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Liverpool vs Burnley: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction

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After convincingly beating Arsenal at Anfield, Liverpool now welcome Burnley and will be hoping to secure another victory as they push for a top-four finish. Jurgen Klopp’s side looked superb against the Gunners and they will hope for a repeat performance against a Burnley side who have struggled when playing away all season.

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When on the road, Sean Dyche’s men boast a terrible record. In 13 away fixtures, they are yet to register a win and it’s difficult to see this changing as travel to Merseyside this Sunday. They will take heart from their 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Turf Moor, though. The Clarets defended resolutely and were also lethal on the break, taking Liverpool by surprise.

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Liverpool have looked to bounce back from a terrible January with wins over Tottenham and Arsenal at Anfield. However, a resounding 3-1 loss to Leicester in between these fixtures was particularly disappointing for the Reds.

As has been the issue all season, Klopp’s side fail to perform against the lesser outfits. It is this inconsistency which leaves Liverpool hanging onto a top four spot.

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As for Burnley, a 3-2 loss to Swansea away will leave a sour taste in the Clarets’ mouth, succumbing to a late Fernando Llorente goal, which sent the Liberty and Paul Clement crazy.

In other recent fixtures, they performed impressively against current Premier League leaders Chelsea, grinding out a draw thanks to a fantastic Robbie Brady free-kick. They also managed a point away at Hull, which is a better result than it sounds, considering the upturn in fortunes the Tigers have had recently.

Predicted line-ups

Liverpool predicted starting XI             Burnley predicted starting XI

 

Team news

Liverpool will be without Jordan Henderson once again, as he is still recovering from a foot injury. Daniel Sturridge also remains a doubt due to an illness. The Reds will be lifted by Dejan Lovren’s return to training after nursing a knee injury, but Ragnar Klavan is expected to keep his place after performing well against Arsenal.

Burnley, meanwhile, will be without the industrious Joey Barton, due to a hamstring injury he suffered against Swansea.  Tom Heaton is expected to be back between the sticks after recovering from a bout of illness while Ashley Barnes is also likely to return to the starting line-up after serving a one-match ban.

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Match prediction 

Given how Burnley struggle away from home, it is difficult to see anything other than a Liverpool win. Klopp and his men will recall the 2-0 loss they suffered at Turf Moor and will be desperate for revenge to send a message to the doubters; they can, in fact, perform against the lesser Premier League sides.

It may not be the rampant Liverpool that was seen against Arsenal, but the Reds should come out on top and continue to make a push for top four.

Score prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Burnley

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Rangers signing of Scott Arfield from Burnley could be a major coup

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Another Old Firm derby looks likely to provide even more disappointment for Rangers fans, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as reports indicate that the club are close to sealing a deal to sign Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield on a free transfer.

According to Sky Sports, Rangers are closing in on a pre-contract agreement which will see the Canadian international move to Ibrox Stadium on a free transfer in the summer when his existing deal with Burnley expires.

The move will see Arfield return to the SPL, where he previously made his name with Falkirk having come through the ranks at the club, scoring 16 goals in 124 games.

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The 29-year-old has become a regular for Sean Dyche in his five seasons at Turf Moor, scoring two goals from 19 Premier League appearances, including 15 starts, before injury to his calf in February put a halt to his season as he remains sidelined.

Given that most of Rangers’ squad who do boast experience in England come from men past their best, as was the case when Joey Barton moved north of the border, and lower league talents, like Josh Windass, mixed with some loanees from Championship clubs, to sign a regular in a team competing for Europe in the Premier League can be considered a coup.

The left midfielder is consistent and looked comfortable in the Premier League, chipping in with some memorable goals in the process, and if he can take such quality to Ibrox it will be a significant statement as the club look to cut the gap behind league leaders and arch rivals Celtic.

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Sold by Everton in January, Aaron Lennon is enjoying resurgence with Burnley

The 31-year-old has quickly adjusted to life at Turf Moor.

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In Thursday night’s tightly-fought Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea, the Clarets came within touching distance of eclipsing Arsenal in sixth position.

It has been a remarkable charge up the table for Burnley, and their stunning season is mirrored by the transfer of Aaron Lennon from Everton to Turf Moor.

The 31-year-old winger left Goodison Park in search of regular playing time, and has since slotted into a squad far more ambitious than Everton.

When Lennon was bought by the Clarets in late January, Burnley were just three points ahead of the Toffees. But after Thursday’s match against Chelsea, Burnley now sit in seventh position, a massive ten points in front of Everton.

It is clear that Lennon made the smart move in the winter when leaving struggling Everton for buoyant Burnley.

The ten-point gap between the two sides is due mainly to a superb five-match winning run engineered by Burnley. Lennon had started all five of those matches, contributing two assists along the way along with a host of bright, attacking displays.

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Cruelly for the Merseyside club, Burnley’s scintillating spell was kickstarted by a 2-1 win over Everton, in which Lennon played all 90 minutes and earned an impressive WhoScored match rating of 7.3.

To make matters worse for Everton, Lennon’s match rating eclipsed both Theo Walcott’s and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s, both players who were preferred in front of the 31-year-old at Goodison Park.

Although Burnley’s fine spell was narrowly ended by Chelsea in a 2-1 defeat, the club still harbours an outside chance at an audacious sixth-place finish. Burnley faces three sides in the bottom half of the table in the form of Bournemouth, Brighton, and Stoke City, as well as a massive match at the Emirates to face Arsenal.

With Arsenal enduring a terrible run of form in 2018, Burnley will fancy their chances away at the Gunners, and former Everton winger Aaron Lennon will surely be at the heart of their lethal attack.

If Lennon can achieve a record-sixth placed finish with the Clarets, he will show the Everton hierarchy just how wrong they were in letting him leave in January.

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Steven Defour wanted by Premier League clubs, David Moyes and West Ham makes sense

The West Ham boss tried to sign Defour whilst Everton manager in 2009.

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It looks as though Burnley might have a job on keeping hold of their Belgian midfielder Steven Defour this summer. His agent has confirmed this week that there is interest in the player from other teams in the Premier League, as reported by the Burnley Express.

Reports in Belgium have echoed these sentiments. Het Laatste Nieuws report that two mid-table English clubs are chasing the Burnley star this summer.

So who could it be?

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 31: West Ham United manager David Moyes gestures during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Southampton at London Stadium on March 31, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Plenty of teams in the past have been linked with a move for Defour. The Belgium international was once considered one of Europe’s top talents. However, the time teams such as Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were interested in the 29-year-old has passed.

But one man who has wanted Defour previously is West Ham manager David Moyes. The Scotsman was in charge at Everton in 2009 when the Toffees tried to sign Defour. As reported by the Telegraph Moyes had decided Defour was the man he wanted to improve Everton’s midfield. A bid of £9 million was lodged but the Merseyside club would not meet Defour’s then-club Standard Liege’s £12 million valuation. The Guardian later reported that Standard would only sell the player ii they failed to qualify for the Champions League that season. They did qualify and Defour remained for two more seasons before joining Porto.

Defour has now established himself in Premier League football. He was in great form this season before knee cartilage surgery in February cut his campaign short.

Standard’s Steven Defour (L) and Gent’s Milos Maric (R) fight for the ball during the Belgian first league football match AA Gent vs Standard, on May 16, 2009 in Gent, last day of the Jupiler Pro League Belgian football championship. Standard wins 0-1. Anderlecht and Standard will play a test match to appoint the winner of the championship. AFP PHOTO/ BELGA / BENOIT DOPPAGNE (Photo credit should read BENOIT DOPPAGNE/AFP/Getty Images)

West Ham need central midfield reinforcements. It is one area of the field that they are currently short and Moyes would surely jump at the chance to finally work with Defour.

Whilst the league table suggests Burnley is the place to stay, Defour would certainly struggle to reject a move to West Ham. The chance to play in London and try turnaround the fortunes for the Hammers will undoubtedly appeal to the 52-cap Belgian.

If Premier League clubs are keen on Defour, it will be no surprise if one of them is West Ham this summer. Moyes might finally get his hands on his man.

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