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

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

Just three days on from Alisson Becker's historic header at The Hawthorns, Liverpool will endeavour to ensure that such an immediately iconic Premier League moment is not squandered when they face Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday.

Alisson kept Liverpool's top-four hopes alive in the most extraordinary circumstances with his 95th-minute winner on Sunday, but Liverpool know that they still need to win their final two games of the campaign to give themselves the best chance of securing Champions League football again next season.


Match preview

Liverpool's Alisson celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on May 16, 2021© Reuters

Just when you think you have seen it all in football, Alisson pops up in the opposition box in the 95th minute to score a header any striker would have been proud of, rescuing a vital win for Liverpool in the process.

It was an historic goal regardless of what happens next, with Alisson becoming the first goalkeeper to score in Liverpool's 129-year history and the first goalkeeper to score a header in the Premier League.

Liverpool's latest league winner since March 2016 would have been dramatic had anyone scored it, but the manner in which it happened - and the outpouring of emotion which followed from Alisson after a heartbreaking year off the pitch - earned its immediate status as one of the Premier League's greatest ever moments.

While the goal clearly meant a lot to the player and his teammates, as far as the league is concerned it may only prove important if Liverpool are able to take full advantage by winning their final two games of the season as well.

On paper, their run-in against Burnley and Crystal Palace looks kind compared to those of their main top-four rivals Leicester City and Chelsea, who play each other on Tuesday with at least one of them guaranteed to drop points in that game.

 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the match on May 8, 2021© Reuters

Matches against teams further down the league have already cost Liverpool plenty of points this season, but they do seem to be rediscovering their winning form at just the right time.

Liverpool have won six and lost none of their last eight league games - the same number of victories they managed in their previous 19 top-flight games, during which time they lost on eight occasions.

The Reds have also won seven of their last nine away league games, losing just once, which bodes well going into a match against a Burnley side on the worst home run in their top-flight history.

The Clarets were hammered 4-0 at home to Leeds United on Saturday, making it a club-record nine league games without a win at Turf Moor. In any division, the last time they went on a longer winless home run was between March and September 1984, when they were in the third tier.

Wednesday's match will be entirely different to the home games which have gone before it, though, with Turf Moor reopening its doors to supporters inside the stadium for their final home outing of the season.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche pictured on May 10, 2021© Reuters

Sean Dyche will be hoping that sparks an improvement from his side, although they have lost their final home game of the season in each of the four years they have been in the top flight since they were last promoted.

Burnley sit 15th in the table, 12 points clear of the bottom three with two games remaining and four points adrift of Southampton just above them, so there is little doubt that Liverpool go into this game with more to fight for.

However, the Clarets know they can beat Jurgen Klopp's side having done so earlier in the campaign, becoming the first visiting team in 69 matches to inflict defeat on Liverpool in the league at Anfield.

That defeat sparked a remarkable downward spiral for Liverpool to leave them scrapping for a top-four finish, and if Burnley do record their first league double over the Reds since the 1929-30 season then those Champions League hopes will be as good as over.

No team has managed the league double over Liverpool since 2015-16, though, while it is 10 years since a team that finished in the bottom half of the table managed that feat.

Burnley Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Liverpool Premier League form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Liverpool form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

Diogo Jota pictured for Liverpool on May 13, 2021© Reuters

Liverpool's injury troubles have not relented throughout the campaign, and they could still be without up to 10 first-team players for this match.

Klopp confirmed that Diogo Jota will most likely miss the rest of the season with a foot injury, while Ozan Kabak will also not feature again in 2020-21 and therefore could have played his final game for the club.

The duo join Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Ben Davies in being sidelined for the remainder of the campaign, while Naby Keita is out of this match and James Milner is a doubt having only returned to training on Tuesday.

There is better news on the fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, though, with the midfielder having recovered from illness in time for this game.

Klopp has opted for a centre-back pairing of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams in recent games, keeping Fabinho in midfield, and that could be the case again at Turf Moor.

Georginio Wijnaldum will be pushing for a start having been rested at the weekend, but other than that changes could be scarce for the visitors.

Mohamed Salah is level with Harry Kane in the Golden Boot race this season, with his 22 goals being worth a league-high 16 points for Liverpool in 2020-21, without which they would sit 11th.

However, the Egyptian has failed to score in his last five games against Burnley, which is his longest run without a goal against any specific opponent in the competition.

Burnley could again be without Nick Pope after Dyche described him as "touch and go" due to a knee injury, leaving Bailey Peacock-Farrell looking to end a run of four defeats in his four outings this season, during which time he has conceded 14 goals.

Dale Stephens is also out for the hosts, while Robbie Brady, Phil Bardsley and Kevin Long are longer-term absentees.

Dyche could look to make changes following the nature of his side's 4-0 home defeat to Leeds last time out, with Ashley Barnes - scorer of the winning goal in the reverse fixture at Anfield - among those pushing for a recall to the starting XI.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Brownhill, Cork, Westwood, McNeil; Wood, Barnes

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, R Williams, Phillips, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane


SM words green background

We say: Burnley 1-2 Liverpool

This is exactly the type of fixture Liverpool have struggled with this season, but nothing less than a win will do for them and the nature of their last two results in particular should leave them flying ahead of this contest.

Burnley's home form is poor while Liverpool's record on the road has kept their top-four hopes alive in recent months, and the visitors have also won five of their six Premier League trips to Turf Moor in the past.

It is likely to be another hard-fought game in which Liverpool dominate possession but struggle for goals, but at the end of it all we are expecting Klopp's men to get the job done.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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How you voted: Burnley vs Liverpool

Burnley
10.2%
Draw
11.2%
Liverpool
78.7%
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 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the match on May 8, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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