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Liverpool v Burnley: Predicted XI

The Reds play Burnley at Anfield in their second Premier League game and with certain players returning from injury, we take a look at who we expect to start for Liverpool.

Liverpool played their first Premier League game against Norwich last Saturday. The Reds came back to Merseyside with three points and a clean sheet after beating the Canaries 3-0.

Jurgen Klopp and his team will be hoping for a similar result in Saturday's game against Burnley.

The last time Burnley visited Anfield it didn't go quite as planned for Liverpool. Sean Dyche's side ended a 68-unbeaten run at Anfield. 

Andrew Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum intervene during an altercation

Klopp will want to avoid a similar result this time. To help him avoid that, it looks like Thiago and Jordan Henderson will be available for selection after playing 80 minutes in a behind-closed-door game against Aston Villa this week.

We have asked a host of our writers to give their predicted XI on the game and why they'd choose them players.


Matthew Woods

Formation (4-3-3)

Alisson

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Kostas Tsimikas

Fabinho, Thiago, Naby Keita

Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino


Players are returning to full fitness, meaning the options for Jürgen Klopp are growing.

No change in the back line and rightfully so. Not only were they dominant vs Norwich, but the profile fits for facing Burnley as well as they will try to counter and score from set pieces. 

Joel Matip

Matip and Van Dijk are two of the most aerially gifted CB's in the Premier League, and the pair of them complement each other so well. However I could see Konaté come on to make his debut if Liverpool score a few early goals.

In midfield we start to change things up. Fabinho rightfully returns to the starting lineup to protect that back-line. Meanwhile, Thiago makes his season debut alongside Naby Keita who was exquisite in the opener against Norwich.

Virgil van Dijk Roberto Firmino

Up front, it's a return to the front three of old. Roberto Firmino looks back to his old self and has a great record against Burnley, scoring four in his last four appearances against Burnley, including the previous matchup back in May. 

Salah and Mané stay in the lineup as well and will try to get in behind the weak back-line of Burnley.


Adam Ford

Alisson

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas

Fabinho, Thiago, Jordan Henderson

Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah

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No surprises at the back. I expect Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk to be Liverpool's starting central pair eventually but until Konate is ready, Joel Matip joining Van Dijk is the Reds best pairing in the heart of the defence.

After playing substantial minutes against Aston Villa in a behind closed doors friendly, it looks as if Thiago and captain Jordan Henderson will be fit and ready to start against Villa. 

Jordan Henderson

Henderson has been heavily rumoured to have signed a new contract with the Reds and what other way to create even further buzz at Anfield by announcing this before the captain makes his first start of the season.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will unsurprisingly start in attack, but who plays alongside them in the middle of the attack is probably the trickiest call of the day.

Diogo Jota

Diogo Jota did his job well against Norwich, not including his goal and I was surprised to see him subbed off just after 60 minutes. But Roberto Firmino's introduction into the game only made Liverpool step up in quality. 

Jota and Firmino are two incredible attackers who are a good headache for Jurgen Klopp to have, but I believe Klopp favours a refreshed Firmino.


Scott Groom

Alisson 

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas,

Fabinho, James Milner, Naby Keita, 

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane


It was a solid opening fixture for the Reds, with some particular highlights including seeing Virgil van Dijk back in the fold, Joel Matip excelling, Mo Salah back to doing what he does best and more. It is always a relief to see us come through 90 minutes without any fresh injuries these days, so with the added bonus that we still have players to reintroduce to the squad, it’s looking rosy at the start of the season!

On the back of such a comprehensive performance and victory, I don’t expect Klopp to make too many changes – but I think there will be one or two notable additions for what will be a physical scrap with Sean Dyche’s Burnley.

Jurgen Klopp

Alisson picks himself in goal, and I think van Dijk and Matip will continue at centre back due to their aerial prowess and strong partnership together. Joe Gomez sometimes gets caught out with longer balls over the top, and I think this will inevitably be a weapon in Dyche’s armoury, so I don’t expect to see Gomez in the first XI. 

Trent will continue at right-back and, even though Robertson is back in training, I can’t see him being rushed back for a battle such as this, so Kostas Tsimikas will continue at left-back after a good full Premier League debut.

Kostas Tsimikas

The midfield is where I think we’ll see a bit of a reshuffle. Fabinho looked as sure as ever when he came on at Carrow Road, and his skillset and ability to break up play will be vital so I expect to see him in the 6 role, with James Milner keeping his place ahead of him for that added grit and experience. 

I think then it’s a toss up between Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as to who gets the next spot, and I’m inclined to go with Naby. He was tidy if not spectacular against Norwich whereas Ox was perhaps less so. 

Both need to up their games if they want more minutes as Jordan Henderson and Thiago rapidly approach a return to match fitness. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these two on the bench or getting a run out this weekend, either.

Mohamed Salah

Up front, I think Mane and Salah will keep their places, both looking really sharp in the previous 0-3 win on the road, but I think Klopp will opt for his tried and tested front three and bring Roberto Firmino in from the start in place of Diogo Jota. 

This is no discredit to Jota who’s been brilliant since we signed him from Wolves, I just think Firmino will have a bit more in the tank and adds a tad more physicality to the front three than the more diminutive Jota.