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    Liverpool vs Burnley Match Preview


    Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from a difficult seven days in the Premier League and in Europe when they entertain Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.

    Jurgen Klopp's side still harbour memories of their 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City at The Etihad Stadium last weekend, while Wednesday night saw the club surrender a 2-1 lead in the draw against Sevilla in the Champions League.

    Opponents Burnley have made an excellent start to the season, with seven points earned from a difficult opening to the campaign, but the club haven't tasted victory at Anfield in any competition since 1974.

    Liverpool

    Last weekend, Liverpool suffered their first defeat against one of last season's top-seven sides for 20 months but there were mitigating circumstances for their surprise reversal in fortunes against a potential title rival.

    The sending-off of Sadio Mane after 37 minutes quelled The Reds' attacking threat that had been a feature of their first-half performance, while the man-advantage allowed City to find holes in the Liverpool defence that had previously been filled.

    Klopp's side showed no sign of any hangover in midweek, however, when they returned to action against Sevilla in the Champions League but it was defensive frailties that reared their heads once again as the visitors took away a barely-deserved point.

    The Reds were applauded off at half-time after Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah had given their side a 2-1 half-time lead, but the Spaniards easily cut-open the Liverpool defence to score an 72nd-minute equalizer against the run of play.

    Some of the players who played on Wednesday night are likely to be rested, allowing the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge the chance to return to a refreshed starting XI following a busy period of the season.

    Liverpool, however, cannot afford to take the challenge of Burnley too lightly as they discovered to their cost last season, with Sean Dyche's side securing a 2-0 win at Turf Moor in addition to giving their hosts a huge scare in the reverse fixture.

    It is important that Klopp's team do not lose touch with the clubs at the top of the Premier League table following last weekend's defeat, although a win would put The Reds level on points overnight with early-season pace-setters Manchester United.

    Burnley

    Burnley were handed a daunting start to the campaign by the fixture computer, with away trips against Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool coming in the club's opening five matches of the season.

    An 3-2 opening day victory over last season's champions at Stamford Bridge gave the club a dream start to the campaign but Sean Dyche's side were served a dose of reality seven days later with a 1-0 home defeat to West Brom.

    A stoppage-time equalizer against Spurs, at Wembley in late August, once again showed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes that the club have experienced on the road, while they followed it up with a gritty 1-0 win against bottom side Crystal Palace last weekend.

    Burnley's excellent start to the campaign has been all the more remarkable due to the summer sales of Andre Gray, last season's top-scorer, to Watford and England international defender Michael Keane to Everton.

    Dyche has added to his striking options in the summer, however, with the club-record £15 million signing of Chris Wood from Leeds, while Jonathan Walters arrived from Stoke in a £3 million deal and Nahki Wells signed from Huddersfield for an estimated £5 million.

    New Zealand international Wood has already hit the ground running, scoring the late equalizer against Tottenham at Wembley as well as the winning goal against Crystal Palace at Turf Moor last Sunday.

    The club decided to search within in order to find Keane's replacement in central defence, with James Tarkowski stepping up from being a fringe player to playing a starring role in the opening five matches of the campaign.

    Liverpool Team News

    Philippe Coutinho is expected to make his first start for Liverpool this season in place of Sadio Mane, who was handed a three-game suspension following his sending-off in the 5-0 defeat against Manchester City last weekend.

    Jurgen Klopp has hinted that he will make several changes to his starting line-up in order to retain "freshness in mind and in legs", with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge and Andrew Robertson all eyeing a place in the side.

    Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will start on Saturday after he was rotated in favour of Loris Karius against Sevilla in midweek, while Joe Gomez is also available as the red card he picked-up against the Spaniards does not carry a domestic suspension.

    Meanwhile, Danny Ings is inching closer to a first-team return after nearly a year out with a knee injury, although Adam Lallana (thigh) and Nathaniel Clyne (back) are still not yet ready to make a return to the first-team.

    Burnley Team News

    Burnley will be without England international goalkeeper Tom Heaton after he underwent surgery on a dislocated shoulder and is expected to be on the sidelines for several months.

    Former Charlton stopper Nick Pope, who replaced Heaton after 36 minutes last weekend, is expected to continue in goal with Adam Legzdins, a summer signing from Birmingham, taking his place on the bench.

    Jeff Hendrick, who has not played since August 19, could also feature having returned to training after a thigh injury but the match has come too soon for new signing Nahki Wells, who is still out with an ankle injury.

    Burnley's only long-term absentee is midfielder Dean Manley, who was ruled-out for the remainder of the 2016-17 season in January having sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury during a 2-1 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

    Head-to-head

    Burnley haven't tasted victory against Liverpool at Anfield in any competition since September 1974, with defender Ian Brennan giving the visitors a first win at the stadium for 12 years.

    The Clarets have beaten Liverpool on four occasions since that famous win but all of those victories have come at Turf Moor, including the most recent of those occasions in August 2016 when Sam Vokes and Andre Gray were the goalscorers.

    The Reds have dominated the head-to-head in terms of Premier League meetings having won five out of six in the competition, with the most recent of those wins coming at Anfield in March 2017.

    Liverpool have also dominated the all-time head-to-head with 52 victories compared to 37 wins for Burnley, while 27 of the 116 matches between the sides have ended in draws.

    Score Prediction

    Liverpool 2-1 Burnley
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool vs Burnley Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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