Burnley vs. Liverpool
| Tuesday, December 26th |
Premier League | Turf Moor
5:30PM BST / 12:30PM EST
Liverpool’s last two Premier League outings have seen Jürgen Klopp’s Reds play well but come away with less than maximum points, drawing nil-nil with historic rivals Manchester United before drawing 1-1 with current league leaders Arsenal. While the performances themselves have been solid, for a side with aspirations for silverware the need now will be to turn solid performances into wins now that they’re facing off against a side further down the table.
On paper, injuries might be Klopp’s biggest problem, with Luis Diaz and Kostas Tsimikas joining an increasingly lengthy list of sidelined first team stars for the Reds, a group that also includes Alexis Mac Allister, Diogo Jota, Joël Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic, Ben Doak, and—perhaps most problematically in light of Tsimikas’ recent injury—left back Andrew Robertson. Those absences seem rather likely to limit Klopp’s options in defence and could lead to an interesting selection or two in midfield and attack.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Gomez; Elliott, Endo, Gravenberch; Salah, Gakpo, Nuñez
Burnley manage Vincent Kompany has his own—albeit not quite so lengthy—injury list to worry about with winger Luca Koleosho ruled out while Johann Gudmundsson, Jack Cork, and Aaron Ramsey are all unlikely to be involved. Regardless who’s fit, though, Burnley will be firm underdogs heading into the match and even a draw against this Liverpool side would likely go down as one of their results of the season to date.
Burnley earned automatic promotion by winning the Championship last season at the first time of asking but with the season on the verge of its half-way point look almost certain to be dropped straight back down to England’s second tier as they currently sit 19th with just 11 points from 18 games.
However, the club’s December form so far has been more than passable, with two wins (of three in total), two losses, and a draw (one of two in total) in five games, and if they can continue that into the new year they could yet climb their way out of the Premier League basement with Nottingham Forest—currently two points clear of the relegation places and 17th place Luton Town and three up on 18th place Burnley—the side they’ll need to leap past in order to secure a Premier League future.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “They are much better than the position and the points they have. I have watched quite a few Burnley games and I am pretty impressed by what they are doing—and on Saturday [a 2-0 win over Fulham] they got the reward.”
Vincent Kompany: “I don’t think I’m offending anyone by saying I don’t think we’re favourites. We have to try and have another moment. There’s no point coming to this level if you’re not going to enjoy the prospect of playing big teams.”
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistant referees: Marc Perry and Scott Ledger
VAR: Simon Hooper | Fourth official: Graham Scott
Kickoff is set for 5:30PM GMT/12:30PM EST tomorrow, and full 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.