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Match Preview: Liverpool vs Burnley

The Reds face a tough test against Burnley this Sunday as they prepare to make a final push towards securing their first league title since 1990.

Will history repeat itself?

If history is to be used as an indicator for this game then Klopp’s men should feel very confident. Liverpool have not lost to Burnley under the Anfield lights since 1974 and they’ll be hoping not to break that trend in the lunchtime kick-off on Sunday.

Current form

Liverpool are coming into this game on the back of two wins and three draws in their last five games in the league, with the most result being a frustrating draw against Everton last week.

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On the opposite end of the scale, Burnley are back in a slump after a mini-renaissance. They have suffered back to back losses after accomplishing back to back victories.

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Keys to victory

For Burnley to end their 45-year wait for a famous Anfield victory they must defend resolutely. They need to be calculated and efficient when they attack.

Their best chance of scoring goals will be from set pieces, but they will have to first find a way to get into dangerous areas of the pitch which could prove to be very difficult against a Liverpool team boasting the best defence in the league.

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For Klopp’s men need to rediscover their attacking fluidity and be devastating in from of goal. Klopp must also be less risk-averse.

‘Klopp’ and ‘risk-averse’ being used in the same sentence may seem weird but in the games against Manchester United and Everton, he’s been accused of picking a starting XI that lacks creativity and adventure. His substitutions have also been less than inspiring. Making him appear to be satisfied with settling for draws instead of going for the wins.

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Key Players

For Liverpool, it’s Firmino. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this was evident as Liverpool struggled in their attacking play against low block defences with Firmino out of the team. Origi did play well in the two games he started, and may well feel hard done by for not getting a third consecutive start, but Bobby is key to Klopp’s system and thus expected to start on Sunday.

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For Burnley, it’s their captain, Tom Heaton. Heaton is to Burnley what De Gea is to Manchester United. He organises their defence, instils confidence in their backline, and consistently makes great saves. Whether he can keep Liverpool at bay, remains to be seen.

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Prediction

Liverpool are favourites to win this game for a reason. They have a better team and more ways to find ways to break Burnley down. They may need to be patient and Burnley certainly won’t make it easy but it should be a Liverpool win.

Starting XI: Alisson, Trent, Matip, Van Dijk , Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane, Salah

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