Liverpool face Fulham at Anfield this evening in the Barclays Premier League, following perhaps their best performance of the 2010/11 season against Wolves on the weekend.
Both Liverpool, who are 11th and Fulham, who are 15th, are nearer the bottom of the league than the top than they would like to be at this stage of the season.
A win for Liverpool in tonight’s game will put them up into 7th place, and in with a real chance of turning their season around with a European Qualification on the horizon.
If Fulham can win, they would join Liverpool on 29 points, some seven away from trouble.
This match, one feels, could represent a turning point in either of these two sides’ seasons.
The hosts will be buoyed by Steven Gerrard’s return from his three match suspension – picked up as a result of that lunging tackle on Man Utd’s Michael Carrick in the FA Cup a couple of weeks ago. Jamie Carragher’s shoulder injury persists, though their selection is otherwise uninhibited tonight.
Fulham have more players missing, however, including their goalkeeper, Schwarzer, who is away with Australia, and long-term injured Senderos and Bobby Zamora, who have been big misses for them this term. Dickson Etuhu and Aaron Hughes picked up hamstring niggles on the weekend: both face late fitness tests prior to kick-off.
Both teams’ top scorers, Torres for Liverpool, and Dempsey for Fulham, are fit and in fine form, however. They are level on 9 goals a piece for the season.
All of which – including the fact that this could be regarded as a must-win game for both teams – might point to the fact that this game has the word “draw” penciled over it in many fans’ minds, despite Liverpool and Fulham producing goals on the weekend.
A scoreless draw has resulted the last twice these teams met in the Premier League. Fans travelling to Anfield will hope for more entertainment from this evening’s match: on recent form, they can expect some.
The match kicks off at 20:00 GMT.