LIVERPOOL VS. BURNLEY
| Saturday, February 10th |
Premier League | Anfield
3PM GMT/10AM EST
Burnley have clearly been struggling this season, and their promotion so early in their purported three-year-plan with manager Vincent Kompany shows somewhat in the side’s naiveté in the Premier League this season. Before this match, Kompany stressed that the team is suffering with a “results issue”: the performances are often there, but they don’t get translated into good results.
In terms of the team Liverpool will likely face, defenders Hannes Delcroix and Charlie Taylor may return for Burnley, which could give the Clarets more confidence in defense. Burnley remain without long-term absentees Jordan Beyer, Redmond, and Luca Koleosho.
Burnley will look to target set pieces as a way to achieve success against sides like Liverpool, so the Reds will have to be alert in these moments. They have been very successful in creating chances with set plays this season, even if these chances don’t become goals often enough for Burnley’s liking. Most of their goals have come from outside the box in 2023/24, and though they’ve lost a lot of games, most of those losses have been quite narrow.
The Clarets come into this match on something of a high given the disappointment thus far this season: they drew 2-2 with Fulham at Turf Moor last time out, and while they would have wanted a win, scoring goals has been an issue for the Clarets, and taking home a point in adverse conditions will give them confidence.
In terms of goals, it’s worth noting that Burnley has scored the opening goal in the four of the last six match-ups between these two at Anfield, though the win in January 2021 was the side’s first victory here since 1973. Liverpool have won eight of the last 10 Premier League matches against Burnley home or away, and the last four have seen Liverpool walk away with a clean sheet as well.
Burnley do come to Anfield fighting to stay up, with the Clarets sitting in 19th with just 13 points from the 23 matches played. They’re seven points off of 17th-placed Luton, and while they might come to Anfield with a desire to fight, the mood amongst Clarets fans is one of relegation-as-foregone-conclusion. Eight of their 13 points have been earned away from home, however, so they aren’t reliant on their home crowd.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Mac Allister, Jones; Jota, Núñez, Diaz
Mohamed Salah and Thiago will not be fit to face Burnley, and Conor Bradley will remain with family following the loss of his father. Ibrahima Konaté is suspended for this match following his red card against Arsenal. Wataru Endo has returned from the Asian Cup and will be available to face Burnley, but Kostas Tsimikas and Dominik Szoboszlai are due for late fitness tests ahead of this one. Virgil Van Dijk should make his 250th Liverpool appearance in this match.
There is also an illness going around with flu-like symptoms, which may further limit the selection — though at present those affected are not known.
Liverpool lost last weekend. The loss itself is a rare enough thing to happen, but perhaps more importantly the Reds played badly, and played badly against a good side. The Arsenal defeat did a lot of things in terms of the title race, but it also popped a serious confidence bubble that had built up around Liverpool’s successive good performances. They will hope to regain their form, as well as their winning ways, in this Saturday’s kickoff.
The Reds this season have been very good, and one of the most interesting positives is their variety in goal scorers of late: the last seven goals have been scored by seven different players. While Darwin Núñez has been getting a lot of attention due to the number of shots (and shots on the woodwork: nine this season, six more than anyone else in the league), Diogo Jota has been incredibly productive of late, with seven goal involvements in his last seven appearances (5G 2A).
Liverpool have missed Salah, but also look to be a team branching out and looking to rely less on one player. Hopefully the return from injury and international duty of Liverpool’s absentees will see the Reds return to high-flying form — and hopefully the afternoon match and last weekend’s result won’t affect the atmosphere in Anfield (and hopefully the further-expanded crowd size will help with that).
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “[Burnley]’s an opponent [we] respect a lot. I really think Vinny is doing an incredible job there, to be honest. He learned so early in his managing career so many very important things for the career after it. Having all the highs you can have, with running through the Championship last year like nobody else before. Then getting knock after knock by playing good football, by sticking to their principles. I couldn’t respect it, I couldn’t admire it more, to be honest. You see them still playing. Now [David Datro] Fofana has scored two goals, came on [against Fulham], game before I think he was involved in the goal as well. They have now somebody [who] looks like they can score goals, on top of all the other boys. Their results are strange, they lose not high, if they lose it’s 2-1, 3-2, whatever. These kinds of things. You see they are in the game, they play football, they do that and we have to be absolutely spot on.”
Vincent Kompany: “Liverpool 2.0’ is up there with the best sides he has constructed. If I compare the Liverpool teams I played against and the Liverpool team we’re seeing now they are there or thereabouts again. It’s not to do with the results. It’s how the team moves, the confidence they have when pressing on the front foot. The players are still getting integrated, some of them (but you see) how quickly they have assimilated the ideas of the better Liverpool teams of recent times. It’s a normal part of how you turn a squad around is you evolve a little bit in how they treat possession but the key ingredients are back from what I can tell.”
Referee: Tim Robinson Assistants: Eddie Smart, Nick Greenhalgh Fourth official: Tom Bramall VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Marc Perry
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