Burnley vs Liverpool: Preview & Prediction
Turf Moor hosts its second Premier League game in two weeks, this time Liverpool are the visitors to play Sean Dyche’s Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
In a fixture switched from Anfield to east Lancashire due to renovation work at Liverpool’s historic ground, the Clarets will be hopeful that home advantage can prove fruitful, by recording their first points back in the top-flight following promotion.
After a hiatus of one solitary season in the Championship, Burnley returned to the big time with a bump against Swansea City last Saturday, when Leroy Fer bundled the ball into the net after 82 minutes from close-range to condemn Dyche’s men to a 1-0 defeat.
Boosted by the recent addition of Belgium international Steven Defour from Anderlecht for £8m, the midfielder is eligible to face Jurgen Klopp’s Reds and will bring an extra dimension to the midfield.
In a contrasting result, while Burnley started the campaign with a loss in front of their own support, Liverpool got their season up and running with a thrilling 4-3 victory away to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Despite going behind on the half-hour following Theo Walcott’s opener, Liverpool roared back after Philippe Coutinho’s brace was added to by goals from Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers reduced the arrears for the North London outfit, but it was Liverpool’s day in the capital.
The last encounter between the two sides at Turf Moor came on Boxing Day 2014, as Raheem Sterling netted the solitary goal of the match, to take maximum points back to Merseyside.
Defender Jon Flanagan is on loan at Burnley from Liverpool on a season-long deal, and is therefore ineligible for the visit of his parent club.
Ashley Barnes remains out with a hamstring injury, meaning Sam Vokes will most likely continue to lead the line alongside Andre Gray.
As mentioned above, Defour could make his debut for Burnley, after agreeing a deal at Turf Moor earlier in August.
Liverpool pair Daniel Sturridge and James Milner are both in contention for the trip, the duo recently returned from respective hip and ankle issues.
Wide-forward Mane is doubtful, having suffered a shoulder injury in a training session.
Coutinho, Joel Matip and Lucas Leiva are all fit to play, while German goalkeeper Loris Karius has stepped up his recovery from a broken hand he sustained in pre-season, and defender Mamadou Sakho is edging in on a return.
Christian Benteke will not be involved, after Crystal Palace reached an agreement with Liverpool to sign the Belgian striker for an initial £27m.
Last Season: Burnley 1st (Championship – 93pts): Liverpool 8th – (60pts)
League Form: Burnley – WWDWWL: Liverpool – DLWDDW
Last Meeting: Liverpool 2-0 Burnley (March 4, 2015)
Key Men: Burnley – Andre Gray: Liverpool – Philippe Coutinho
Shoot Says: Burnley 0-2 Liverpool