Liverpool travel to Burnley with their fate in their own hands as they look to take a giant step towards Champions League football next season
Liverpool are up next against Burnley in their penultimate match of the Premier League campaign with Jurgen Klopp’s seeking to finish fourth and secure qualification to the Champions League. The Reds will be eyeing a win over the Clarets who had emerged shock victors from their trip to Anfield earlier this season which sparked off a woeful run at home turf for the Merseysiders.
On Wednesday, the Liverpool manager will have to make do without as many as eight first-team players. The absentees are namely Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Ozan Kabak, Ben Davies, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, and Diogo Jota.
The good news, though, is the fact that Jota’s injury is not as worse as was initially feared, with the Portuguese forward likely to be available for the final game this weekend. James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, are fit enough to return, although neither is expected to make it to the starting lineup.
Alisson Becker, who scored the match-winner against West Brom last time out, will take his place in the goal.
Despite finding it tough-going against West Brom and with another physical battle ahead, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are likely to keep their place for the fourth game in a row along with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson as full-backs. The pair struggled and was at fault for the Baggies’ opener but their limitations are what they are and they’ve shown they can learn from it all – and a big performance is needed in what could be an unchanged back-four.
It would allow Fabinho to remain in the defensive midfielder’s role, but the hope will be that the three-day break frees him up after a somewhat sluggish outing over the weekend. Thiago would then continue to pull the strings further afield, next to the only change in Gini Wijnladum – who would replace Curtis Jones after his rusty return to the XI and be restored as captain.
The front three would then remain intact, with Mohamed Salah looking to break a five-game duck against the Clarets next to Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. The Egyptian marksman is in contention for the Premier League’s Golden Boot, level with Harry Kane, at the moment, whereas his Senegalese counterpart will hope to end this campaign on a high.