Liverpool can romp to Carabao Cup final with comfortable win at Fulham | Football

Diogo Jota scored twice at Bournemouth on Sunday and can add another goal at Craven Cottage (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool are overwhelming favourites to qualify for next month’s Carabao Cup final by overcoming Fulham’s resistance in the semi-final, second leg at Craven Cottage.

The Reds enjoy a 2-1 advantage after the first fixture at Anfield and have not conceded a goal in the last three matches on their travels, with clean sheets at Arsenal, Burnley and Bournemouth.

In fact, no team have allowed fewer goals than Liverpool’s ten in Premier League away games – and Jurgen Klopp’s defence is considered in some quarters to be something of an Achilles heel.

However, while claiming the Reds rearguard has a soft underbelly is an unfair assessment, it has to be noted that Fulham have had no trouble in putting the ball in their net.

They shocked the Kop by taking an early lead through a Willian effort in the first leg before being pegged back, and were unfortunate to return to London empty-handed after December’s thrilling 4-3 league defeat.

Despite those impressive performances, the Cottagers have not been playing well with only two wins in their last eight matches. One of those was a scrappy 1-0 success at home to Championship basement club Rotherham in the FA Cup and the other was a 2-1 victory at home to the Gunners, who couldn’t register a shot on target for love nor money.

Six goals in those eight games since walloping both Nottingham Forest and West Ham 5-0 in the build-up to Christmas shows Fulham have gone off the boil.

Jurgen Klopp can guide Liverpool to next month’s Wembley final

Jurgen Klopp can guide Liverpool to next month’s Wembley final (Picture: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Liverpool are proving they can thrive during Mohamed Salah’s absence and put four past Bournemouth without reply on Sunday’s exciting excursion to the south coast.

They have scored 20 goals in their last seven matches – nearly one in three for those at the back running out of fingers and thumbs – and should be comfortable winners once they have withstood Fulham’s early onslaught.

Liverpool are 4/5 to win with Ladbrokes and Coral and 21/4 to triumph by more than two goals with StarSports. A 3-0 away win is 14/1 across the boards and Diogo Jota is 6/1 to break the deadlock with bet365 and Paddy Power and 2/1 with the same firms, plus Betfair and BoyleSports, to get on the scoresheet at any time.

• For a third straight year the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance starts on a Wednesday and finishes on a Saturday, a routine which can work for a second time in 12 months for defending champion Max Homa. He’s 14/1 with BoyleSports to retain his title while our other each-ways are Adrian Meronk and Hideki Matsuyama (both 45/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair) and in-form Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who is 66/1 with Betway.

• Coco Gauff, our ante-post tip to add the Australian Open to her growing grand-slam haul, is 4/6 to reach Saturday’s final by beating defending champion Aryna Sabalenka in their semi-final duel. It’s a repeat of September’s US Open showdown in New York when Gauff won in three sets and another 2-1 victory for the American is 4/1 with Unibet and BetUK.

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