Burnley vs Liverpool
| Wednesday, May 19th |
Premer League | Turf Moor
8:15PM BST /3:15PM EST
For the first time in 2021, fans are back in football stadiums, and 3500 spectators will gather at Turf Moor to watch the orc horde attempt to hold back Liverpool’s charge for fourth spot.
It’s not been a great season for Burnley, but they’ve avoided relegation once more, and in the year of covidball, their dreary style of plays has not even stood out as much as has been the case in seasons past. Whether Sean Dyche appreciates this idea or not is unknown.
The Reds have been here before and know what to expect. Banks of four, long balls, high, intensity, hard duels, and squeaky bums on set pieces. Despite never feeling comfortable, though, Liverpool have won five of their six trips to Turf Moor in the Premier League era, and it’s been nearly five years since they failed to score two or more goals there. Fingers crossed the trend continues.
Dyche’s fighting Uruk-hai sport a clean bill of health, so expect top scorer Chris Wood to be out there all night bullying Rhys Williams and Nick Pope to have another spectacular showing before he’s off to greener pastures this summer.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Williams, Phillips, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Firmino, Mané, Salah
The XI more or less picks itself now, as injuries continue to plague the Reds squad. Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are the club’s only healthy centre-backs, while a resurgent Trent Alexander-Arnold and a somehow not yet broken Andrew Robertson will man the fullback spots.
Fabinho and Thiago have developed a thriving partnership in midfield, and will be joined by either Curtis Jones or Georginio Wijnaldum, as the latter looks to make what appears to be his final efforts at Anfield. Naby Keïta is not yet match fit but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should return to the matchday squad.
Up top, Diogo Jota’s return will not come until Sunda’s visit from Crystal Palace at the earliest, while Mohamed Salah is reportedly fine despite tweaking his knee when scoring at West Bromwich at the weekend. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané are both set to start.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “We only have to focus on this one game. That it means a lot, I really think I don’t have to explain that because you could see that in the celebrations at West Brom.”
Cookie Monster: “Liverpool are back on form, so it will be a tough game, but it will be great just to get fans back in here. I know it’s only some fans, but it’s a show that things can happen going forwards and we hope it’s the start.”
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistant referees: Dan Cook, Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss
VAR: Paul Tierney, Simon Bennett
Kickoff is set for 8:15PM GMT/3:15PM 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.