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Riise's Return - Liverpool v Fulham Preview

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Liverpool look to bounce back against a struggling Fulham side.

Scott Heavey

US: 10:00am ET on the NBC EPL Extra channels (491 on DirecTv)

UK: Doesn't appear to be televised

While it isn't his first trip back to Anfield, the return of John Arne Riise always makes me feel nostalgic. For those of you who don't know, I have a massive gingey man crush on him. He and Did Hamman are probably two of my favorite Reds that have come and gone. It still irks me the way he was unceremoniously dumped by Rafa for Dossena and that void at left back remained unfilled essentially until Enrique came along.

This is the perfect match for Liverpool to have on the back of the Arsenal loss. It should be back to basics for the team, focusing on playing their game and imposing their will on the pitch as they have for much of the season thus far. Fulham have been quite leaky in defense allowing in 15 goals thus far. They've lost their most recent matches and are a team that look ripe for a battering. Fulham will also be without the services of Rodallega and Hangeland who is probably having that massive lump removed from his throat. Either that or he has a nerve problem in his leg.

Liverpool will still likely be without the services of Enrique although BR stated he might be available. Johnson has recovered from his sudden case of gonaherpasyphilAIDS he contracted before the Arsenal match. I've seen rumors that Gerrard has some sort of knock as well, but nothing I've been able to confirm. Either way, there is no reason to rush players back for this match if they aren't 100% fit. If Liverpool can't do the business here with the healthy squad then we have real issues and the beginning of the season was a mere fluke.

In case you want a little tingle up your spine, you can reminisce about these:

Thoughts on the match:

-We might also see the return of the 4-3-3. With Coutinho healthy, Moses well rested and Johnson and possibly Enrique healthy it might be time to go back to it. (Adam)

-I can't wait to hear the Kop demand to know how he scored that goal. (Adam)

-This seems a good match to get Coutinho back to fitness. I would expect him to start. (Adam)

-Agreed with Adam, I'd like the return of the 4-3-3 and I think Coutinho will get at least 65 minutes. (Matt)

-Need a win here, there's no two ways about it. Champions League form is a serious endeavor and dominating struggling clubs at home is a prerequisite for a top four place. (Matt)

-If Enrique is unfit, I would prefer Glen Johnson on the left with Martin Kelly or even Flanagan again on the right. Aly Cissokho is in time out. Forever. (Matt)

-God, can I just say, that I love and will always love John Arne Riise? I also remember Adam over there with a Riise top, which I loved to bits. How DID he score that goal? (JAceKopite16)

-I agree with Matt, on his first statement, but I don't wanna be so harsh on Aly. He's had one bad game and an injury. Cool your jets kids. (JAceKopite)

Coutekkers needs to start, but I wouldn't expect to see him go out all guns blazing, maybe he'll be at 100% next match, and that's another thing I agree with Matt on. (JAceKopite)