Barring brief entries into the top-half of the Premier League table in November and January this year, Burnley have found themselves hovering between the 11th and 12th spot for the better part of the season. As far as 2017 goes, their only noteworthy feats have been a 1-1 draw against Chelsea in February and a 1-0 win over Southampton earlier. Apart from that, the Clarets have lost four of their last 8 Premier League outings, the last one being a humiliating 2-3 defeat to minions Swansea City. Sean Dyche’s men will now make a trip to Anfield where they will be pitted against a Liverpool team on the ascent once again.
Liverpool gave clear indications of a comeback with a resounding 3-1 home win over Arsenal Saturday last. The Red’s £25 million acquisition, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, seems to have come good and is a vital addition to the Lallana-Coutinho-Firminio-Sadio Mane combine upfront. While Jurgen Klopp’s boys’ performances against the Top six has been outstanding and probably the best of all Premier League teams this season, they have floundered while dealing with much weaker opposition. In 2017 alone, they drew to bottom-scraper Sunderland 2-2, lost to Swansea 2-3 at home, lost 0-2 to Hull City and 1-3 to Leicester City in as recently as February 27. Their defence seemed clueless on such occasions conceding a total of 10 goals from these low-key games. Which explains why they are struggling to stay in the Top four after topping the table briefly during 2016.The absence of Dejan Lovren, a pivotal player in the Liverpool back-line, out with a prolonged knee injury since December could be one of the reasons for the inconsistent performance at the back. For Sunday’s clash, the defence in all likelihood will feature usual suspects Nathaniel Clyne, Joel Matip, Lucas Leiva and James Milner.
For the Burnley attack, the mainstays will be Andre Gray and Sam Vokes, top scorers with 8 and 5 goals respectively. The two would look to repeat their feats in the 2-0 win the Clarets registered over Liverpool when they last met in August. The Reds, on the other hand, would be looking to reverse that result and add to the huge tally of goals they have scored this season (58, which is the highest of all Premier league teams this season). The Reds have won on all four occasions these two have met prior to their August loss. The Burnley defence of Matthew Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee and Stephen Ward will be hugely tested and the 40 goals they have conceded already in the 2016-17 is testimony enough to their inherent vulnerability at the back. So will be Liverpool and Sean Dyche will be looking to exploit that weakness. Despite the overwhelming odds in favor of the hosts, one cannot rule out surprises. A score line of 3-1 seems probable. A 2-2 draw could also be a surprise result.
Liverpool need a win to stay in the 4th position in which they are in currently.
Both Teams to Score, Best Odds 6/5 @ Betfred
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