Liverpool vs Burnley
| Thursday, January 21st |
Premier League | Anfield
8PM BST /3PM EST
After a run of disappointing results, failing to win in four consecutive games, Liverpool face the prospect of a win only taking them as high second place for the first time in what feels like forever.
Thankfully, tomorrow’s opposition have not, despite their brutish, agrarian ways, beaten the Reds since 2016, and have only managed two points in the past seven meetings between the sides. Currently 17th, four points clear of the drop, Burnley are not exactly in tremendous form either, winning — and scoring — only once in the last four, losing thrice.
They are typically stout at the back, and have only conceded three goals in that run, but scoring a total of nine goals in 17 games this season means that the Clarets are by far the worst attacking side in the league, and should not pose dramatic problems for Liverpool’s makeshift defence, even if it is mostly stocked with midfielders.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Salah
Joël Matip faces another late fitness test, but has been training with the rest of the team and should be ready to start alongside Fabinho, allowing Jordan Henderson to move into his preferred midfield role.
There, the captain could partner with Thiago for only their second start in the middle of the park together, a partnership that on paper would appear to offer a tremendous amount of passing and leadership. Georginio Wijnaldum, Xherdan Shaqiri and Curtis Jones are all options to join the pair, depending on which weapons Jürgen Klopp prefers, but Naby Keïta remains unavailable with a muscle problem.
Up top, Diogo Jota is still a few weeks away from contention, so the misfiring trio of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah will be given another chance to turn their form around.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “When you look at the goal difference, I think it’s nine-22, that means obviously they didn’t score a lot of goals but they don’t concede a lot as well. So that just shows us how tough the game will be.”
Sean Dyche: “I am not over-thinking the fact that they are maybe not as free-flowing because they are still winning and getting points. We have to be on top of ourselves and our performance.”
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistant referees: Darren Cann, Mark Scholes
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Lee Mason, Matthew Wilkes
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.