Liverpool vs Burnley Match Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

Friday September 15th, 2017

Sean Dyche's Burnley travel to Liverpool on Saturday aiming to continue their fine start to the season, with an opening day win against Chelsea and a draw against Spurs helping them reach seventh place in the Premier League.

Liverpool have not enjoyed their past two games, a 5-0 humbling against Manchester City before Roberto Firmino's penalty miss ensured they dropped points at home to Sevilla in their opening Champions League encounter.

Both sides will want a win and here's everything you need to know ahead of the clash at Anfield.


Classic Encounter

Image by Freddie Carty

The first meeting between Liverpool and Burnley in the 21st century saw the Reds travel to the then-Championship side in the third round of the 2004/05 FA Cup.

Rafael Benitez fielded a changed side and that decision looked to backfire after Burnley enjoyed the majority of the first half opportunities, notably midfielder Richard Chaplow forcing keeper Jerzy Dudek into a fine low save after a through-ball from Jean-Louis Valois.

Then just six minutes after half-time, Liverpool defender Djimi Traore clumsily dragged the ball into his own net from a Chaplow cross under no apparent pressure.

That goal seemed to spark the Reds into life, but they could not break down Steve Cotterill's side and any hopes of snatching a late equaliser vanished as Antonio Nunez was sent off for a clash with Tony Grant in the closing minutes.


Key Battle


Dejan Lovren & Joel Matip vs Chris Wood

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Liverpool have conceded 13 times in all competitions so far this season and, although manager Jurgen Klopp seemingly denies it, the Reds' defensive frailties are preventing them from becoming a top side.

Despite being only 26-years-old, Joel Matip has over 300 career appearances and so manager Klopp will be expecting the Cameroon international to make use of his experience on Saturday alongside Dejan Lovren, who has recently had something of a renaissance after a dodgy start to his Liverpool career.

New Zealand international Chris Wood signed for Burnley for a reported £15m, but any queries about his price tag have been shaken off as the former Leeds striker has netted twice in his first two games.

Wood is a powerful target man who will look to take full advantage of Liverpool's weakness to the aerial ball and unless Klopp's centre-backs can prevent the Burnley striker from holding up the ball for his teammates and proving a nuisance in the box, Sean Dyche's side could get their second win over the Anfield side in just over a year.


Team News

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Dyche will have been glad to see Liverpool's appeal against star Sadio Mané's red card turned down, but the Senegalese forward's absence means that Philippe Coutinho should make his first start since May for Klopp's side.


Simon Mignolet will return after being left out of the starting XI against Sevilla on Wednesday and other changes to the side that lost to City are expected, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking for his first start and Andrew Robertson pushing for a return to the side.


Tom Heaton is set for a long spell out injured after suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder against Crystal Palace, so backup keeper Nick Pope is expected to start in goal.

Jon Walters and Jeff Hendricks are injury doubts, but recent signing Nakhi Wells is not expected to play any part in Saturday's encounter through injury.

Predicted Liverpool Starting Lineup (4-3-3): Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Matip, Robertson; Can, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Coutinho.


Predicted Burnley Startling Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Gudmunsson, Cork, Defour, Brady; Walters, Wood.


Prediction

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Despite Liverpool's weaknesses at the back, they have been a joy to watch going forward and will back themselves to outscore Sean Dyche's side.

The powerful presence of Chris Wood and potentially Jon Walters could cause the home side problems however, so expect goals from both sides.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Burnley

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