Liverpool play their second game in 48 hours on Monday when they travel to face Burnley as the first match of 2018. As if the holiday season wasn’t hard enough. The Reds earned a hard-fought victory on Saturday against Leicester but won’t have a ton of recovery time before they’re back at it - which won’t be exactly easy, according midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
“It is really difficult because normally the second day after a match you are off, because they say that you are the most tired that day. But now we’re playing a game,” the Dutchman told the club website.
“You have to recover really well to be fit for the game. It is difficult but we’re not the only ones that have the problem, a lot of teams have the problem. So we have to deal with it.
“It’s really [about] mentality. It makes it even harder that we play Burnley – a really concentrated team who don’t give a lot of space between the lines and don’t give a lot of space on the pitch.
“They defend well. And they are also difficult from set-pieces and counter-attacks. That makes it even harder. So we have to be concentrated and fresh in the mind to win the game.”
Burnley have always been a difficult side to beat, considering they handed us our first considerable loss last season and we drew with them back in September when they came to Anfield, but the strain of the previous game will not make it any easier. Burnley, to their credit, have been doing surprisingly well this season, as they sit currently seventh on the table and escaped with a goalless draw from their previous match against Huddersfield.
Liverpool ended the last match against Burnley with 71% possession but were unable to get anything more than a point after Mohamed Salah brought the Reds equal with a Scott Arfield goal. Capitalizing on chances is something Liverpool has always struggled with and the fatigue setting in from the busy festive season is just another obstacle.
“We have to stay focused and must have patience that we will create chances,” added Wijnaldum, speaking to improvements from the last time we met Burnley.
“We have to hope we score the chances we get, because the game at home was really frustrating – we had a lot of possession and created a lot of chances but we didn’t score the goals.
“It’s going to be the same possession-wise. The only thing we have to change is to score the chances we get.”