Liverpool take on Burnley at Turf Moor in the game that signals the beginning of the grueling Christmas period.
It’s true that Burnley have struggled this season and that they’re not the same tricky opponents as in previous years. However, that’s not to say that they’ll just roll over and gift Liverpool and early Christmas present.
The Reds will have to be at their best to break down and stubborn home defence, particular given the fact that Klopp will almost certainly choose to rotate his side heavily for this game.
Burnley Predicted Lineup and Team News
Nick Pope, Jonathan Walters, Stephen Ward, and Nakhi Wells will all miss the game, while there’s concern for Steven Defour, Robbie Brady, and Ben Gibson.
Defour will be assessed before the match, but it’s unlikely that Sean Dyche would risk one of his best players at this point of the season if he’s not 100% fit. Meanwhile, there’s been no update on Brady’s fitness after he was withdrawn against Crystal Palace with a knock, though he’s expected to start.
Gibson could also make his return, but like Defour, he may not be risked. Given the long list of injuries, Ashley Westwood and Aaron Lennon are legitimate options to come into the starting lineup.
Liverpool Predicted Lineup and Team News
The only player that will certainly miss the game is Ox, as he’s still got some way to go on his long-term recovery. We could certainly use his talent and drive in midfield now though.
Elsewhere, there’s a number of players who have picked up various knocks, so the likes of Gomez, Lallana, Mane, and Robertson could all be given the game off to recuperate, though none of the injuries are considered to be serious and Gomez in particular is expected to play.
Klopp hinted that he would be rotating this game, so the likes of Keita, Lovren, Matip, Moreno, Sturridge, and Clyne may be given a rare chance to start. Hendo is also likely to return after missing the Everton game through suspension.
Given the fact that Liverpool will be resting many of our key players, it’s extremely difficult to predict what team or even formation Klopp will go with, let alone give an analysis on how the game will go.
One thing’s for certain: Burnley will be well up for the game and will recognise Liverpool’s vulnerabilities without some of our stars. That could even mean that we see a more attacking approach from Dyche’s men than we’re used to, as without our regular front three, we’ll be less potent on the counter.
Those who do come in for the Reds will have their work cut out for them, as Turf Moor is far from the easiest place in the world to go with a weakened side. We’ll need to be tight at the back, particularly from set-pieces, and take as many of the few chances we’ll get to secure the win.
Again, this is a nearly impossible job considering all of the unknowns surrounding this game, but it will almost certainly be a low-scoring game.
Much will depend on how confident Burnley are feeling on the day and their willingness to attack, as well as Liverpool’s rotational players and how well they grab their opportunity for more regular game time.
Burnley will throw everything they’ve got at us, but we should still have enough to limp away with a narrow 1-0 victory.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 05/11/2018