Liverpool will look to get their Premier League campaign back on track when they host Burnley at Anfield on Saturday
Premier League action continues this weekend with gameweek 5. In one of the afternoon kick-off games on Saturday, Liverpool host Burnley at Anfield, with the Reds looking to get back to winning way after two disappointing results in the previous week.
The hosts come into the match on the back of consecutive winless results that have seen them conceding seven goals. Last Saturday, Jurgen Klopp’s men were at the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City before they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sevilla on their return to the UEFA Champions League.
Burnley, on the other hand, have started the season strongly, with seven points on the road – in stark contrast to their away form last season – including wins over Crystal Palace and Chelsea and a draw at Tottenham. Sean Dyche’s men are, in fact, level on points with Liverpool heading into the match.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a come-from-behind 2-1 win for Liverpool as goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can got the Reds all three points. Ahead of their latest meeting on Saturday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Jurgen Klopp does not have any fresh injury concerns on his hands ahead of the visit of Burnley on Saturday. The Liverpool boss remains without the services of Adam Lallana (thigh) and Nathaniel Clyne (back), with both players nursing their respective long-term injuries.
The major absentee for Klopp, for the rest of the month, is Sadio Mane. The Senegalese winger, who has been one of the pivotal figures at Anfield for the Reds, is unavailable for the next three games due to a suspension that he accrued after being sent off against City last week.
However, Philippe Coutinho is fit, available for selection and the likely player to fill Mane’s boots on Saturday. The Brazilian, putting the Barcelona transfer saga behind him, made his first appearance of the season on Wednesday as he came off the bench, but is likely to be present from the start against Burnley.
Also likely to return to the starting lineup is Simon Mignolet, who gave way to Loris Karius for the Champions League match. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, is still looking for his first start in a Liverpool shirt, and could get so at Anfield on Saturday.
Possible Starting XI (4-3-3): Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Klavan, Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Can; Salah, Firmino, Coutinho
Like his counterpart in the Liverpool dugout, Sean Dyche will not be able to count on one of his main men on the trip to Anfield and beyond, albeit due to a long-term injury. Burnley captain Tom Heaton dislocated his shoulder in the match against Crystal Palace last week and is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The England goalkeeper underwent shoulder surgery in midweek and the latest reports suggest that he is set to be out of action for the better part of the next four months. In Heaton’s absence, Nick Pope is set to make his first start of the season in goal for the Clarets.
Dyche, meanwhile, is set to welcome Jeff Hendrick back to his matchday squad on Saturday, with the Irish midfielder completing his recovery from a thigh strain. Nahki Wells (ankle) and Dean Marney (knee), though, are long-term absentees.
The key men for the Burnley boss, meanwhile, are summer signings Jonathan Walters and Chris Wood. While Liverpool are one of the favourite opponents for Walters, who has scored seven times against the Reds, Wood will be looking to build on a strong debut for his new side last week.
Possible Starting XI (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Gudmundsson, Cork, Defour, Brady; Wood, Walters
- Liverpool have won five of the six Premier League meetings with Burnley, including all three at Anfield while scoring at least two goals along the way.
- In fact, Burnley have won just one of their 23 games against Liverpool at Anfield in all competitions (D4 L18).
- Liverpool could become the fourth Premier League team to earn 1000 points at home if they avoid defeat. They are currently on 999 points (P483 W293 D120 L70).
- Liverpool have won just five of the 12 Premier League games that Sadio Mane hasn’t started since he joined the club (42%), compared to 63% of the games when he has (19/30).
- Burnley haven’t lost ten consecutive away matches against a single opponent since March 1958 versus Aston Villa. The Clarets have lost their last nine games against Liverpool
1. Burnley Asian Handicap +2.0 @ 1.70
2. Coutinho to score anytime @ 2.75
3. Liverpool Clean Sheet – NO @ 1.90
1. Chris Wood to score anytime @ 5.00
Player To Watch
A long drawn out saga in the summer ended on a bitter note for Philippe Coutinho as his dream move to Barcelona failed to materialise. Reports claiming that he will refuse to play a match for Liverpool again have, since turned out to be untrue, after the Brazilian made his first appearance of the season against Sevilla.
On Saturday, he is expected to return to start his first game of the season, and he is likely to have a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. Liverpool talisman Sadio Mane is suspended for the next three games, and the Senegalese has said that Jurgen Klopp’s men are unlikely to face a roadblock in his absence with Coutinho set to return.
Thus, with a highly anticipated return to Premier League action on the cards, it remains to be seen if Coutinho is able to roll back time and become one of the most instrumental figure for his Liverpool boss once again, starting with Burnley on Saturday.
Liverpool 2-1 Burnley
After a tough week for Jurgen Klopp and his men, Liverpool will be looking to get back on track with a win on the weekend. However, their next test isn’t quite as easy, with a confident Burnley set to visit Anfield.
The Clarets have started the season strongly with a surprising unbeaten record on the road. On top of that, they have found the back of the net in 12 of their last 14 away games, and with the bulk of the home side unlikely to be at a 100% fitness level, this is a game that could see another shock result.
However, the form of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, coupled with a determined Philippe Coutinho, could be enough to just see the Reds through. The Hard Tackle predicts a hard fought 2-1 win for Liverpool.