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Match Previews

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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