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Liverpool v Fulham
The second of two EFL Cup semi-final first legs this midweek takes place at Anfield, with Liverpool playing host to Marco Silva’s Fulham. That’s far from everything here on Andy’s Bet Club however, with coverage continuing from Premier League betting tips this weekend and more European football tips to come as well as our usual expert football tips & predictions that you’ve come to expect.
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Liverpool and Fulham jump right back into more cup action having both come up trumps in their recent FA Cup third round ties only a few days ago. The Reds welcome the Cottagers to Anfield in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final bout.
Liverpool will be grateful to return to home turf for this fixture after their smash-and-grab win over Arsenal at the Emirates which came against all odds.
Their success in North London means Jurgen Klopp’s boys are once again fighting for a quadruple of honours this season, and this Carabao Cup semi-final appearance marks a record of 19 occasions at the stage of the competition – they will be feeling confident.
This game is Fulham’s inaugural semi-final appearance in this competition having suffered a handful of quarter-final defeats over the years. Fulham have already got the better of one Merseyside challenger in this year’s tournament, sinking Everton on penalties after bettering Tottenham in the round prior.
It’s been no easy feat for Marco Silva’s side to get here and they certainly won’t go down without a fight. With 2 wins on the bounce, including against the Gunners on New Year’s Eve, a highly competitive affair should be expected.
Liverpool v Fulham Cheat Sheet
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⚽ Match stats: Liverpool are the team to beat at the moment
There wasn’t an abundance of positives to take away from Sunday’s victory over Arsenal in terms of their performance, but Liverpool showcased their strong mentality to get over the line after being essentially dominated for the entire game – Arsenal’s loss at the end of the day.
Liverpool return to being the pre-match favourites for this cup tie as they look to take a big step towards their first trophy this season, and recent form suggests they will be expecting to do so. The Reds are unbeaten in six matches across all competitions, collecting four victories in the process, and they have gone 23 games unbeaten at Anfield – their last home loss in the Carabao Cup came, ironically, against Arsenal back in 2020.
In 16 head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Liverpool have 10 wins, lost three and drawn three. During this time, Fulham have managed to claim two victories at Anfield, in 2021 and 2012, but their most recent bout in Merseyside produced a heart-breaking defeat, though it was a 4-3 thriller for the rest of us, after the hosts snatched two goals in two minutes late on to secure the three points.
But only a month on, this Liverpool side has seemingly turned another corner, summoning a beast reminiscent of their older selves and they’ll be difficult to overcome here. Fulham certainly possess the resources to trouble a Liverpool backline that were blessed to come away unscathed from their clash with Arsenal.
The Reds have the firepower to exert their dominance over a Fulham side missing two key centre backs, Tim Ream (injury) and Calvin Bassey (AFCON).
⚽ Liverpool to win @ 1.30
🥅 Goals stats: Another goal-fest in store
Liverpool’s goal remained untouched during Sunday’s battle but it was more down to some terrible finishing from the Gunners than heroic defending. Klopp’s side have been allowing their opposition chances recently, particularly on the break, and Fulham have already shown their danger in that regard.
Liverpool’s defensive performances have been particularly chequered this season, continuously cycling through purple and brown patches, which has seen both teams score in 65% of their Premier League outings so far. This selection has also landed in 7 of their 10 games across their other cup commitments.
Of their 25 outings across all competitions this season, Fulham have been shutout on only eight occasions. The Cottagers have racked up seven goals in their 4-game journey to this point in the competition and their goalscoring form is making a comeback, after a brief absence for 2 weeks over the Christmas period.
Fulham will take some confidence from the fact that Jurgen Klopp’s side have conceded in four of their last five played at Anfield and the Cottagers have scored five over their last five on their travels – no defence is truly impenetrable.
Both sides have seen over 2.5 goals in 60% of their Premier League games this season, and considering Liverpool’s goalscoring form, 14 goals over their last five fixtures and 14 over their last five at Anfield, there is a strong chance of goals on Wednesday evening, such that could set up a very exciting second leg.
⚽ Both teams to score @ 1.65
⚽ Over 2.5 goals @ 1.44
🎯 Shooting stats: Jota and Jimenez to be on target
With such a short turnaround from their FA Cup outing on Sunday, Diogo Jota is likely to get the nod to start on Wednesday evening, his first since gameweek 12 after spending several weeks on the sidelines with injury.
Regular minutes have been sparse for Jota this season, even after his return from injury a few weeks ago, with most of his appearances coming from the bench. Despite this, Jota boasts some pretty strong shooting stats this season, averaging 3.27 shots per 90 with and 1.36 shots on target per 90 in all competitions.
Despite seeing significantly less minutes than the Reds’ other attacking options, he remains their second-top goalscorer across all competitions with nine goals, including a goal in Liverpool’s third round victory over Leicester in this competition back in September.
Jota has started 11 games across all competitions this season, and has found the target at least once in eight of those outings. He has racked up 26 efforts at goal, 12 hitting the target in that time – some really promising stats when he’s given the opportunity. We expect him to be a pivotal part of Liverpool’s attacking threat on Wednesday night.
Fulham’s main man Raul Jimenez looks great value for bet builder selections on Wednesday. Jimenez averages a respectable 2.44 efforts on goal in the Premier League this season, with 1.06 hitting the target. He has found the target at least once in each of his last 4 outings, including twice and a goal against Arsenal on his return from a two-game suspension – landing seven of his last 11 shots on the target.
Liverpool are conceding an average 11.30 shots per game this season, and with Jimenez looking sharp and brimming with confidence after inspiring his side’s victory in North London on his last outing, he looks like a solid pick here.
⚽ Diogo Jota to have 1+ shots on target @ 1.30
⚽ Diogo Jota to have 2+ shots @ 1.40
⚽ Raul Jimenez to have 1+ shots on target @ 1.91
⚽ Raul Jimenez to have 2+ shots @ 1.57
🟨 Cards and Fouls stats: A scrappy battle amongst the midfield powerhouses
Joao Palhinha continues to fly into tackles and his resilient efforts in midfield will be pivotal for Fulham on Wednesday as they bid to overpower Klopp’s side. The Portuguese powerhouse has been a true merchant of fouls, racking up a very impressive 1.78 fouls per 90 in the Premier League and committing at least one foul in all but one of his 20 outings for Fulham this season.
His presence in midfield goes beyond his fouling statistics, drawing 2.04 fouls with 1.78 interceptions and 2.08 tackles won per 90 – no wonder there were so many clubs chasing his signature in the summer. Palhinha has made six fouls across three games in this competition, and with the stakes being greater than ever, on a stage like Anfield, we should expect him to get properly stuck in – Palhinha picked up four fouls at Anfield a month ago. His price for a card looks good value considering he has picked up 10 yellows already this term.
Facing up against the Portuguese star is another player that loves to get stuck in and pick up a foul or two, Alexis Mac Allister, a historically reliable pick for fouling in bet builders.
Mac Allister has been Liverpool’s most prolific hatchet-man this season, racking up five yellows and a red card in 15 Premier League matches. The Argentine made his first start since returning from injury against Arsenal on Sunday and got straight back to business, committing two fouls in 60 minutes before being substituted for fresh legs as Liverpool looked to keep up with Arsenal’s intensity.
Mac Allister is averaging a respectable 1.93 fouls per 90 across all competitions this season, as well as 1.27 interceptions and 1.33 tackles won. He will be responsible for handling the likes of Palhinha, Harry Wilson and Tom Cairney who draw 2.04, 2.50 and 1.87 fouls per 90 respectively.
⚽ Joao Palhinha to commit 2+ fouls @ 1.57
⚽ Joao Palhinha to be shown a card @ 3.20
⚽ Alexis Mac Allister to commit 2+ fouls @ 2.00
⚽ Alexis Mac Allister to be shown a card @ 6.00
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
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