Now that was more like it. The fear after a series of insipid performances of late was that Liverpool’s history-making season was just going to fizzle out into something of an anti-climax following the coronavirus disruption.
However, there were some really positive signs in the 3-1 win at Brighton on Wednesday, and that bodes well for the remainder of the run-in. It appeared as if the Reds had gotten their mojo back.
They certainly hit the ground running on the south coast, romping into a 2-0 lead within the space of eight minutes. The first was as easy as you like, with Brighton attempting to play out from the back and getting it so, so wrong. Naby Keita stole possession and fed Mo Salah for the simplest of openers.
The second was a touch classier, with Jordan Henderson firing home from outside the penalty area to cap another eye-catching attack.
The Seagulls nicked one back on the stroke of half-time through Leandro Trossard, but any hopes of a revival were extinguished when Andy Robertson – on as a substitute for the second half, crossed for Salah to nod home.
Afterwards, Jurgen Klopp raised his ‘outstanding’ players and reflected on what was a tough night at the office. “I saw two very good teams, both trying to play football. They had a brave formation and set up, but we had a super solution for that,” he said. “Our high press was outstanding, but when we lost the ball in the wrong moment it was really difficult.”
With three more points on the board, attention once again turned to the question of breaking Premier League records. Once more, the manager played a straight bat: “It’s not important for me. I’m not interested in any of this, but I want to win football games.”
Even if Klopp isn’t bothered, the Reds have a chance to step closer to a unique record this term when they welcome Burnley to Anfield on Saturday – hoping to become the first side to achieve a perfect 100% record on home soil.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool fans got another glimpse of the rising star Neco Williams against Brighton – albeit on his unfavoured left-hand side, and while he was subbed off at half-time after picking up a yellow card he certainly did not disgrace himself.
We expect Williams to switch across to the right flank here to give Trent Alexander-Arnold the afternoon off, with Andy Robertson coming back in on the left and Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez continuing in the middle.
There was an alarm when Jordan Henderson went off after 80 minutes against the Seagulls. That wasn’t tactical, with Klopp afterwards confirming the skipper had hurt his knee. “I don’t know exactly but it was something with the knee I think. We know it’s not nothing,” he said.
Expect Henderson to be given a rest against Burnley then, with a midfield trio of Fabinho, the impressive Naby Keita and Gini Wijnaldum possible.
There’s no real need to change the front three with Salah on fire and Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane nicely rested, so there will be a familiar feel in attack.
Every season, Sean Dyche seems to work a minor miracle with Burnley, and he’s been at it again in 2019/20.
They could realistically finish as high as sixth this season, which when you consider their budget is an extraordinary achievement.
The Clarets, aside from a stuffing at Manchester City, have bee unbeaten since the restart, enjoying 1-0 victories over Watford, Crystal Palace and West Ham while drawing against Sheffield United.
Of course, if Burnley are to kick on they need to improve their record against the top six: W2 D1 L7 is less than ideal.
Liverpool vs Burnley Betting Tips
You just now that the organisation and hard-working style of Burnley will give Liverpool some problems on Saturday.
It would be fair to say that, at times, the Reds looked vulnerable against Brighton and Aston Villa when being counter attacked against, and that too will be the Clarets’ modus operandi at Anfield.
But we’ve mentioned Burnley’s struggles against better quality opposition, and indeed they have won just one of their last eleven meetings with Liverpool – the Reds have scored two or more goals in seven of the last eight.
The Clarets have a habit of conjuring up a goal against us – they’ve netted in five of the last six meetings, and so perhaps the smart play here is to back the Liverpool win and both teams to score at odds of 13/8.