Liverpool return to Premier League action on Wednesday night, with a potentially awkward trip to struggling Burnley.
Burnley vs. Liverpool
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 — 7.45pm (GMT)
Referee: Stuart Attwell
The Reds enjoyed one of their most memorable Merseyside derby victories in history at the weekend, thanks to Divock Origi‘s bizarre 96th-minute winner.
Not only was it vital for local bragging rights, but it kept Jurgen Klopp‘s side two points behind a relentless Man City outfit.
Wednesday’s opponents are struggling with a poor league season after last year’s excellent campaign and sit in the relegation zone.
However, trips to Turf Moor are rarely comfortable affairs and the Reds will have to be switched on against a physical team looking to get three vital points of their own.
For the Reds, confidence should be high after Sunday’s drama and if the title is to come Liverpool’s way in 2018/19, points cannot be dropped against relegation-threatened sides.
Klopp is expected to rotate, as a busy schedule kicks into gear, so this will be a big test of his team’s much-discussed squad depth.
Another win is paramount whatever the starting XI.
This fixture last season: Burnley 1-2 Liverpool
Sadio Mane (foot) and Andy Robertson (dead leg) could both miss out through injury, with the duo set to be assessed once more before the game.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster are still a way off returning from long-term problems and there is no word on Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana‘s respective fitness, with both not making the squad against Everton.
Changes are expected at Turf Moor, with the matches coming thick and fast for Liverpool in the coming weeks.
Lovren (if fit) and Joel Matip will be hoping to force their way into the team at centre-back, while Alberto Moreno could come in if Robertson is unavailable.
Jordan Henderson has served his suspension and is likely to return, as could James Milner, although the impressive performance of Fabinho at the weekend means the Brazilian deserves to keep his place.
Naby Keita will be hoping for a rare start as he looks to spark his Reds career into life and he may even be used further up the pitch in place of Mane.
Daniel Sturridge and derby hero Origi are both options if Klopp feels the need to shake things up in attack, with Roberto Firmino struggling for form.
Burnley are still without Nick Pope, Stephen Ward and Jon Walters, but Sean Dyche has no other definite absentees ahead of the game. Robbie Brady is a doubt, however.
Last 5 away to Burnley (All Competitions)
Won 2-1 – January 2018 (Gudmundsson; Mane, Klavan)
Lost 2-0 – August 2016 (Vokes, Gray)
Won 1-0 – December 2014 (Sterling)
Won 4-0 – April 2010 (Gerrard x2, Maxi, Babel)
Lost 1-0 – January 2005 (Traore OG)
Away fans’ pubs: Burnley Cricket Club, behind the away end of the stadium. Cracking atmosphere.
Did You Know?
Liverpool have supposedly been far less potent in front of goal compared to last season, if you listen to the general narrative.
They have only scored one fewer (27) than at this point in the Premier League in 2017/18 (28), however, which goes to show what an overreaction it is.
The Reds only truly kicked into gear in the final third as the campaign progressed – we will hopefully see similar this time around.
Burnley – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 2-0 vs. Crystal Palace
Lost 2-1 vs. Newcastle
Drew 0-0 vs. Leicester
Lost 4-2 vs. West Ham
Lost 4-0 vs. Chelsea
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 1-0 vs. Everton
Lost 2-1 vs. PSG
Won 3-0 vs. Watford
Won 2-0 vs. Fulham
Lost 2-0 vs. Red Star Belgrade
Speaking in Tuesday’s press conference, Klopp played down Firmino’s current slump by his high standards, saying he will only come back stronger:
“It’s completely normal that he doesn’t play his best football in each second of the game, but he’s an important player.
“That’s just how it is with a player’s career, you have these moments where you fly and you cannot really explain it, and other moments where you have to work a bit harder.
“That’s exactly the case for him, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s just a normal football season. We all have to go through these little holes and everything will be fine again.
“Especially with him, because his attitude is absolutely phenomenal and that makes it easier for him. He will never stop.”
TV & Live Blog Info
It is a rare full schedule of midweek Premier League action, but Burnley vs. Liverpool is not part of BT Sport’s live coverage.
This is Anfield’s matchday live blog will be running as always, though, with Chris Williams tasked with guiding you through proceedings at Turf Moor.
He will be live from 7pm (GMT), with kickoff at 7.45pm.