Liverpool will look to keep pace in the Premier League title race when they welcome Burnley to Anfield on Thursday night.
After securing their first top flight title in 30 years last season, the remit for Jurgen Klopp’s side this time around is to retain the Premier League crown.
However, the 2020/21 campaign so far has been far from as emphatic as last season’s romp to glory with the Reds currently positioned in 4th and 6 points off the top.
A 0-0 draw with bitterest rivals Manchester United last time out means it is now four Premier League games without a win for the incumbent champions, and victories for Manchester City, Leicester and Manchester United midweek has put pressure back on to Liverpool to keep up at the top.
Victory over Burnley will keep Jurgen Klopp’s men in the hunt, but the German has insisted recently that qualification for the Champions League must first be considered before any talk of title retention.
The Clarets travel to Anfield on Thursday a huge 16/1 shot to end Liverpool’s remarkable unbeaten home league record – something which, if they achieve, will be a massive boost in their fight to remain a Premier League side.
Sean Dyche’s men have two games in hand over some of their closest relegation rivals, and although Burnley are 4 points clear of the bottom thee, extending that gap in what has been a peculiar season will be most welcome.
With Brighton and Fulham doing battle at the weekend, Burnley can gain a real advantage in what will no doubt be a scrap to stay above water this season.
Liverpool haven’t scored a goal in three consecutive league games, something which hasn’t happened for 16 years. Despite this, the Reds do have the division’s top scorer this season in Mohamed Salah.
Fellow forward Diogo Jota remains sidelined, however, and Klopp is expected to play Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane alongside Salah in a front three.
Defence is the key concern for Liverpool from an injury perspective, though, with midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho set to deputise at centre back once again.
Virgil van Dijk, Kostas Tsimikas, Joe Gomez and Naby Keita all remain long term injury absentees.
For Burnley, Charlie Taylor will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the short trip to Merseyside, whilst Dwight McNeil is in contention once again after missing the last two games.
Whilst Nick Pope is expected to start in goal, reserve goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell is a doubt for the game at Anfield due to illness.
Liverpool v Burnley is an 8pm kick off on Thursday 21st January.