Liverpool vs Burnley preview: predicted teams, injuries
All the latest news and information as champions Liverpool host Burnley in the Premier League’s Saturday afternoon kick-off.
Liverpool’s midweek win over Brighton and Hove Albion took them to 92 points for the season, level with rivals Manchester United’s best total from the 1993/94 campaign.
Liverpool vs Burnley preview
The Reds need eight more points from their remaining four fixtures to equal Manchester City’s Premier League record set two years ago. That remains the only objective left for Jürgen Klopp’s team this season and with games against Arsenal and Chelsea on the horizon they will want to pick up the three points against Burnley.
In Wednesday’s game against Brighton Mohammed Salah scored twice to bring his league total to 19 this season and the forward clearly has an eye on securing a third Premier League Golden Boot in just his fourth season at the club. Former Liverpool player Graeme Souness said of the Egyptian’s performance: “he’s always selfish. I think tonight he was super selfish. He really wants his Golden Boot.”
Liverpool Predicted XI vs Burnley
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Burnley Predicted XI vs Liverpool
Pope; Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood
With four matches remaining Salah is three goals adrift of current leader Jamie Vardy and two off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with whom he shared last year’s award. Roberto Firmino passed up a good opportunity to score on Wednesday so his teammate could add to his tally but the Brazilian will be desperate to score on Saturday to break his Anfield duck for the season. Firmino scored in the reverse fixture back in August but is yet to score a home league goal this campaign.
That game at Turf Moor ended with a comfortable 3-0 victory for the visitors and began a worrying spell of form for Burnley. They won just two of 11 games at the start of the season but have improved remarkably since and are now just two points off the European places. Since losing 5-0 to Manchester City in their first game after the restart Sean Dyche’s men have been on a great run of form, picking up ten points from their last four matches. In that time they have conceded just a single goal.
Their form is even more impressive considering that they have lost senior players whose contracts ended in June. Midfielder Jeff Hendrick rejected the offer of a contract extension and has left the club, while Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon and Adam Legzdins have also departed recently. Dyche has twice named squads with fewer than the permitted nine substitutes since the restart and the club have recently received special dispensation to add academy players to the matchday squad.
Liverpool vs Burnley: injuries and suspensions
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is one of the favourites to be crowned Premier League Player of the Season but the midfield’s campaign appears to be over after picking up a knee injury against Brighton. Klopp confirmed on Friday that he does not need surgery but will miss the remaining four games.
Defenders Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are both likely to miss out, so Joe Gomez will partner Virgil van Djik in defence. Xerdan Shaqiri has now returned to training and is available for selection if required.
The Clarets’ contract situation has not been helped by a number of injuries to key players who are likely to miss the rest of the campaign. Dyche will be without Ben Mee (thigh), Ashley Barnes (hernia) Jack Cork (ankle) and Matt Lowton (foot) for the game against Liverpool.
However striker Chris Wood and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson are likely to return to the starting line-up after recovering from injuries. Robbie Brady was only fit enough for the bench on Wednesday having just returned from injury but will likely feature against the champions.
Liverpool vs Burnley: what the managers said
Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool): “When I think about the next four opponents, I cannot think we will get 10 or 12 points, I cannot do that. We play against Burnley and they are a results machine, obviously. They will come to us and they will fight with all they have so we have to do so as well.”
Sean Dyche (Burnley): “We are in good form. It will take maximum performance, focus and game understanding and hopefully they will have a quieter day because when they turn up it is very difficult. Even with the power of the players and the manager they have got it is very difficult to win the Premier League.”
Prediction: Liverpool appear to have put their minor mid-season wobble behind them and have been back to their best in recent weeks. Burnley can be a tough proposition and their miserly record suggests that even Liverpool may struggle to break them down, particularly in an empty Anfield. The first goal will be crucial and if Liverpool get it then they should be solid enough defensively to secure a 31st league win of the season. Liverpool 2-0 Burnley
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