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10 key things to know ahead of Burnley vs. Liverpool as Salah eyes milestone

Mohamed Salah will be eyeing 150 goals in a Liverpool shirt this weekend, as the Reds head to bottom-placed Burnley.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side picked up a routine 2-0 win at home to Leicester on Thursday night, as Diogo Jota‘s scintillating form continues.

Next up for Liverpool is Sunday’s trip Sean Dyche’s relegation-threatened Clarets, following their 1-1 draw with Man United.

Here are 10 things to know ahead of the match.

 

1. Burnley looking doomed

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 21, 2021: Liverpool's Naby Keita (L) and Burnley's Ashley Barnes during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Burnley have an uncanny knack of looking like relegation fodder, only to pull away from danger in the end.

Last year’s 17th-place finish suggested they were on a downward spiral, however, and their 2021/22 campaign has only fulled that opinion.

The Clarets are bottom of the table currently, and while they have games in hand on their rivals, a return to the Championship seems on the cards.

Just one win in their 20 league matches sums up their struggles and they finally appear to be running out of steam in the top flight.

 

2. Dyche’s final hurrah?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 21, 2021: Burnley's manager Sean Dyche during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dyche has been a fantastic manager for Burnley, taking charge in October 2012 and now comfortably established as the longest-serving current boss in the Premier League.

It does feel as though he may have taken the Clarets as far as he can, however.

The 50-year-old is highly unlikely to be content with working in the Championship next season – he won’t be without suitors – so this could be his final few months in the job.

Never rule out him masterminding an escape and staying put, though. It’s happened before!

 

3. Possible Burnley XI

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 21, 2021: Liverpool's Naby Keita is kicked in the head by Burnley's Josh Brownhill during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Burnley aren’t blessed with the depth of the country’s leading sides, so there are unlikely to be many changes on Sunday.

The Clarets performed well in their draw at home to United and there is no reason why Dyche will make any alterations to his starting lineup.

That would mean new big-money signing Wout Weghorst leads the line, with his 6’6″ frame likely to cause Liverpool’s centre-backs problems.

Go-to defensive duo James Tarkowski and Ben Mee will be tasked with handling a vibrant Reds attack, while Maxwel Cornet is an influential figure out wide.

Predicted Burnley XI: Pope; Roberts, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; McNeil, Brownhill, Westwood, Cornet; Weghorst, Rodriguez

 

4. Who’s missing for Liverpool?

In short, nobody!

Jordan Henderson was the only key absentee against Leicester, but a positive update has emerged regarding the captain.

He has recovered from the back issue that kept him out of the midweek action and “will play,” according to Klopp.

Klopp has said that this is the strongest squad he has had as Liverpool manager and it is hard to disagree, with top-class options everywhere.

This is only boosted by the return to availability of Sadio Mane, too, with the Senegal captain now back from his post-Africa Cup of Nations party.

For that reason, the manager’s biggest headache currently is who to leave out of the matchday squad entirely.

 

5. Predicted Reds lineup

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, February 10, 2022: Liverpool’s Dioga Jota claps to fans after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by Lindsey Parnaby/Propaganda)

With the Champions League trip to Inter Milan next Wednesday looming, Klopp is sure to be considering some rotation against Burnley.

Ibrahima Konate could replace Joel Matip in the back line, with the latter likely to start the Reds’ crucial European clash.

Similarly, Thiago is someone who should be handled with care, so it would be no surprise to see him rested on Sunday.

In attack, Klopp now has five fantastic options at his disposal – Salah looks a shoo-in to start, while Mane could potentially return to the starting lineup.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Jota, Firmino

 

6. Klopp hails Diaz debut

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, February 10, 2022: Liverpool’s Luis Diaz (top) tackles Leicester’s James Justin during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by Lindsey Parneby/Propaganda)

Luis Diaz was superb on his Premier League debut, performing like a player who has been at Liverpool for years.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp hailed the Reds’ newest signing and the speed at which he has adapted to life at Anfield:

“It was one of the best first games I ever saw from a new player, that’s true because it looks completely natural.

“It’s only the first game and we have to see how he will adapt to all the different stuff and intensity in the Premier League. There’s no rush.”

 

7. Mixed Turf Moor record

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 19, 2021: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips (C) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has enjoyed great success against most opponents as Liverpool manager, and while Burnley are no different, it hasn’t always been easy at Turf Moor.

The German’s first game there was a dismal 2-0 defeat back in 2016/17 – who remembers the ‘toxic thunder’ away kit? – before a dramatic 2-1 win on New Year’s Day in 2018.

Ragnar Klavan‘s last-gasp winner that day remains one of the great late goals of the Klopp era.

Since then, a 3-1 victory and consecutive 3-0 triumphs have been recorded – much of the same this time around would be ideal.

 

8. Did you know?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 2, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Salah returned to Liverpool action in midweek, almost scoring another outrageous effort, and he sits on the cusp of his next Reds milestone.

The 29-year-old is currently on 148 goals in 230 appearances for the club, with the 150 mark within touching distance.

If Salah achieves that goal, he will become just the 10th player in Liverpool’s history to do it, joining Ian Rush (346), Roger Hunt (285), Gordon Hodgson (241), Billy Liddell (228), Steven Gerrard (186), Robbie Fowler (183), Sir Kenny Dalglish (172), Michael Owen (158) and Harry Chambers (151).

You wouldn’t bet against him reaching the landmark this weekend.

 

9. Atkinson in charge

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 19, 2019: Referee Martin Atkinson during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Martin Atkinson has been confirmed as the referee for the weekend action, with Darren England on VAR duty for the second Liverpool game in a row.

This will be the first Reds league match Atkinson has taken charge of this season, having overseen three last term – Aston Villa (A), Tottenham (A) and Chelsea (H).

He was the referee for the 2-0 win at Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final second leg last month, however.

 

10. Follow TIA’s live blog

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 18, 2021: Liverpool's Naby Keita (C) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sunday’s game is not live on UK television, with Newcastle‘s clash with Aston Villa the game of choice instead.

That means TIA’s matchday live blog is the best place to follow the action, with Dan Clubbe keeping you entertained from 1.15pm (GMT).

Kickoff is at 2pm.

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