Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Mike Dean
Date & Time – Thursday, January 21st @ 20:00
Current Odds – Liverpool 2/11, Draw 13/2, Burnley 14/1
All Liverpool games are important to us fans, yet, this Thursday night’s fixture with Burnley has become more relevant in light of The Reds’ recent dip in form and failure to find the net.
Liverpool were certainly much-improved last Sunday against Manchester United but still couldn’t make all their possession count. The lack of clear-cut chances created was there for all to see. They will solve it, no doubt. However, the sooner the better in terms of the Premier League title race.
Thursday night against Burnley would be the ideal time to kick back into gear, please and thanks, Liverpool.
After Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, Jürgen Klopp’s men have now gone four Premier League games without a win. The Reds haven’t picked up three points in the league since their record-breaking 7-0 victory at Crystal Palace on December 19th. They are now 4th in the league, three points behind United.
What may be more worrying is the fact that Liverpool have failed to score in their last three league games and have only one goal in the last four.
Anything less than a win on Thursday night would be another huge disappointment. Liverpool must take all three points to get themselves out of this rut and kick-start the second half of their season.
Burnley have lost their last two games by a 1-0 scoreline. Last week, Manchester United beat them at Turf Moor thanks to a Paul Pogba strike, then West Ham beat them in London at the weekend with Michail Antonio scoring the only goal of the game.
Before that, Burnley knocked MK Dons out of the FA Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw at home.
Sean Dyche and co are currently 17th in the Premier League on 16 points, four points above Fulham and the relegation zone.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool are still without Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keïta, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas.
Joël Matip returned to training this week and it’s hoped he will start in this game.
With Matip likely to start, this means Jordan Henderson can play further up the pitch. The captain could play the ‘6’ role at the base of the midfield, behind Thiago Alcântara and Gini Wijnaldum. With Thiago given more licence to push forward, it could be key in ending Liverpool’s current goal drought.
Expect to see the same front three starting again as one or two of them will likely be rested for next Sunday’s FA Cup clash at Old Trafford.
Burnley Team News
Jimmy Dunne, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Charlie Taylor are all facing late fitness tests for the visitors.
It’s likely that Burnley’s left-sided midfielder Dwight McNeil will return to the starting eleven on Thursday.
Sean Dyche normally goes with his trusted 4-4-2 formation. That means Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood will lead the line for The Clarets. It will be a tough physical test for Liverpool’s centre-halves.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Burnley XI (4-4-2) – Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Brady, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Barnes, Wood
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool are seven games unbeaten against Sean Dyche’s Burnley. The Clarets’ last win over The Reds was early in Jürgen Klopp’s first full season in charge. Sam Vokes and Andre Gray scored the home side’s two goals that day in August 2016.
Last season, Liverpool drew 1-1 at home to Burnley. Andy Robertson gave The Reds a first-half lead but Jay Rodriguez equalised for the visitors after the break. The game was played in July after Klopp’s men had already secured the Premier League title. Unfortunately, it brought an end to Liverpool’s winning run at Anfield and was the only blemish on the side’s home record for the 2019/20 campaign (Pd19 W18 D1 L0).
LIVERPOOL 2 – 0 BURNLEY
It may not be the prettiest of games – it rarely is against Burnley – but any win will do on Thursday. Liverpool have found goals hard to come by but I expect them to go at Burnley right from the start and they should find a breakthrough if they can keep the pressure on Nick Pope’s goal for long enough.