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Friday, 18 January, 2019

Lively Liverpool should make another fast start

Burnley may be blown away at Anfield

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring against Arsenal
1 of 1

Premier League
Sky Sports 1, 4pm Sunday

Liverpool backers usually know their fate early in matches and it could pay to back the Reds to make another fast Anfield start when Burnley head to Merseyside.

Jurgen Klopp's side have won 15 Premier League games this season and on 11 of those occasions they also led at the break.

In eight of Liverpool's nine home league triumphs the Reds were ahead by half-time and that looks the route to profit given the hosts are a short price to avenge their shock Turf Moor reverse in August.

Burnley defied odds of 6-1 to win seven months ago, scoring early and with both of their shots on target before sitting back to frustrate a Liverpool side who left pointless despite enjoying 80 per cent of the possession.

It has become the story of Liverpool's campaign as costly away defeats at bottom-half clubs Bournemouth, Leicester and Hull as well as a draw at Sunderland have ruined any realistic title hopes.

However, the main target for this term was to regain a place in the Champions League and so this is a must-win match if the Reds are to hold off Arsenal and Manchester United for a top-four spot.

Liverpool have set to work quickly in their last two home games - against Tottenham and Arsenal - putting the game to bed before the north London pair could settle into a rhythm.

Klopp can't always get that response from his players but Sadio Mane has been excellent, while Philippe Coutinho's performance against Arsenal was his best since he picked up an injury at home to Sunderland on November 26.

Adam Lallana sets the press in midfield and Burnley, who have earned two away Premier League points this season, will need to play much better than they did in last week's 3-2 defeat at Swansea.

Fernando Llorente broke Burnley hearts at the death, but the Clarets had been fortunate to win a penalty for a non-existent handball and were totally dominated on the key match performance indicators.

Swansea won the shot count 24-6 and had 71 per cent of the possession as Burnley, as they have done for the majority of the campaign, invited pressure.

Sean Dyche's side made only 162 accurate passes at the Liberty Stadium, completed just one dribble, and should Burnley fall behind it is difficult to see how they can get force their back into the match.

As long as it's goalless Burnley will defend narrow and deep, hoping to spring counter-attacks through the pace of Andre Gray, but Liverpool tend to have the solution to those tactics at Anfield.

Liverpool-Liverpool double result
1pt 4-5 Coral, Paddy Power

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Team news
Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge are out and Roberto Firmino is doubtful. 

Steven Defour and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are injured and on-loan Jon Flanagan can't face his former club. Ashley Barnes is back from a ban and Tom Heaton is set to return from illness.

Key stat
Burnley have won none and lost ten of their 14 away matches in all competitions this season.

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Should Burnley fall behind it is difficult to see how they can force their way back into the match
E.W. Terms
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