We make our prediction as Liverpool face Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday. What can we expect from the Reds in their second game of the season?
Liverpool take on Burnley on Saturday as they look to continue their wonderful performance against Norwich City. This one carries extra significance, though.
Liverpool hosted Burnley back in January and lost 1-0. That was their first home defeat in the league for nearly four years – three years and 273 days, to be precise.
Or a stretch of 69 games.
Will we get a repeat of that one or can the Reds right their wrong?
Liverpool vs Burnley prediction
It’s worth looking at Liverpool’s lineup that day to get an idea of why this should be different.
Alexander-Arnold – Matip – Fabinho – Robertson
Shaqiri – Thiago – Wijnaldum
Oxlade-Chamberlain – Origi – Mane
We’re not expecting similar this time around. Fabinho should be back in midfield and just as importantly, Virgil van Dijk should be at the back.
But even if the Dutchman sits this one out, the Reds can call on Joe Gomez or Ibrahima Konate. Saturday’s lineup will be a much more secure one.
Upfront, too, we can expect two of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Diogo Jota to start. All three kicked off the campaign with goals and excellent performances.
So in short: no, we’re not expecting a repeat performance.
What we might see, though, is a similar possession stat. Liverpool had 72% in their defeat and we imagine Burnley will let them have the same this time around.
Even at home to Brighton in their opener, they gave up 65% of the ball. This will be a backs-to-the-walls performance as they try and grind out a point or three.
Liverpool should have better players on the pitch to create something, though, and guard against the counter-attack. That should be the difference here.
In a lot of ways, then, this one can tell us how this season will go. There are two outcomes, effectively.
Liverpool could struggle to break down a tough Burnley wall in front of goal. There will be reason to worry if we see similar creativity struggles to last season.
But that’s not what we see happening. The win over Norwich gives us the confidence that Liverpool will make use of their possession and pick up a fairly routine win.
They look good on the ball, cohesive as a unit, and their forward options are all available. Roll on Saturday.