Liverpool head to Burnley on Saturday evening looking to keep up their 100 percent winning start to the Premier League season.
Burnley vs. Liverpool
Saturday, August 31, 2019, 5.30pm (BST)
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Jurgen Klopp‘s side were resplendent last weekend, picking Arsenal apart on their way to a 3-1 victory at Anfield.
While performances are not yet as imperious as they were in 2018/19, there are clear signs that Liverpool are clicking into gear.
Saturday brings one of their trickier away games of the season, even though Burnley are a team often associated with relegation scraps.
Turf Moor is a famously tough place to go under Sean Dyche—both of Liverpool’s wins there in the last two seasons have been extremely hard-fought.
That will be no different this weekend, as the Reds are tasked with breaking down a stubborn rearguard and dealing with route-one football.
Klopp’s men are vastly superior in a technical sense, however, and as long as they remain patient going forward and switched on at the back they should prevail.
Burnley will be eyeing an upset with the rest of the country tuning in after the 3pm games, so Liverpool must not take their opponents lightly.
Avoiding that is something they’ve perfected in the last 12 months.
Liverpool are still without Alisson, Nathaniel Clyne and Naby Keita, but Klopp has an otherwise fit squad available to him.
Adrian will continue in goal, as he adjusts to life at Anfield, but the defence doesn’t necessarily pick itself.
Trent Alexander-Arnold could make way for Joe Gomez at right-back, should Klopp feel the need to make his back line more physical.
Joel Matip looks a certainly to start, following a superb run of form, and the same applies to Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.
In midfield, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are the most likely starters, following imposing openings to the season.
Gini Wijnaldum is also a favourite of Klopp’s, but he is impacting games a little less in comparison.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could, therefore, come in for the Dutchman, although starting the same midfield as the Arsenal game still looks on the cards.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are all refreshed after a week on the training ground, and will keep their places.
Burnley could be without Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who is a doubt, while Robbie Brady and Steven Defour are missing.
Last 5 Away to Burnley (All Competitions)
Won 3-1 – December 2018 (Cork; Milner, Firmino, Shaqiri)
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, Rodriguez, Babel)
Away fans’ pubs: Burnley Cricket Club, behind the away end of the stadium. Cracking atmosphere.
One piece of advice for visiting fans: Bring a cushion—you’ll be sat on wooden seats!
Did You Know?
Ashley Barnes is currently one of the most in-form strikers in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old has scored in all three of Burnley‘s league games so far this season, with his current tally of four goals putting him joint-second in the scoring charts with Sergio Aguero.
Teemu Pukki and Raheem Sterling currently lead the way with five goals apiece.
Not only that, only Aguero (16) and Mane (15) have outscored Barnes (13) in the top flight in 2019, which is a superb effort.
Liverpool must be wary of him on Saturday.
Speaking at Melwood on Friday, Klopp confirmed that out-of-favour Xherdan Shaqiri can work his way back into the side:
“In training, Shaq doesn’t have to improve in any way, he can keep the level he is doing in the moment. It’s not about that.
“Of course he can improve, how everybody can improve, but it’s not about that, he doesn’t have to show anything special.
“And we will need him, he knows that, 100 percent.
“Is he the happiest player in the squad at the moment? I don’t think so. Can I see that on the training pitch? No.
“He’s in a good mood, training hard, doing what he has to do and is ready for the moment when he has to help the team on the pitch.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Burnley vs. Liverpool is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 5pm (BST), with kickoff at 5.30pm.
Ben Twelves is in charge of This is Anfield’s matchday liveblog from 4.45pm, keeping you up to date with goings-on at Turf Moor.