Liverpool welcome Burnley to Anfield on Sunday as the Reds look to cement their place in the top four.
With teams around them not in Premier League action this weekend, the game poses a real chance for Liverpool to propel themselves further into the top four with a win. The last six games in all competitions have typified Liverpool’s season, with wins against Arsenal and Spurs alongside defeats to Leicester, Hull and Wolves showing the inconsistency that has plagued Liverpool’s campaign thus far.
The performance against Arsenal was somewhat unsurprising, with an impressive record against the top six speaking for itself prior to the game. However, a win against Burnley would represent progress for the Reds, who have stuttered all too often this season against sides outside the top six.
When allowed to move the ball forward and have time and space on the ball, Liverpool are one of the most potent attacks in the country, but the back four has proved a real thorn in their side. Despite scoring an unrivalled 58 league goals this season, Stoke are the only team in the top half of the table to concede more than the Reds.
It’s hard to know which Liverpool side will show up against Burnley on Sunday, but Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his side can build on their impressive win against Arsenal and cement a top four spot.
Sitting relatively comfortably in mid-table, Burnley find themselves 11 points clear of the relegation zone. Crucial to that has been their home form, in which they have proven to be a difficult opponent to beat at Turf Moor. However, they have struggled to reproduce such form on the road, with just two of their 31 points coming away from Turf Moor.
The Clarets have failed to record a league win on the road all season, a run of 13 league games, drawing two and losing 11. Their overall record in Premier League away games hardly makes for good reading, with 8 draws and 39 defeats.
Despite their record, Burnley have shown some encouraging signs of late when travelling to face teams in the top six. Manchester United were held to a draw at Old Trafford while Spurs, Manchester City and Arsenal narrowly won 2-1. Sean Dyche’s side were particularly unlucky against Arsenal, showing a good and gritty performance only to be caught out by a 98th minute winner.
Liverpool are undoubtedly the favourites for the game, despite their awful record against the ‘smaller’ teams, but Burnley will take confidence from having already beaten Klopp’s side once this season.
Head To Head
Liverpool have played Burnley five times in the Premier League, winning the first four and scoring eleven unanswered goals in the process. Burnley’s last win at Anfield was in September 1974. They’ve drawn one and lost eight of their nine visits since, scoring once and conceding 19 goals. After their 2-0 win over the Reds in August, the Clarets could do the league double on their opponents for the first time since 1929/1930.
Liverpool will once again have to make do without captain Jordan Henderson, with the midfielder continuing to struggle with a foot injury sustained in training. Daniel Sturridge is another noticeable absentee with a hip injury, while Roberto Firmino is a fresh doubt for Jurgen Klopp after picking up a knock in the home win over Arsenal last weekend.
In his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp said “Roberto Firmino struggles a little. He felt something after the game, and this week he couldn’t train, so we need to wait a little bit more and see.”
The Brazilian’s injury could mean a rare start for Divock Origi and a subsequent change in style for the Reds, who will be looking to avoid another sluggish performance against teams in the bottom half of the table.
Dejan Lovren is back in contention for a starting berth, although after Ragnar Klavan’s performance against Arsenal, it would be harsh to drop him. Marko Grujic has also returned to training and could feature on the bench.
Burnley remain without Steven Defour and Johann Berg Gudmundsson but Tom Heaton is fit once again after being out through illness. Joey Barton has provided a late boost to the Clarets after recovering from a hamstring issue.
Liverpool were back to their old selves against Arsenal last weekend, and despite their horrendous record against teams outside the top six, I fancy them to get the three points and build some momentum as we head into the business end of the season. The players looked reinvigorated against the Gunners and with Burnley yet to record a win on the road, surely Jurgen Klopp’s team can see them off.
Predicted Score: Liverpool 2-0 Burnley
The match kicks off at 4:00pm GMT, and UK and US viewers can watch the game using the links below.
For fans based in the UK, the game is being shown live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD, which is available to live stream on the BT Sport website here.
For fans based in the US, you can live stream the game with FuboTV.
Written by Leanne P