MX23RW : Sunday, May 19 23:13:50| >> :600:14361447:14361447:
Dec 5, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Turf Moor
Attendance: 21,741
Cork (54')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Milner (62'), Firmino (69'), Shaqiri (90')

Preview: Burnley vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday night's Premier League clash between struggling Burnley and unbeaten Liverpool, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Liverpool will be looking to build on their last-gasp victory over Everton in Sunday's Merseyside derby when they take on struggling Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday night.

The match pits second from bottom against second from top as a Burnley side without a win in seven attempt to inflict a first league defeat of the season on Liverpool.


Sean Dyche half-watches on during the Premier League game between Crystal Palace and Burnley on December 1, 2018© Reuters

Sean Dyche has always been a pragmatist and would have been the first to tell his players that last season's seventh-place finish would guarantee them nothing this term.

However, even he may be surprised by how quickly the Clarets have fallen, and they go into Wednesday match sitting in the relegation zone, just one point and one place off the bottom of the Premier League table.

Already 16 points worse off and having lost three times as many games as the same stage of last season, Burnley are now staring down the barrel of the very real possibility of relegation back to the Championship - a fate they ended up 21 points clear of in 2017-18.

Burnley's early-season troubles were largely written off as being Europa League-related, but they were knocked out of that competition in August and have picked up just two wins from 12 games since then.

In the league alone it is just one point from the last 18 on offer and seven matches without a victory - an ominous run of form with four of their next five matches coming against teams currently in the top six.

The other two members of that top six have recorded 5-0 and 4-0 wins over Burnley respectively already this season, so Dyche may not be particularly optimistic of turning his side's poor form around before the end of the calendar year.

Indeed, Burnley may have missed their best chance to enjoy a positive end to 2018 already, suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of fellow strugglers Newcastle United and Crystal Palace - the latter of whom dominated en route to their first win in nine league games on Saturday.

The primary concern for Dyche is how easily they have been breached this season; the hallmark of his side last term was how organised they were and how difficult it was to break them down, yet in the list of most shots allowed by a team in a single Premier League game this season, Burnley crop up twice in the top three - against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Palace.

The Clarets had conceded just 11 goals at this stage last season, but they will welcome Liverpool to Turf Moor with the second-worst defensive record in the division after 14 matches of this campaign, shipping 29 goals while scoring only 13.

Burnley also possess the worst home record in the Premier League this term, with the anomalistic 4-0 win over Bournemouth in September being their only triumph in their last nine Premier League outings in front of their own fans.

Recent Premier League form: LLLDLL


Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp invades the pitch on December 2, 2018© Reuters

Liverpool will arrive at Turf Moor no doubt still riding high after the nature of their Merseyside derby victory over Everton on Sunday, which not only secured bragging rights but also ensured that they keep pace with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

Divock Origi was one of the more unlikely heroes - with a helping hand from Jordan Pickford and the crossbar - as he netted a 96th-minute winner at Anfield which sent manager Jurgen Klopp racing onto the field in manic celebration.

FA charges inevitably followed, but the unadulterated outburst of emotion from Klopp outlined how important a victory it was - not just because of the opponents but because of the growing belief that Liverpool could mount a serious title challenge this season.

The general consensus is that Liverpool have been nowhere near their best in an attacking sense so far - an argument backed up by the fact that they are the lowest scorers in the top four - yet they remain just two points adrift of a rampant City side who have been blowing everyone away.

The scope for improvement should be cause for optimism, then, although that improvement does need to be realised sooner or later and the busy December schedule would be the perfect time to begin showing signs of it.

Next week promises to be a huge one for the Reds as they host Napoli in a must-win Champions League clash between welcoming bitter rivals Manchester United to Anfield too, but before then they face away trips to Burnley and Bournemouth.

One of the defining features of Man City's form over the past two seasons has been their relentless accumulation of points in matches against teams they are expected to beat, and Liverpool most continue to match that throughout the season as any unexpected slip-ups could prove costly.

It is so far, so good on that front, with Liverpool's only dropped points this season coming against the other three teams currently in the top four, and a large reason behind that 100% record against clubs outside the Champions League places is their improved defence.

Everton had chances to score on Sunday, but Alisson Becker stepped up to stop the best of them and he, along with Virgil van Dijk et al, has helped Klopp's side to their best ever defensive statistics at this stage of a league season - just five goals conceded from 14 games.

One of the main concerns ahead of Wednesday will be their away form, having lost three and won just two of their last seven on the road, but all three of those defeats came in the Champions League and their most recent domestic game away from home resulted in a 3-0 triumph over Watford.

Liverpool could once again find themselves five points behind come kickoff, with Man City taking on Watford on Tuesday night, but if they can respond with a win of their own at Turf Moor then the pressure would be piled back on City for their trip to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

Recent Premier League form: WWDWWW
Recent form (all competitions): DLWWLW

Team News

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson in action during the Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion on August 25, 2018© Reuters

Liverpool are able to welcome captain Jordan Henderson back into the fold for this match after he missed the Merseyside derby through suspension.

However, the Reds do have a couple of doubts following the win over Everton, with Sadio Mane having suffered a cut to his foot and Andrew Robertson struggling with a dead leg.

Changes are expected from Klopp as he looks to keep his squad fresh, which could mean starts for the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita, Dejan Lovren and James Milner.

Roberto Firmino's poor form over the past two games could convince Klopp to rest the Brazilian for this match, with Daniel Sturridge his most likely replacement despite Origi's derby heroics.

As for Burnley, Robbie Brady picked up an ankle injury during his second-half cameo against Crystal Palace and is not likely to recover in time for this match.

Stephen Ward and Nick Pope also remain sidelined for the Clarets, but James Tarkowski could return after a month on the sidelines having been an unused sub at Selhurst Park.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Hart; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Lennon, Defour, Cork, Gudmundsson; Hendrick; Vokes

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Moreno; Milner, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Sturridge, Shaqiri

Head To Head

Burnley have won just one of their eight Premier League meetings with Liverpool, losing six of those including the corresponding fixture last term.

Ragnar Klavan's 94th-minute goal saw Liverpool earn a 2-1 win at Turf Moor on New Year's Day, although Burnley did manage a 1-1 draw at Anfield in September.

The Clarets have also managed to score in each of their last four games against Liverpool, having drawn a blank in 12 of their 15 meetings across all competitions prior to that.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Burnley 0-2 Liverpool

Burnley cannot seem to buy a win at the moment and are leaking shots galore. Liverpool may not be firing on all cylinders themselves just yet either, but they are grinding out results and should have enough to come away with another three points from this one.

Who will win Wednesday's Premier League clash between Burnley and Liverpool?

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Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the opener during the Champions League group game between Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain on September 18, 2018
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