Here is the match preview ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Burnley tomorrow.
It’s almost been a week since our win against Arsenal and we’re looking ahead to our next game away to Burnley. We’ll go into the game with full confidence in our ability to score and we should be able to handle a team like the Clarets defensively, but it’s important that we don’t get carried away with our opening day victory.
It’s often happened after a big-game win that we then go on to lose to a ‘smaller’ team; 3-0 Watford, 2-0 Newcastle, 2-1 Crystal Palace, etc. Inconsistency has been our downfall for a few years now, but we should be able to improve that with more goalscorers in our team.
Instead of relying on Coutinho, for example. Firmino or Lallana could play well if he doesn’t turn up. Even Wijnaldum, who looks to be playing a bit deeper in a midfield 2 – or 3 depending on the formation – managed 11 Premier League goals last season, more than any Liverpool player. Sadio Mane in particular has really excited me so far; pace like that is something we’ve not really seen since Sterling left and Sturridge had his injury problems. and if his start is anything to go by, he’s got the end product to go with it. However, the Senegal international will miss the clash after picking up an injury this week in training.
And don’t forget we scored four against Arsenal without a real striker in the team. Sturridge’s fitness was not risked and by the time Origi came on he wasn’t getting much service as we were defending our lead. We certainly have the firepower to finish very high up the table this season, but there’s still one obvious weak link – no prizes for guessing who – that we will hopefully address before the transfer window closes. Perhaps the funds from Benteke’s imminent sale will fund that.
Now onto the lineup – I think there will be some change up front. Klopp tends to use Firmino as a false 9 in the ‘big’ games, whereas he seems to find games like Burnley more suitable for our natural strikers. So my guess is that we will keep the same formation and Origi (or Sturridge if fully fit) will come in, with Firmino either dropping back and replacing Lallana or simply dropping onto the bench. The midfield two could be any combination of Can, Henderson or Wijnaldum, but I think Henderson and Wijnaldum will start together again. Can is likely to start at White Hart Lane in two weeks, as he isn’t desperately needed this weekend. Maybe Matip will replace one of the centre backs, but your guess is as good as mine there.
My prediction is 3-0 to Liverpool. Optimistic, but I really do expect us to win this. I won’t predict the scorers because I’ve got no idea; the goals can come from anywhere in this team. Let’s hope the match review is a good one!