Liverpool will travel to Turf Moor on Wednesday night, as they face off against Burnley on Matchday 15 of the 2018-19 Premier League season.
Liverpool will be aiming to keep up the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City, when they lock horns with a struggling Burnley outfit away from home on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men came away with a lucky 1-0 win in the Merseyside derby against Everton this past weekend, courtesy of a Divock Origi goal in the dying embers of the game. The Reds find themselves in second spot in the league standings, five points adrift of City, who defeated Watford 2-1 on Tuesday night.
With their unbeaten record in the Premier League still intact, the Reds will be looking to keep the run going and grab three points against the Clarets to reduce the gap at the top to just two points.
Burnley, on the other hand, are spiralling towards the bottom of the table. Sean Dyche’s men are occupying 19th on the Premier League table, following their 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Clarets are now seven games without a victory in the league, with their last win coming against Cardiff City way back in September.
With just two wins from 14 matches, Burnley are staring at the prospect of relegation and manager Dyche will be hoping to kickstart a turnaround by leading his team to an upset victory in his 300th league game in-charge.
Team News & Tactics
Goalkeeper Nick Pope and left-back Stephen Ward remain absent for the home team, while there are doubts over the availability of midfielder Steven Defour, who is struggling with a knee injury. Apart from that, there are no other major injury concerns for Dyche heading into the midweek encounter.
The manager is likely to ring in some changes to the side that took the field at Selhurst Park this weekend. No change in goal is expected, however, with Joe Hart set to continue between the sticks ahead of Tom Heaton.
Phil Bardsley is in line to feature at right-back, while Charlie Taylor should continue on the opposite side. James Tarkowski should be back at the heart of the Burnley defence, at the expense of Kevin Long. He will be paired up with his usual partner-in-crime, Ben Mee, meaning there is no place again for summer signing Ben Gibson.
Former Tottenham and Everton star Aaron Lennon should once again get the nod out on the right flank for the Clarets, with Iceland international Johann Berg Gudmundsson nailing down the left wing slot for himself. In the middle of the park, Jack Cork is a certainty to feature and could be partnered by Jeff Hendrick, in the absence of Defour.
26-year-old Matej Vydra hasn’t seen a lot of game time since making the switch to Burnley from Derby County this past summer. He could be set for a start as the secondary striker, in behind leading goalscorer Sam Vokes, who would be replacing Chris Wood.
Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Hart; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Lennon, Hendrick, Cork, Berg Gudmundsson; Vydra; Vokes
Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson are doubtful to feature for Liverpool having picked up minor injuries in the derby at the weekend. Adam Lallana is also unlikely to be involved for the visitors, while fellow Englishman Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains a long-term absentee.
Klopp is likely to make a number of changes to the side that started against their local rivals on Sunday. Alisson Becker is expected to hold on to his spot in goal, though.
Alberto Moreno should step into the team at left-back, with Trent Alexander-Arnold continuing on the right, while Dejan Lovren should replace Joe Gomez as Virgil van Dijk’s central defensive partner.
Wholesale changes in midfield are expected, with Jordan Henderson, who is back from suspension, sure to feature at the base of the three-man midfield for the Reds. The Liverpool captain is likely to be paired up with veteran Englishman James Milner and summer arrival Naby Keita, both of whom did not start against Everton at the weekend.
Mohamed Salah should continue on the right side of the attack from the get-go for the Reds, while Xherdan Shaqiri could find himself starting out on the left side. Through the middle, Roberto Firmino is due for a rest, with Daniel Sturridge and derby hero Origi vying for a starting berth. The former is likely to be given the nod ahead of the Belgian.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Moreno; Milner, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Sturridge, Shaqiri
1. Burnley Asian Handicap +2.0 @ 1.575
2. Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 1.61
1. Full Time Result – Burnley Or Draw @ 3.75
- Burnley have won just one of their eight Premier League games against Liverpool (D1 L6), beating them 2-0 at Turf Moor in August 2016.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 16 Premier League matches played on Wednesday (W11 D5), since a 1-3 loss at Stoke City on Boxing Day 2012.
- Liverpool have conceded just five goals in their 14 Premier League games this season – only once in the history of the top-flight have a team conceded fewer at this stage of a campaign (Chelsea, 4 in 2008-09).
- Burnley have conceded 12 goals in their six home league games so far this season – it took them 15 games to concede 12 goals at Turf Moor last term, shipping just 17 at home across the whole season.
- Liverpool have won just one of their last seven Premier League away games against sides starting the day in the relegation zone (D2 L4), although it was their last such match at Huddersfield in October.
Player to Watch
The Guinean midfield dynamo arrived at Liverpool in the summer amidst great expectations and things began in impressive fashion for him. But, injuries and dip in form have meant that Keita hasn’t been able to hit the level that was expected of him.
In his debut campaign in England, the 23-year old has started just 6 games times across all competitions (7 sub appearances) and is yet to score or assist a single goal, which has been a bit of a letdown, considering that he made his reputation as a goal-scoring midfielder at RB Leipzig,
There is no doubt over Keita’s abilities and immense potential and he needs to make the most of the rare opportunity that might come his way in the midweek game. The pace and energy that he brings to the table will be crucial for Liverpool on Wednesday as they look to break down a defensive-minded Burnley at Turf Moor.
Burnley 0-2 Liverpool
After a brilliant 2017-18 campaign, Burnley have been struggling big time this season. No wins in their last seven league matches and only one victory at Turf Moor, that used to be a fortress not too long ago, gives an inkling into their current plight.
Liverpool, on the other hand, might not be firing on all cylinders, but have shown the mettle to grind out results. While their campaign last season was built on a-near unstoppable attacking force, the Reds’ success this term has a lot to do with their impregnable defence led by the brilliant Virgil van Dijk.
It is hard to visualize this Burnley side, struggling for confidence, getting past an in-form Liverpool defence on Wednesday. And that is why, we at The Hard Tackle are predicting a comfortable win for Jurgen Klopp’s men with another clean sheet in the bag.