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10 March 2019 Venue Anfield Attendance

Kick off 12:00 (UK)

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PREVIEW: Liverpool v Burnley

Tale of the tape as the Clarets head to Anfield for high-noon showdow

9 March 2019

The Clarets will be looking to edge themselves closer to Premier League safety in a high noon shootdown that will have an impact at both ends of the table.

Liverpool will be desperate for the three points to enhance their title prospects as they battle it out with Manchester City for the championship.

Having led the table since early December, the Reds conceded top spot last weekend as City went back into pole position.

The Merseysiders, having won just three times in the Premier League since 2019, seemingly have little further margin for error as they look to end a 29-year wait to win the top-flight title.

Anfield will expect on what could be a tension-filled afternoon as the pressure continues to mount on Jurgen Klopp's side.

The Clarets will look to make the most of any advantage going, but their prime concern will only be themselves and trying to maintain a healthy gap above the bottom three and they look to start a move back up the table.

“Top players become top players for dealing with all that comes with football,” said Burnley boss Sean Dyche, whose side has taken points from Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea over the past couple of seasons.

“They have a very, very strong squad. On the other hand, if anything does feel like that then it will help because our focus is on ourselves.

“When you play the big guns you need everything to go your way. We need to play well, that is the first thing that we can control. The thing we try to focus on is our performance.

“Down the years we’ve had some big results and this year we’ve had one against a fine side in Tottenham, coming after a good result at Old Trafford.

“We have to take the belief we’ve shown in those games into this one.”

Team news

The Clarets are getting back towards full strength with only Steven Defour and Aaron Lennon sidelined.

Lennon is back in light training but Defour’s season looks to be over following calf surgery.

Liverpool will give a late check to James Milner due to a slight muscle injury.

Defenders Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez are closing in on a return from injury, with Lovren the more likely to figure.

Form guide

The Clarets – 16th in the table and five points clear of the bottom three going into the weekend – will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats which have checked their momentum since the eight-match unbeaten run that lifted them clear of the relegation places.

Liverpool have also stuttered in recent weeks to see their lead at the top of the Premier League disappear.

The Merseysiders have drawn four of their last six Premier League games.

They were also held to a goalless draw by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month, with the second leg of their last-16 tie taking place in Germany next Wednesday night.

However, the fact remains Jurgen Klopp’s side has lost just once in the league this season – the potentially pivotal 2-1 loss they suffered at Manchester City at the turn of the year.

Opposition camp

Jurgen Klopp: “Our only problem this weekend is Burnley actually, that’s enough.

“We have to be really good to beat that team because what Sean Dyche is doing there is just amazing.

“They had a good run in the last couple of weeks, maybe the last two results were not that good. But we know it will be really tough and that’s what we prepare for.

“Historically, against Burnley it was always difficult because they have a really high motivation level always. They are really fighting, they never give up.

“I don’t think they have a lot of high results when they lose, they always stay in the game.

"When you have to make the analysis and watch the last three or four games, you have to say ‘respect’. They beat Tottenham and that doesn’t happen a lot of times.”

Match stats

The Clarets have won two of their last three top-flight games played on a Sunday – against West Ham and Cardiff City.

Burnley haven’t won in their last 11 league games at Anfield but drew 1-1 at Liverpool last season thanks to a Scott Arfield goal.

Liverpool are unbeaten in 35 home Premier League games.

The Merseysiders will equal their highest points total at this stage of a top-flight campaign if they win. They also had 73 points after 30 matches in 1987-88 when they went on to win the title.

Referee

Andre Marriner

Kick-off

Sunday, 12 noon

 

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Match Reports

Liverpool 4 Burnley 2

Clarets pay price for mistakes as they leave Anfield empty-handed

10 March 2019

Goals at either end of the game from Ashley Westwood and substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson were not enough to gain the Clarets any reward at Anfield as Liverpool re-ignited their title challenge.

Two goals apiece from Roberto Firmino and Mane Sane hauled Liverpool back to within a point of defending champions and leaders Manchester City as they try to bring the championship back to Merseyside for the first time in 39 years.

But victory was not achieved without a few concerns as Sean Dyche’s men asked some serious questions of the wobbling Reds before a hat-trick of errors ultimately proved too great a burden to overcome as Burnley slipped to a third successive defeat to stay just two points above the relegation places.

The Clarets, without a win at Anfield since 1974, made the perfect start in their quest to end that wait and restore some breathing space at the bottom end of the table.

Westwood ended his own personal drought when he curled the ball directly from a corner under the bar and inside the far post – Liverpool keeper Allison earning a booking for dissent after claiming he had been held down on the line.

That goal just six minutes in raised the anxiety levels around Anfield as Burnley threatened to make it another difficult afternoon for the Reds, whose title surge had been de-railed by four draws in their previous six league games.

But, crucially, the lead lasted less than a quarter of an hour and two goals in 10 minutes restored belief to the Liverpool ranks as they led at half-time.

Frustratingly for Burnley, they will feel both goals could have been avoided as Klopp’s side – unbeaten in 35 home Premier League games – were given a helping hand.

For the first, a combination of Tom Heaton and James Tarkowski was unable to cut out a low cross from Mohamed Salah, leaving Firmino - who had been allowed to grab the ball to claim a free-kick in the build-up - with a tap-in to mark his return to starting duty.

And further hesitancy in attempting to eradicate danger then saw Phil Bardsley forced into a hurried clearance which was charged down by Adam Lallana, with Charlie Taylor’s fine covering tackle on Salah only directing the ball into path of Mane, who scored at Anfield for a sixth successive home league game – the fifth Liverpool player to do so.

The Clarets also started the second half positively, but with Liverpool’s players swarming around the ball whenever Burnley had possession it was tough to create any real openings.

Again, teenager Dwight McNeil – keeping his place in an unchanged starting line-up – stood out on one of the biggest stages in the country as he constantly looked to make something happen with his sniping runs and teasing deliveries.

And while there was just one goal in it, the Clarets remained in touching distance of a what would have been a big result.

If anything, the momentum was with the Clarets but mid-way through the second half disaster struck as Liverpool were gifted a third goal which seemed to take them out of reach.

Heaton’s poor goal-kick went straight to Salah, who sprinted into Burnley’s penalty area where another fine Taylor tackle stopped the Egyptian but only teed up Firminho to slot home his second of the game.

That might have been it, but Dyche made a double change with Gudmundsson and Peter Crouch coming on, the latter given a tremendous reception by the home fans who remembered his contribution in Liverpool colours.

Matej Vydra was also introduced and the three gave the Clarets late impetus and a goal for Gudmundsson, who swept home his third goal of the season from Vydra’s astute pass a miniute into stoppage time.

With a couple of minutes to go, Burnley then pressed for a dramatic late leveller as nerves once again engulfed the stadium.

But with the final kick of the game Liverpool finally made sure as Mane was released on the break and touched the ball around Heaton before slotting home to keep the Reds’ title hopes alive.

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum (Henderson 67), Fabinho, Lallana (Keita 76); Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes: Lovren, Sturridge, Mignolet, Shaqiri, Origi.

Booked: Alisson, Matip

Burnley: Heaton; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick (Gudmundsson 79), Cork, Westwood, McNeil; Barnes (Vydra 86), Wood (Crouch 79). Substitutes: Lowton, Brady, Gibson, Hart.

Booked:

Referee: Andre Marriner

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