of being at a club that understands where we're at at this moment in time and our problems of selection in key personnel," Hughes said.

"I got sacked (at Manchester City) when I (the club) was sixth (in the table). The logic of football sackings seems to have gone out of the game of late and it doesn't show any signs of changing.

"Anybody in a football club could come under pressure irrespective of how well they seem to be performing," the former Wales and Blackburn boss added.

Fulham have drawn 10 times this season -- more than any other side in the league -- and captain Danny Murphy accepts those one-point results have to start turning into three points if Fulham are to avoid relegation.

"We're very frustrated and it's becoming a familiar story," he said.

"People talk about not having the rub of the green, and that's how it feels at the moment," the former Liverpool midfielder explained.

"But at the end of the day, it's scoring goals that wins you matches and we haven't been doing that enough. Let's be honest, we've drawn too many."

Liverpool will be without Jamie Carragher (shoulder), Steven Gerrard (hamstring), Daniel Agger (calf) and Jay Spearing (ankle) for this encounter, while Fulham are also missing four players.

Philippe Senderos (shin) and Bobby Zamora (broken leg) are out until February while Frederik Stoor (groin strain) and Moussa Dembele (ankle) are also highly doubtful.