Liverpool travel to Turf Moor after overcoming Arsenal last weekend. Can Klopp’s Reds make it two in a row against a Burnley side tipped to struggle?
There’s something old-fashioned about Burnley’s approach to Premier League football. Sean Dyche and the owner Mike Garlick clearly favour continuity and long-term thinking over flashy signings.
Here’s a side that doesn’t really mind getting relegated, knowing they’ll have the strength to bounce back the following season.
After Hull defied the odds against Leicester last weekend, Burnley are now favourites with the bookmakers to go down.
Because, as another season kicks off, they’ve only brought in a handful of signings, none of whom will be household names.
They’ve done most of their business with Charlton Athletic, raiding the south London club for winger Jóhann Guðmundsson and goalkeeper Nick Pope, after they were relegated from the Championship.
Along with left-back Stephen Ward, Guðmundsson was a rare bright spot when he came on against Swansea, so you can back him to start on the right for Boyd this weekend.
Their industrious style of play and Dyche’s insistence on 4-4-2 harks back 20 years too. There’s a sense of togetherness in the squad that will earn them points this season.
But when they come up against top-half teams like Liverpool you have to tip them to find things difficult.
Of the XI that started in the worrying home defeat to Swansea, the central midfield pair of Dean Marney and David Jones looked well below Premier League standard.
Light at End of Tunnel
So you’d expect potential new boy Steven Defour to drop straight into the team if he is signed before the weekend.
The Belgian midfielder has a passing range and tactical mind far ahead of anything this current Burnley squad can offer.
The fact that the fee will be a club record at just £7 million shows you just how tight a ship Dyche is running.
Burnley Predicted Lineup
Heaton; Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Ward; Guðmundsson, Defour, Jones, Arfield; Gray, Vokes
Onwards and Upwards for Liverpool
When Klopp looks back on the victory at the Emirates on Sunday he should be very content. New signing Sadio Mané scored on his debut and looked difficult to handle.
And after a preseason working with the team, the manager will be pleased to see some of the slick passing combinations at the start of that second half.
Big Players Performing
In a squad that could be a little light on star quality, it must be reassuring to see Coutinho and Firmino hit the ground running.
Liverpool will need to keep them fit and in form, and with no European competitions to worry about most football tipsters have them down to go far.
Problems Predicted at the Back
But things don’t look so pretty in defence. Alberto Moreno was a disaster at left-back, and has never looked particularly comfortable since joining the Premier League two years ago.
Liverpool were far the better team against Arsenal, creating twice as many chances. But it was nearly all thrown away because of that rickety backline.
Liverpool Transfers to the Rescue
New signing Ragnar Klavan may have been a ray of light, but his partner Lovren is still finding things difficult on Merseyside.
Burnley will hope they can exploit Liverpool’s weak point at a stage when they need to work out how to bed both Klavan and the other new boy Joël Matip into a creaking defence.
The other question for Klopp is whether he sticks with what looks like a formidable lineup or gambles on bringing a few returnees into the side.
Milner and Sturridge should both be fit for the weekend, and would normally expect to make a first XI. There are rumours that Milner may even fill in at full-back.
Emre Can is also in the running after a long summer with Germany. He may slot in for Lallana or Wijnaldum, but Klopp may not be inclined to make big changes.
Liverpool Predicted Lineup
Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Can, Henderson, Lallana; Mané, Firmino, Coutinho
When will Burnley vs Liverpool Take Place?
15:00 on Saturday August 20 at Turf Moor, Lancashire. Lee Mason will take charge of the match, and you can find out how much he earns for his trouble here.
Burnley vs Liverpool Match Prediction
Even if Defour turns out to be a success, he won’t turn around this plodding Burnley side overnight.
Liverpool will be full of confidence and already showed they have the passing combinations to pick the Clarets apart.
Still, you would put money on that Liverpool defence to concede. So a 3-1 win to the Reds looks a like a good bet.