LIVERPOOL VS BURNLEY: PREVIEW
Liverpool return to action this Saturday when they face off against Sean Dyche’s Burnley side at 12:30 BST (11:30 GMT) at Anfield. The Reds will be hoping to build on a positive opening day win at Norwich. Read on for a preview of the game…
Liverpool will feel they owe Burnley one. After all, they are the side that ended the Merseysiders’ proud unbeaten home record that stood at 68 games. That the victory wasn’t particularly well earned stung even more. A typical backs to the wall performance from Burnley saw the home side miss a plethora of chances. From hitting the woodwork, to seeing efforts cleared off the line, to goalkeeper Nick Pope in inspired form.
A soft penalty call late in the game after Alisson was adjudged to have fouled Ashley Barnes, gave the away side a chance at history. It was a chance Ashley Barnes took with aplomb, putting a dagger in the heart of every one of a Liverpool persuasion. That defeat was the start of a horrific six defeats on the bounce at Anfield as the famous fortress was left in rubble.
No fans, no centre backs and zero resistance to opposition teams, as team after team rocked up with no fear and left with all three points. Liverpool did get a modicum of revenge later in the season when a 3-0 win at Turf Moor proved vital to Champions League qualification. That won’t be enough to quench the passion for payback though, as this marks the official return of a full Anfield crowd in over 500 days.
Such an early kickoff is usually met with disdain and a sense of duty rather than one of a call to arms by supporters attending the game. This encounter is sure to get the Scouse Army in the latter mood. The Travelling Kop already made a stellar return to action at Norwich last Saturday and you can be sure the noise will be even more deafening at home to the side that most represented the malaise, a lack of crowd brought to the game.
After a rather quiet summer on the transfer front, Liverpool kicked off their season with a comfortable 3-0 victory at newly promoted Norwich. The performance and result underlined the depth available to Jurgen Klopp as Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones were all absent. Brazilians Fabinho and Firmino only managed a cameo off the bench too.
For this game, all five are available for selection and will give their manager a welcome selection headache. From a defensive drought last season, Liverpool have something of a flood of options right now as Konate, Gomez, Van Dijk, Matip, Phillips and Rhys Williams are all fit and available for selection. At full back, Trent Alexander-Arnold is a shoo in whilst Kostas Tsimikas can be expected to continue in the abscence of Andy Robertson.
The Scottish left back damaged his ankle ligaments in a pre-season friendly but has been seen running already, barely two weeks in. He is not believed to be ready for Burnley but might make a return against Chelsea next week. In midfield, Oxlade-Chamberlain can blame no one if he loses his spot, whilst Naby Keita will be hoping a quietly effective performance last time out, will see him maintain his spot.
The front three (or front four if you will) all looked sharp against Norwich with all but Sadio Mané finding the score sheet. It isn’t outside the realms of possibility to see Klopp start all four from the off. Burnley will come and sit deep and play for set pieces like they usually do, so possession will be all Liverpool’s. It is a healthy looking squad at this embryonic stage of the season and it will be a strong team that lines up for the hosts on Saturday.
On the opposite side, Sean Dyche continues to work miracles to keep Burnley in the top flight on a shoestring budget. It is more or less the same squad he’s got this season, save for Stoke City’s young centre back Collins coming in as Ben Gibson was sold to Norwich. Their lineup against Brighton in their opening fixture of the season was made up entirely of players who have been at the club for a few years.
You begin to fear for their survival hopes if they don’t freshen up the squad a little bit. Nick Pope in goal, Lowton and Charlie Taylor at fullback, Tarkowski and Mee at centre back. A midfield four of McNeil and Gudmundsson out wide, with Cork and Westwood central and a front two of Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez feels a little bit too samey for Burnley. Even their subs were samey, with Vydra and Ashley Barnes coming off the bench against Brighton.
They did take an early lead against Brighton after Tarkowski bundled home a set piece (that remains their surest route to goal), before capitulating in the second half to lose 2-1 infront of their returning fans. Burnley have now lost four Premier League games in a row, and with a hostile reception awaiting them in L4, they’ll have it all to do if they want to avoid breaking an unwanted record this time, by losing five in a row.
Liverpool have failed to beat Burnley at Anfield in the past two seasons following a 1-1 draw in their title winning season. They will be looking to put that right this weekend and Roberto Firmino, who has six goals in his last six appearances against the Clarets, will be hoping to lead the line to lead the punishment. A win and the Reds will go top of the league, temporarily at least, a position they very much covet.
4 thoughts on “LIVERPOOL VS BURNLEY: PREVIEW”
Lovely write up. Should be an easy win for Liverpool tho.
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Keep it up
YNWA bro. Keep enjoying the content