Liverpool could lose their top spot in the Premier League by the time they face Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds’ hopes for the title took a hit with a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last week, while Vincent Kompany’s team made a comeback from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Fulham.
Calling Liverpool’s last game a defensive mess wouldn’t be wrong, as their unbeaten streak of 11 games across all competitions and 15 Premier League matches ended with a loss in North London.
A strange own goal by Gabriel Magalhaes briefly tied the game for Liverpool after Bukayo Saka scored first. But then, Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk made a big mistake, letting Gabriel Martinelli score easily. Later, Leandro Trossard scored past Alisson in extra time.
Ibrahima Konate’s red card added to Jurgen Klopp’s disappointment, leaving his team beaten and with a deserved loss. Klopp said “everything” went against them in their trip to the capital.
Liverpool still leads the Premier League, but only by two points over Arsenal and Manchester City. City, with a game in hand, could move ahead of Liverpool by beating Everton.
However, Liverpool aims to bounce back at Anfield, where they’ve not lost in their last 23 league games. Yet, their recent struggle to keep a clean sheet at home gives Burnley a glimmer of hope.
Last season, Steven Gerrard almost surprised Man City with Aston Villa as Liverpool chased the title. While the stakes are different now, Vincent Kompany can still help his former team by winning at Anfield.
Burnley was close to losing at home again when Fulham led 2-0 at halftime last week. But David Datro Fofana, a Chelsea loanee, scored twice late in the game, securing a draw for Burnley.
Still, Burnley is in danger, sitting 19th with only 13 points, seven points behind 17th place. They have scored in their last four away games but lost their last four games against Liverpool, including a 2-0 loss on Boxing Day.
Liverpool’s Konate is suspended, giving Jarell Quansah a chance to play defense with Van Dijk.
Liverpool had several players return against Arsenal, but Dominik Szoboszlai missed the game with a thigh issue. It’s uncertain if Conor Bradley will play after his father’s death.
Stefan Bajcetic, Mohamed Salah, Kostas Tsimikas, and Joel Matip are injured, but Wataru Endo is back after Japan’s exit from the Asian Cup.
Burnley has long-term injuries with Luca Koleosho and Nathan Redmond out. Charlie Taylor has a shoulder injury, and Jordan Beyer and Hannes Delcroix are doubtful. Hjalmar Ekdal might be replaced by Maxime Esteve due to an injury.
After scoring twice against Fulham, Datro Fofana may start in attack, possibly replacing Lyle Foster or Zeki Amdouni.
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alexander-Arnold, Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson;
Jones, Endo, Mac Allister;
Jota, Nunez, Diaz
Burnley possible starting lineup:
Assignon, O’Shea, Esteve, Vitinho;
Gudmundsson, Berge, Brownhill, Odobert;
Datro Fofana, Foster
Prediction: Liverpool 4-1 Burnley
Burnley showed promise in their last meeting with Liverpool, and both teams’ current form suggests goals are likely.
But with Liverpool eager to prove a point at home and their strong scoring record, they’re expected to dominate against Burnley, who’s fighting relegation.