Liverpool made a stunning start to the new season of the Premier League, beating Arsenal in their own back yard by a solitary goal and will be looking forward to continuing a decent performance in their next game, when they travel to Turf Moor to take on the newly promoted Burnley side. The Jurgen Klopp coached side began the game on a poor note. However, they put up a spectacular attacking performance riddled with defensive deficiencies to give their fans one of the best opening day wins in the Premier League era.
Burnley, on the other hand, endured a tough return to the top flight of English football, as they were beaten 1-0 at Swansea. Having been outplayed in all departments by the Welsh club, the Clarets will be hoping to put up an improved show at home against the Reds and give them something to cheer about.
Burnley do not have a lot of injury concerns going into this game with Ashley Barnes being the only player who remains sidelined due to a hamstring injury he picked up in pre-season. Another player who is set to miss the game is defender Jon Flanagan, who is ineligible to play against his parent club.
However, in what can be termed as exciting news for the club’s fans, we could see record signing Steven Defour making his debut with the side in the game that promises to be an exciting affair.
The Merseyside club will be without the services of the mercurial Sadio Mane, who is set to miss the game due to a shoulder injury. He will be joined on the sidelines by Lucas (Hamstring), Karius (Broken Hand), Gomez (Calf) and Sakho (Calf).
While the mentioned players remain critical to the side’s success, there is enough depth in the side to ensure that they can see off Burnley, especially with Daniel Sturridge set to return to the squad that travels to Burnley on Sunday. Given Sturridge’s return and the presence of Origi in the squad, we believe Firmino could be deployed as a play maker for the game.
Head to Head Statistics
Liverpool hold the upper hand in the tie, having never lost to Burnley in their 4 previous meetings in the Premier League era. Interestingly, the side which has put away 11 goals in the mentioned games, is also yet to concede a goal and given their defensive frailties, this match presents Burnley with an opportunity to open the scoring charts against the Reds.
It does not come as a surprise that Burnley have a better record when their recent league form is compared, given that they plied their trade in the Championship last season. It will be a tough ask of the club to replicate the same numbers against quality opposition this season and one would not be surprised to find the numbers plummet way below the current statistics.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will be keen to avoid the numbers from a season, where their league form suffered the most and start afresh, in pursuit of a Champions League spot for the upcoming season.
- Burnley’s last victory over Liverpool in any competition came in January 2005 when they beat the then Rafa Benitez managed side 1-0 at home in the FA cup .
- Andre Gray was Burnley’s top scorer in the previous season, finding the back of the net on 23 occasions. In stark contrast, none of the Liverpool players managed to breach the 15 goal mark with Daniel Sturridge leading the goal scoring charts for the season with 13 goals.
The Belgian international is set to make his Premier League debut against his former suitors and will be keen to provide them a taste of what they have missed by not pursuing with a deal for him in the past. The signing of the 28 year old could prove to be an astute signing by the club’s hierarchy as he could very well function as the side’s creative lynchpin, given his creative abilities. He is tidy with the ball at his feet and does not hesitate from doing his fair share of dirty work in the middle of the park, making him an asset that could prove vital to Burnley’s survival chances.
However, Defour will be severely tested in his opening game, against a Jurgen Klopp coached side that looks to break the opposition down with its intense pressing and high tempo football. Should he manage to leave his mark on the game, it could mark a glorious start to his life in England.
Daniel Sturridge is a name that has often evoked a mixed response from the Liverpool faithful. While most fans acknowledge that he is amongst the best strikers in the Premier League, his inability to stay fit has frustrated many fans. However, with the player fit and raring to go, there is no one better at the club at finding the back of the net and the England international will be key to his side’s success in the season to come.
He finished as his side’s top scorer in all competitions last season, despite missing more than half the season and would be keen to improve on his all-time season record of 24 goals, which he scored in the 2013-14 season. The player will be up against a side that would be more than happy to walk away with a point from the game and will need to bring his A game to the pitch in order to breach the defence of the Sean Dyche led side.
Despite the absence of a number of key players, the Reds are still a strong unit in attack and could prove to be a handful to handle for the Clarets. However, given their shaky defence, we believe Burnley have a realistic chance at finally getting one past them in the Premier League. We predict a 3-1 victory for Liverpool against Burnley.
Images via Kickoff