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

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Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing week of results when Sean Dyche’s Burnley side take the relatively short trip across the north west to Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

After their humiliation at the hands of Manchester City last weekend and their late set-back at the hands of Sevilla in their Champions League opener, Jurgen Klopp will now want an instant response.

However, there is no guarantee as Burnley will arrive on Merseyside in good form, taking points from champions Chelsea and their title-chasing rivals Tottenham already this season away from home.

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After a last-gasp set-back against Watford on the opening day of the season it appeared that Liverpool were hitting top stride, seeing off Crystal Palace before their 4-0 demolition of Arsenal.

Yet they’ve been brought back down to Earth quickly over the past week, being on the end of their own thrashing at the Etihad before failing to take their chances in an entertaining draw with Sevilla.

Burnley have had an equally eventful start to Premier League life this season, shocking the reigning champions Chelsea on the opening day in a 3-2 win before earning a late, late draw with Tottenham.

Narrow defeat against West Brom has been the only blot on their copybook so far and, following their win over Crystal Palace last weekend, the Clarets are currently sitting pretty down in seventh.

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With Liverpool’s appeal to reduce Sadio Mane’s three-match ban rejected, it paves the way for Philippe Coutinho to make his Premier League return after coming off the bench during the week.

Simon Mignolet is likely to re-take his place between the sticks, whilst deadline day signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be given his much-desired spot in central midfield as boss Klopp rotates his side.

The only fresh injury concern as far as Burnley are concerned is with goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who looks likely to miss at least a month of action following a shoulder injury sustained in last week’s win.

This means that young prodigy Nick Pope is expected to pick up from where he left off against Crystal Palace and shape up between the sticks, putting in a fine individual display on that occasion.

Predicted Line-Ups
Match Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Burnley

Momentum is a key concept in football of the highest level, and Jurgen Klopp will know that his Liverpool side need to return to winning ways – and quickly – to keep pace with the early leaders.

Fortunately for the German his side have the perfect chance to secure three points in front of a home crowd at Anfield, and he’ll ensure that his side go out knowing nothing less than a win will do.

Burnley certainly won’t be easy to break down, such is the discipline instilled in them by manager Sean Dyche, but Liverpool’s wealth and depth of attacking options should eventually make the breakthrough.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Burnley

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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Photo: Getty Images

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.

(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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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Tottenham Hotspur star Georges-Kevin N’Koudou must now take Burnley chance

The £11m winger is currently on loan at Burnley.

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It was one of the longest and most drawn out transfers of the 2016 summer transfer window. Finally, on the 31st August that year, Tottenham managed to secure the signature of Marseille winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou on a five-year deal.

ESPN reported that Spurs spent around £11 million on the winger, with Clinton N’Jie also heading the opposite direction on loan.

Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Kazaiah Sterling (L) and Tottenham Hotspur’s French midfielder Georges-Kevin N’Koudou (R) embrace on the pitch after the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Apoel Nicosia at Wembley Stadium in London, on December 6, 2017. Tottenham won the game 3-0. / AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

The deal was first put together much earlier in the summer but the two clubs struggled to agree on the specifics. It left N’Koudou in limbo and out of sync when he finally did arrive at Spurs.

But simply put, this deal has not been a success. N’Koudou has played just 23 times for Spurs in the 18 months he had with the club before being loaned out in January. The 23-year-old headed to Burnley until the end of the season, as Sean Dyche looked to freshen up his wide options.

However, the move to Burnley has been a slow burn so far as well. Finally, he got his chance against West Brom at the weekend. With Johann Berg Gudmundsson sidelined with a calf injury N’Koudou was handed his first start by Dyche. It was in fact, his first start in the Premier League with either Spurs or Burnley.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – JANUARY 31: Burnley player Georges-Kevin N’Koudou reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St. James Park on January 31, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

It was a big chance for the talented attacker and he performed well in the game. Whilst not upping any roots he will have surely demonstrated to the Burnley boss he can be relied upon.

What N’Koudou needs now is a run of games in the first-team. His future at Tottenham is currently looking bleak, with such minimal first-team action and the club improving their wide options all the time.

What is needed is a good run of form at Burnley to show Mauricio Pochettino and co that he can hack it in the Premier League.

But if the West Brom start proves to be a flash in the pan, expect to see N’Koudou on his way out of Spurs in the summer.

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