It is time to head to a very tricky Turf Moor for a midweek matchup as the Reds are beginning a very busy month of football. The Anfield Talk’s Logan (@kidddlogan) previews Liverpool’s matchup against Burnley.
WHO: Burnley vs. Liverpool
WHEN: Wednesday, 5 December
WHERE: Turf Moor, Burnley
TIME: 19:45 GMT, 2:45 EST
TV: NBC Sports Gold
Emotions are still running high as Short Arms, formerly known as Jordan Pickford, had the blunder of the season in one of the biggest games thus far. I think we can all agree that Divock Origi should get a brand new contract with an absurd weekly wage, but who am I to say? However, it is time to gather ourselves once again, as the Reds travel to Turf Moor to face a struggling Burnley side.
Allison was absolutely brilliant against Everton. He made an outrageous point-blank save to deny Andre Gomes from getting on the scoresheet. More of the same needs to come from the Brazilian if the Reds want to keep on the heels of Manchester City in the title race.
The back four was outstanding against Everton, but will almost certainly be shaken up for the Burnley trip. Andy Robertson is not going to be featured on Wednesday as he is fighting to regain fitness for the trip. What ever quartet, or even possibly trio, that Jurgen Klopp goes with for the trip, they have to be able to stay compact and not get caught out. The Burnley attack has been stagnant thus far, but Liverpool does not need to give them lifeline – visiting Turf Moor is tricky enough as it is.
The midfield did a rather fantastic job against Everton last weekend. Fabinho was massive in every aspect of his game and Xherdan Shaqiri was not far behind, with the exception of the one-on-one miss. The midfield against Burnley is going to have a makeover – a resting period for most players is needed as the busiest month of the year kicks into full swing. Jordan Henderson will likely be back in the lineup following his one game suspension after receiving two yellows against Watford. James Milner most likely will regain his spot back in the midfield with that all important third slot to be filled. Naby Keita should fill the position as he is a dynamic player when given the opportunities. Whoever ends up in the midfield for the game must be able to control the tempo, all while being on the front foot and applying the pressure to a vulnerable Burnley back line. The game will be won or lost in the midfield and the Reds have to have these three points.
The once dynamic front three has been anything but over the last several games. None of the three have been able to take their first chances, which will come back to haunt them if things continue like they are. Bobby Firmino has to be moved back to the number nine role as he has struggled big time in the number 10 position. Same to be said for Mo Salah as he needs to be moved back to the right wing, where he was far more effective with his pace coming down the right flank. Sadio Mane has been decent thus far, but he may not be in the lineup on Wednesday as he is also battling to be fit for the trip. Whoever gets the nod to start upfront needs to take the chances that are presented to them – the Burnley defence tends to get very vulnerable after conceding the opening goal.
The last time out for the Clarets against Crystal Palace did not go to plan. Sean Dyche’s squad lost 2-0 in what could be called a day of unfortunate events. The Clarets were on the wrong side of tough bounces, but Dyche’s men ultimately did not perform well enough to get the result.
Joe Hart and the backline have to be A LOT better than they were against Palace. They allowed the Palace attack to have second and third chance opportunities, which the Eagles capitalised on. The defence has to be aware of all the threats that are present from the Reds and if they want to get a result, they have to be able to close down the spaces in behind and they have to be able to limit the number of second chance opportunities.
The Burnley central midfield, consisting of Jack Cork and Steven Defour, got absolutely overrun by the Palace team. They have to be a lot better and have to be able to control the flow of the game and to try to go toe-to-toe with the Liverpool midfield. Attackers Jeff Hendrick and Chris Wood were relatively quiet the last time out, but giving them one opportunity can cost the Reds as they do like to take their chances first time. They will not be given many opportunities against the Reds so they will have to try and seize their chances if any mistakes are made from the Reds defence.
Both Sadio Mane and Andy Robbo are battling to regain full fitness ahead of the trip to Turf Moor. Klopp will of course also be without long-term absentees Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. There are no current injury problems facing Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
The last time that the Reds faced Burnley was the 2-1 thriller in which Ragnar Klavan scored the stoppage time winner. I’d rather a more straightforward win this time around!
I think that Liverpool will be riding the high of beating Everton and will be able to comfortably coast past Burnley 2-0.