Liverpool will look to stay a minimum of 2 points clear of Manchester City as they play Burnley at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Saturday.
The European champions came agonizingly close to ending their PL drought last season, amassing 97 points but falling short by a solitary point in the end. The league disappointment was softened by winning the UEFA Champions League and now, the Reds are once again aiming to win the coveted domestic title.
After a quiet summer with goalkeeper Adrian as the only senior signing, Jurgen Klopp’s men started the season by losing the Community Shield on penalties to Manchester City. However, they did manage to add another trophy by winning the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea later.Embed from Getty Images
Meanwhile, on the league front, Liverpool are the only team to remain perfect at the moment, winning each of their 3 games so far. The Merseyside club beat Norwich 4-1 in the league opener before winning 2-1 away at Southampton. This was followed by a dominant 3-1 win over Arsenal last week, leading to a clear two-point lead at the top.
Now, the Reds will be looking to go into the international break with 4 wins on the trot but the upcoming match promises to be a tricky encounter.
Burnley are looking to get back to their 2017-2018 form after flirting with relegation last season, owing to their Europa League commitments with a small squad. Sean Dyche let long-standing captain and goalkeeper Tom Heaton join Aston Villa while Peter Crouch retired from the game.
The Clarets added striker Jay Rodriguez and left-back Erik Pieters to their ranks along with Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater on loan as Dyche looks to maintain continuity in his ranks.
Burnley started off their league campaign with a solid 3-0 win over Southampton at home before losing 2-1 away to Arsenal. This was followed by another tough away trip to Wolves and the Clarets managed to share the spoils in a 1-1 draw.Embed from Getty Images
Now, Dyche and his men will be looking to notch another scalp in front of their home fans and will back themselves to beat Liverpool.
In terms of team news, Klopp will be without Alisson Becker and Nathaniel Clyne for a while and Naby Keita is expected to miss out as well until after the international break. Joel Matip’s goal and performance should earn him another start ahead of Joe Gomez while the rest of the team is expected to be the same as the one which played Arsenal last week.
For Burnley, Steven Defour and Robbie Brady are long-shots to be fit for the game while Gudmundsson is expected to have an outside chance to make it into the matchday squad. Finally, Dyche is expected to include Drinkwater in the league squad for the first time this season.
Head-To-Head and Burnley vs Liverpool Prediction
Looking at head-to-head between the sides, the visitors are unbeaten in their last 5 games against Burnley, and have lost just once in their last 10 meetings. That loss came back in 2016 in Klopp’s first full season at the club at Turf Moor. In fact, both the Clarets wins against the Reds in this century came in front of their home fans.
However, Liverpool’s form and current mentality to find a way to win should prove too much for Sean Dyche’s men. The Merseyside club have scored 23 goals in the last 10 meetings between the sides and have scored 10 goals in their last 5 visits to Turf Moor. Further, last 10 games between the clubs saw 31 goals and there has been no clean sheet for either side in the last 5 games.
Thus, Liverpool can be expected to win the game, however, both teams should be finding the back of the net and over 2.5 goals is a definite possibility.
Burnley Predicted XI: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowsi, Mee, Pieters; Gudmundsson, Cork, Westwood, McNeil; Wood, Barnes
Liverpool Predicted XI: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Firmino