Saturday, December 15, 2018

Prediction: Burnley vs Liverpool

Verdict: Liverpool win to nil

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to keep pace with Manchester City and build off last weekend’s Merseyside derby victory, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side will travel to Turf Moor on Wednesday night.

Burnley

Starting with the hosts, while Burnley may have enjoyed a record-breaking campaign last season, the Clarets have come crashing back down to Earth and many feel that Sean Dyche’s side could be at the heart of a relegation battle this time around. Coming off the back of a very disappointing showing in their 2-0 loss away to Crystal Palace over the weekend, Burnley find themselves sat 19th in the table and are winless in seven league matches, losing five and conceding 18 goals. On a run of form that has also seen them pick up just 11 points out of possible 57, it will be their recent record at Turf Moor giving Dyche the biggest headache. Burnley have the worst home record in the division, with four points from six games; they have only won one of their past nine league matches that they have hosted.

Team News

Burnley’s James Tarkowski, who returned after hernia surgery as an unused substitute on Saturday, could make his first appearance for a month.

Ben Gibson has overcome a similar injury but midfielder Steven Defour is a doubt because of a knee complaint.

Liverpool

As for the visitors, while they may have left it late in Sunday’s Merseyside derby, Divock Origi’s last-gasp winner secured Liverpool bragging rights and extended their Premier League unbeaten run to 16 Premier League matches. Now sat just two points adrift of Manchester City and universally regarded to be their leading contender in the title chase, another victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side on Wednesday would give Liverpool their best record after 15 matches of a top-flight season. With the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, it will be the Reds’ recent defensive record most impressing the former Borussia Dortmund boss. Now going three Premier League games without conceding a Premier League goal, they currently hold the best defensive record in the league and have only conceded five goals in 14 league games this season – no team has conceded fewer than six after 15 matches of a top-flight season.

Team News

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson returns from suspension for what will be his 300th career league appearance.

Sadio Mane may miss out after having stitches in a cut foot, while Andy Robertson is nursing a minor problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Burnley’s only win in 11 league games against Liverpool since 1974 was by a 2-0 scoreline at home two seasons ago (D3, L7).
  • The Clarets are winless in seven league matches, losing five and conceding 18 goals.
  • They have won just two of their last 19 Premier League fixtures (D5, L12).
  • The Reds are unbeaten in 16 Premier League matches played on a Wednesday since a 3-1 defeat at Stoke on Boxing Day 2012 (W11, D5).
  • Jurgen Klopp’s side have scored the opening goal in 86% of their league matches this season.

Conclusion

Given Burnley’s woeful start to the new season, Jurgen Klopp should see this as the perfect opportunity to extend their unbeaten run. With the hosts managing to record just one win at Turf Moor in their last nine attempts, coupled with Liverpool’s outstanding defensive record, we’re backing the Reds to come away with all three points and yet another clean sheet on Wednesday night.

Verdict: Liverpool win to nil

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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