After last weekend’s disappointing draw with our neighbours across the park in the Merseyside Derby, we now find ourselves one point behind City at the top of the Premier League.
The goals may not be going in away from home but we have scored eight in our last two at home and Kloppo will no doubt be confident we can achieve something similar against Burnley this weekend. Form Labs bring you the betting preview with tips for Sunday’s game and don’t forget that we have a range of LFC-specific enhanced odds in our ‘Liverpool Specials’ section on site.
Burnley likely to concede
Burnley’s defeats by two-goal margins against Newcastle and Palace will have deeply frustrated Sean Dyche after a prior run of five wins from eight unbeaten matches. However, they’ve only kept the solitary clean sheet in nine outings and in addition to those league games, were also crushed 5-0 at the Etihad by Man City in the FA Cup over this period. Our attack may not be firing on all cylinders, but they’re certainly more than capable of racking up the goals as 3-0 and 5-0 home wins over Bournemouth and Watford respectively last month demonstrated. Indeed, six of our last seven at Anfield in the Premier League have seen us bag at least three, however it’s our end product on the road that’s seen the title slip out of our own hands as City have edged their noses in front.
Perfect time for Shaqiri?
Part of the reason for our low output of late has been down to a lack of creativity in midfield, often playing with a more defensive minded trio and relying upon the front three to work their magic. However, with the pressure on to make more chances at the sharp end, this should be a game tailor made for the return of Xherdan Shaqiri to the side. The Swiss international has been surprisingly overlooked for game time in 2019 so far, but made sure of the three points in the reverse fixture with the final goal in a 3-1 win. We were reduced in attack on that occasion with both Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino starting on the bench while Sadio Mane wasn’t in the squad at all, as Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge all started that day. We’re not suggesting our first-choice forwards should be relegated to the bench here, but a return to the 4-2-3-1 in order to accommodate Shaqiri would be welcome nonetheless, as we’ve looked at our most dangerous going forwards with that set-up this term.
Matip & VVD can hold the fort
The continued absence of Joe Gomez and potentially Dejan Lovren shouldn’t be cause for alarm with the Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip partnership excelling, registering four consecutive clean sheets in the league. We also shut out Bayern in Europe despite the absence of the imperious Dutch captain, who was suspended on that occasion. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continues his rehabilitation and is apparently near a return, but though his ability to drive forwards would be useful, he’s set to feature for the under-23’s and it’s unrealistic to think he’s ready to deliver at such a crucial stage of the season after his lengthy lay-off. Meanwhile, Burnley don’t have any new concerns with Steven Defour remaining sidelined with a persistent calf problem that’s seen him make just nine appearances in all competitions this season, and though Aaron Lennon has returned to training, the most the ex-England international can hope for is to make the bench with the team playing well in his absence.
Although our defence has been excellent of late, we can’t play so cautiously anymore with every draw costing us the title. We’re also more inclined to attack at Anfield and have scored goals for fun there this term, even throughout our recent poor patch. Meanwhile, Burnley’s revival has rested upon the shoulders of strike duo Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes, and despite Sean Dyche’s reputation for a defensive game-plan, his Burnley side have actually registered on the board in 10 of 14 league trips to ‘Big Six’ sides since December 2016. With that in mind, the enhanced odds surrounding the win and both teams to score looks profitable on this occasion. Indeed, both teams have found the net in each of our past four meetings with Burnley as we won three of four unbeaten matches.
*Odds are subject to change.