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History shows Liverpool have advantage but need lead for League Cup 2nd leg

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History is on Liverpool’s side as they host Fulham in the League Cup at Anfield, but it is important they take a lead down to London for the second leg.

Liverpool are top of the Premier League, have just beaten Arsenal away in the FA Cup, and have a favourable draw in the League Cup.

Anfield should be noisy to help ensure Liverpool go ahead early in the tie, with a tricky second leg vs. Fulham still to come.

 

Take something away

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 1, 2024: A general view before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Only once have Liverpool won a semi-final first leg in this competition and not proceeded to the final. That came in 1998 when they beat second tier Middlesbrough at Anfield, before losing 2-0 in the return.

Liverpool have not scored more than once in any of their last eight League Cup semi-final first leg games.

In the previous 18 League Cup semi-finals, they have won nine first legs, drawing three and losing five. Three of those five first leg defeats were enough to prevent the club from reaching the final.

Liverpool have played the first leg at Anfield on eight occasions and are unbeaten, winning six and drawing twice.

Liverpool have lost only one of the 17 semi-final first leg games that they have played at Anfield in any competition – going down 1-0 to Leeds in the 1970/71 Fairs Cup.

This is the 19th League Cup semi-final for Liverpool, a competition record, and they have won a record 13 of the previous 18.

Should the Reds advance further they will play in a competition best 14th final. They have lifted the trophy nine times, more than any other team.

 

Using the squad

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp has used 96 players in this competition since taking charge in 2015. Caoimhin Kelleher and Joe Gomez, each with 12, have made more appearances for Liverpool in the League Cup than any current Reds player.

Cody Gakpo has now scored in three successive League Cup games. The last man to do so for the club, four matches in a row in the competition, was Vladimir Smicer in the 2000/01 campaign – one of which came against Fulham.

This will be the 26th time in the last 36 domestic cup ties that Liverpool will be facing Premier League opposition.

Harvey Elliott was once Fulham’s youngest ever Premier League player, aged 16 years 30 days, when making his debut in an away defeat at Wolves in May 2019. He made three appearances for the Cottagers, all as a substitute.

 

Great from the spot

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Fulham's Harry Wilson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This season is the first that Fulham have ever taken part in two penalty shootouts in the same campaign, defeating Tottenham and Everton.

They have scored 12 of 13 penalties taken in shootouts this season, the only one being missed was from Bobby De Cordova-Reid in the victory at Everton.

Fulham are playing in the semi-final of a major domestic competition for the seventh time, but this will be their first ever in the League Cup.

No Fulham player has ever scored a winning goal at Anfield in front of fans. Fulham are now the 60th different team to reach the last four of the League Cup.

Marco Silva has faced Liverpool eight times as a manager. Fulham are the fourth different club he has managed against the Reds. His only victory came at the first attempt when his Hull team, containing Andy Robertson, won 2-0 on Humberside in February 2017.

 

This season’s scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 11, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool: Salah 18, Jota 9, Gakpo 8, Nunez 8, Diaz 6, Szoboszlai 4, Jones 3, Alexander-Arnold 2, Endo 2, Gravenberch 2, Elliott 1, Mac Allister 1, Quansah 1, Robertson 1, Van Dijk 1, own goals 5

Fulham: De Cordova-Reid 5, Jimenez 5, Iwobi 4, Willian 4, Vinicius 3, Wilson 3, Cairney 2, Palhinha 2, Adarabioyo 1, Muniz Carvalho 1, Pereira 1, Ream 1, Tete 1, own goals 3


* Stats courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).