Liverpool v Burnley: Reds to reignite their title challenge
Liverpool look to re-engergise their Premier League challenge with what appears to be a straightforward showdown against Burnley at Anfield, says Mark O'Haire.
"Only once in the Reds’ last seven outings on home turf have the hosts failed to score at least three goals with Jurgen Klopp’s charges racking up 25 goals in that seven-game sample"
Liverpool v Burnley
Sunday March 10, 12:00
Live on BT Sport
Liverpool happy to chase City
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he is "completely fine with chasing" Manchester City after the Reds drew 0-0 at Everton in last weekend's Merseyside derby, missing the chance to return to the top of the Premier League. The goalless game means that for the first time since 7 December Liverpool are off the top having played the same number of matches.
The Reds were seven points clear of City on New Year's Day but defeat at the Etihad, plus four stalemates in their past six matches has allowed the defending champions to usurp the Merseysiders as we enter the final quarter of the campaign. The 0-0 at Goodison Park also means Liverpool have failed to score in three of their past four across all competitions.
Mohamed Salah was unable two convert Liverpool's best two opportunities last weekend, although his teammates were also guilty of wasting possession and lacking a cutting edge; failing to record an on-target attempt after Trent Alexander-Arnold's effort in the 54th minute.
Klopp may now look to rotate his troops Xherdan Shaqiri hoping for a recall.
Burnley slide to successive defeats
Burnley remain five points above the relegation zone following their 3-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace last weekend. The Clarets had enjoyed their longest-ever unbeaten run in the Premier League before losing at Newcastle and Sean Dyche's side were second-best against the Eagles, deservedly suffering a second consecutive league loss.
The Lancashire club fell behind to an unfortunate Phil Bardsley own goal and never looked like recovering.
The Clarets relied on diagonal balls into in-form strike pair Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood but had little joy. and in their desperation to get back in the game, the home side gave the ball away cheaply too often, leaving themselves exposed at the back.
Barnes pulled a consolation back late on to salvage some pride and substitute Peter Crouch almost set up a nervy finish but Burnley came up short despite mustering 18 shots. Ashley Westwood returned to the heart of midfield after illness to partner Jack Cork against Palace, however, fellow midfielders Steven Defour and Aaron Lennon continue to be sidelined.
Reds expected to make their mark
Liverpool have picked up 22 points from the last 27 available against Burnley (W7-D1-L1). The Reds have also claimed top honours in nine of their most recent 11 encounters with the Clarets at Anfield (W9-D2-L0) since their last home defeat against their visitors here, back in 1974. The hosts are also unbeaten in 35 Premier League games here (W25-D10-L0).
Unsurprisingly, the Reds are hot [1.19] favourites to take maximum points from Sunday's showdown despite their frustrating recent nine-match run (W4-D4-L1). Jurgen Klopp's charges have W18-D3-L0 against clubs outside the top-six this season and W20-D4-L0 when excluding games against the Big Six at Anfield since the start of last season.
Burnley [20.00] have managed only W1-D1-L6 in their eight meetings with the Premier League's elite this term. Sean Dyche's men have W0-D3-L7 on their travels when excluding the bottom-six, firing blanks in seven of those 10 tussles. Meanwhile, 18 (60%) of the Clarets' 30 point-tally has been accrued against bottom-six opposition.
Goals may flow at Anfield
Liverpool's rocky recent run hasn't extended to Anfield when on Premier League duty. Only once in the Reds' last seven outings on home turf have the hosts failed to score at least three goals with Jurgen Klopp's charges racking up 25 goals in that seven-game sample. Overall, nine of Liverpool's 14 fixtures here have seen the hosts strike three times or more.
Nine of Burnley's last 12 league matches have featured Both Teams To Score winners, although the aforementioned return from the Clarets away to the Premier League's strongest suitors makes a BTTS bet a little less appealing. The visitors have seen Over 2.5 Goals [1.48] land in six of their eight encounters with the Big Six this term.
Finding value in such lopsided contests can prove tricky but there's mileage in dipping down into Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi market where a Liverpool win, Over 2.5 Goals and Sadio Mane to score can be snapped up at 11/8.
Mane has scored in each of his last five home Premier League games for Liverpool, netting six goals in total.
Mark's 2018/19 Profit/Loss
Staked: 117.00 pts
Returned: 118.88 pts
P/L: +1.88 pts