May 12, 2013
Jol wants return to winning ways
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.5||2.0|
|Goals against *||1.6||1.4|
|Last 5 home||L-L-L-L-W||W-D-D-D-W|
|Last 5 away||W-L-D-L-W||W-W-D-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Fulham | Liverpool|
|3/22||A: Manchester City||3/22||A: Cardiff City|
|3/30||H: Everton||3/26||H: Sunderland|
|4/5||A: Aston Villa||3/30||H: Tottenham Hotspur|
|4/12||H: Norwich City||4/6||A: West Ham United|
|4/19||A: Tottenham Hotspur||4/13||H: Manchester City|
Manager Martin Jol is determined that Fulham finish the season with a flourish after a four-match losing streak.
The Cottagers need west London neighbours Chelsea to beat Aston Villa before their Barclays Premier League safety is mathematically assured.
Whatever the outcome of the match at Villa Park, Jol wants his side to complete the season - fixtures with Liverpool and then Swansea - on a high.
"It was early April that we had 40 points; we had that point against Aston Villa [on April 13],'' Jol said.
"I knew it was very important to be on 40 points, when you saw the schedule ahead of us with Chelsea and Arsenal, Newcastle, away games, Everton.
"Of course, you can imagine we were a bit concerned, but the 40 points gave us a bit of a cushion.
"It still is a little bit of a cushion, but mathematically we're still not safe yet.
"We will focus on ourselves to try to get a result to be safe.
"The Wigan result helped and of course we need a result, but you depend on other games as well.
"We will look at other results and even when the results are going for us we have to try to finish the season on a very good note.''
Sascha Riether and Mladen Petric will be available again.
Right-back Riether is back following an ankle problem and forward Petric has recovered from his hamstring injury, but midfielder Steve Sidwell is again suspended.
Midfielders Mahamadou Diarra (knee), Ashkan Dejagah (ankle) and Simon Davies (hip) are out for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects to make a significant move on the top four next season and Sir Alex Ferguson's departure as Manchester United boss may provide a helping hand.
Ferguson's 27-year reign, which will end in retirement this summer, has delivered 13 league titles to Old Trafford.
Their success this season was their 20th, taking them further past Liverpool's previous record of 18 and achieving the Scot's primary aim all those years ago of 'knocking Liverpool off their perch'.
But with Ferguson out of the picture and David Moyes, who as Everton manager failed to record a league victory at United, Anfield, Manchester City or Arsenal in 11 years, taking over there is a sense there may be a dip in the Red Devils' success.
And while Rodgers would not predict what effect Moyes would have he wants his side to be in a position to take advantage should United - or any of their closest rivals - experience a drop-off.
"It (United) has been a machine which has been working for over 25 years,'' said the Reds boss. "Sir Alex has really put his identity on the club and that has led to success.
"It will take David time to go in and assess everything but it is a club as stable as any in the world and it is ready-made for him.
"There is no doubt he (Ferguson) will be a big miss there because he has been there so many years and been part of the furniture, making the club what it is.
"But (how they react to the change) is up to the rest of the clubs. The spending powers of the teams up there will always make it close.
"I can only think of Liverpool - I've a big enough job here to get us moving on but I think next year we can do that.''
Captain Steven Gerrard and defender Daniel Agger will miss Liverpool's final two matches of the season.
Gerrard is scheduled to have an operation on a shoulder problem this weekend while the Denmark centre-back will undergo a series of injections in his back as part of a long-planned rehabilitation programme.
Striker Luis Suarez is suspended, midfielder Joe Allen is sidelined after shoulder surgery while Martin Kelly continues his recovery from a knee operation late last year.