Ben Morgan looks ahead to the weekends Premier League clash as Liverpool host Burnley on Saturday, including team news for both sides, and what could we expect to see in the game.
The Premier League returns to Anfield this week, 3 days after Champions League football returned to Anfield, after a frustrating start to their Group Stage, as the Reds were held to a 2-2 draw by Sevilla. Liverpool however, will be looking for a more positive response to the midweek game, and also to the 5-0 humbling at the hands of Manchester City, where Sadio Mane picked up a red card also. Liverpool have won the last 9 home league games against Burnley, and will surely be looking to make that 10 on Saturday afternoon.
Team News – Liverpool:
Sadio Mane will miss this already crucial clash for the Reds. The pacey attacker was controversially sent off against Manchester City, for a high foot tackle. Nathaniel Clyne is still a long term absentee, as well as Adam Lallana. Danny Ings is still expected to continue his recovery from injury with the Liverpool U-23 squad.
Phillipe Coutinho could be in line to make his first premier league appearance of the season tomorrow with Mane out. The Brazilian was subject to heavy interest form Catalan Giants Barcelona during the summer Transfer Window, but Liverpool stayed true to their word and didn’t part with their little magician. Coutinho returned to action in midweek, and received a warm reception form the Anfield Faithful, who will be hoping for a quick return to form from the Brazilian. Klopp confirmed in his press conference that Coutinho should be ready for starting selection now he has returned to full match fitness, he also spoke about the reception he received at Anfield; “It was really nice how the crowd welcomed him. I don’t think anyone was 100 per cent sure about this and I’m really happy that we, as a Liverpool family, were sensitive enough to do it like this. He has trained outstandingly in the few sessions we’ve had together so far since he’s been back. The game (the 2-2 draw with Sevilla) was not perfect but that is how it is after a long break but it helped him, and helped us. Simon Mignolet is expected to return in between the Liverpool sticks, while the same back four could be kept as well. Alex Oxlade-chamberlain will be pushing to make his first competitive start for the Reds in midfield, while Roberto Firmino and Mohammed Salah will be looking to continue their good run of form, both attacker shave been amongst the goals and assist already this campaign, both scoring as well in the Reds return to the Champions League midweek. Klopp spoke about the options he has for replacing Sadio Mane, “Roberto has already played left wing and of course Phil can play there. Alex can play there. We have more options so it’s good, we can change the system “
Team News – Burnley:
Burnley will be without Goalkeeper Tom Heaton for the trip to Anfield. The England stopper suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder, and is set to be out injured for the foreseeable future. Former Manchester United Keeper Andreas Lindegaard has been training with the Lancashire side, but will not be available for this game having not signed a deal at the club yet. This will mean that young Nick Pope could start in goal for Burnley. Elsewhere, Chris Wood is set to continue leading the Burnley front line. The former Leeds striker was brought in this summer and has turned out to be well worth the club record fee that secured him so far, as his goals have been key to Burnley’s good form. Midfielder Jeff Hendrick should be available after his knee injury. The former Derby man managed a full training session yesterday. Jonathan Walters, who has been an ever present goal scorer against Liverpool, scoring seven goals against the Reds, could feature for the Clarets as well.
What can we expect?
Expect this to be a tough one for the Reds. Burnley have had a very decent start to the season, they picked up a late point at Wembley against Tottenham, and Sean Dyche’s side will be looking to frustrate Liverpool like they did to Tottenham. Last year the Clarets done exactly that, although Liverpool eventually won the game 2-1 thanks to a fabulous winning goal from Emre Can, Burnley limited Liverpool to half chances throughout the game. An obvious expectation as well would be Burnley looking to expose our leaky defence from set pieces. The reds backline came in for more criticism midweek and last weekend, and with signs of no improvement this season, with the team conceding 8 goals already this season, Burnley will surely be looking to add to this already poor defensive record of Liverpool’s. The Reds Gaffer acknowledged Burnley and their manager, stating it is clear to see what they are doing in each game, “What I really like about what Sean Dyche is doing there is that they have a clear plan – you can see it in each game, they don’t make one step left and one step right, they stick to the plan. That’s so clear and difficult to play against because those players show so much desire to defend in all situations. There is not one player in the team who you think gambles a bit. It is a big strength for Sean. Nobody should think that tomorrow is an easy game for us.” Liverpool will be looking to play the quick attacking football accustomed to Jurgen Klopp. When at their best the reds are breath taking, and they will be looking to get back to their best weekend.
3 points will be the goal for Jurgen Klopp, but in order to ensure this, his side will have to be at their clinical best in order to beat the stubborn Burnley team assembled by Sean Dyche.