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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between champions Liverpool and Burnley, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Premier League champions Liverpool could set more records tumbling when they welcome Burnley to Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp's men are three wins away from setting a new points record but face a Burnley side who are still chasing European qualification for next season.

Match preview

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on July 8, 2020© Reuters

Klopp's line has not changed throughout a season in which notable records and landmarks have fallen with incredible regularity - he is not interested in breaking those records, only in winning football matches.

Whether he regards it as important or not, three more wins from their four remaining games would be enough for Liverpool's class of 2019-20 to etch their name into the history books as statistically English football's most dominant team in a single season.

Manchester City's 2017-18 centurions currently hold most of the remaining available targets - most points, most wins and biggest title-winning margin - but those would be broken with the three more wins.

Given how relentless they have been all season, most would expect the Reds to achieve that; they have room for one slip-up in matches against Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle United, and crucially have now seemingly rediscovered their winning touch after their first major blip of the entire campaign.

Wednesday night's 3-1 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion saw them record back-to-back wins for the first time since February and move on to 30 for the season - already a joint club-record alongside the 1978-79 and 2018-19 campaigns.

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring Liverpool's third goal against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on July 8, 2020© Reuters

The result - which was not quite as straightforward as the scoreline suggests - also saw Liverpool end a woeful away run, but their record at home is faultless and they remain on course to become the first team to ever win every home game in a season.

The Reds have won 17 from 17 so far this term and an unprecedented 24 in a row stretching back to January 2019, while it is now 57 games and more than three years since they last tasted a Premier League defeat at Anfield.

A trip to the red half of Merseyside is just about the most difficult assignment in football at the moment, then, but Burnley arrive in good form themselves - and particularly away from home.

Sean Dyche's side have won back-to-back Premier League games on the road without conceding for the first time since May 2015, and have only lost one of their last six such outings.

Indeed, Wednesday's 1-0 triumph over West Ham United means that they have now amassed 13 points from their last six away games - as many as they had earned from their previous 16 such outings.

Burnley's Jay Rodriguez celebrates scoring against West Ham United in the Premier League on July 8, 2020© Reuters

The one defeat in that time was a heavy one at the hands of Manchester City, which does not bode well heading into a match against the only team better than City this season, but that is also their solitary league defeat in their last 12 home and away so they are clearly a difficult team to beat.

European qualification is still very much on the agenda for Burnley with only two points separating them from seventh-placed Sheffield United, although there may be some fans keen to avoid that.

Burnley finished seventh in 2017-18 to qualify for the Europa League but then finished 15th the following season - just scraping to the 40-point mark - and with such a small squad and reported friction over potential incomings it could be a big ask for them to juggle another competition.

Not that Dyche will want his squad to hold back at all, and there is a very real chance that they could continue their fine form until the very end of the season with Norwich City and Brighton in their final two games.

Matches against Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the meantime are likely to be more difficult, but Chelsea and Man City are the only top-half teams they have not taken points off already this season and so they will believe that they can pull off an upset at Anfield.

Liverpool Premier League form: WDWLWW
Liverpool form (all competitions): LDWLWW

Burnley Premier League form: DLWWDW

Team News

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson goes down injured against Brighton on July 8, 2020© Reuters

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will miss the remainder of the season after picking up a knee injury against Brighton.

Dejan Lovren is also still a doubt after missing the last three games with a knock which was initially described as precautionary, while Joel Matip is out for the remainder of the season.

Klopp has rotated one member of his front three in the last two games and it is Mohamed Salah's turn this time, although the winger will no doubt be desperate to start again as he chases another Golden Boot.

Salah scored twice and created the other against Brighton to reach 100 goal involvements in just 104 Premier League games for Liverpool - only the fourth player to reach that milestone for the Reds and doing so in the quickest time by some distance.

Burnley will once again be without Ben Mee for this match, while Ashley Barnes, Jack Cork and Matthew Lowton remain sidelined for the Clarets too.

Chris Wood and Johann Berg Gudmundsson could come back into the starting XI, while Jay Rodriguez is expected to start again having taken his tally up to seven for the season with the winner against West Ham.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Liverpool 2-0 Burnley

This match pits the two teams with most clean sheets this season against each other, but even taking Burnley's fine form into account it is difficult to look past Liverpool's imperious home record.

Burnley have not won at Anfield since 1974 and were well beaten in the reverse fixture this season, so we can see Liverpool edging another step closer to Premier League immortality with win number 31 of the campaign.

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Burnley boss Sean Dyche on July 5, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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