|English Premier League 2014-15|
ScheduleFriday, 26 December 2014 at 14:00 GMT / 14:00 UK / 19:30 IST
VenueTurf Moor (Burnley)
Next Friday, 26th of December 2014, an unrecognizable Liverpool will travel to Turf Moor to go head-to-head with a Burnley team desperate for points for round 18 of the English Premier League, on a match that the Reds need to win in order to put an end to their recent poor results streak and to try and climb some places in the table.
Everything was apparently in place for Liverpool to win last Sunday’s match against Arsenal and when Coutinho netted in the Reds’ first goal on the 45th minute no one could have predicted that Arsenal would still be able to level the score before the break, given Brendan Rodgers’ boys blatant superiority during the first-half. Liverpool’s inconsistency, especially back in the defence, has already cost them several points this season and last Sunday was no different. On the Gunners first goal, Debuchy took advantage of a very soft heading approach from the Slovak giant Martin Skrtel, exposing the obvious aerial game deficiencies of the Reds’ defence line. The second goal, which by the way was a fine attacking move from Arsenal, has also served to expose the obvious limitations of the three-men defence line that the Northern Irish manager has tried to implement in the team once more in the last couple of matches.
Similar to what is happening to Borussia Dortmund at the Bundesliga this season, although without such severe consequences, Liverpool have not yet managed to find themselves so far in this campaign and it is hard to say that Brendan Rodgers is to blame for that. You just can’t go from genius to dunce in just half season but someone needs to take responsibility for what is happening to the team.
For Liverpool’s predictably complicated clash at Turf Moor next Thursday, the Northern Irish manager will probably be able to already rely on the contribution of the Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, who missed Arsenal’s match due to injury, and on Balotelli, who has also missed the Gunners’ clash due to suspension.
As for Burnley, they are currently at a complicated position on the EPL as they are third from bottom, five points above Leicester, who currently occupy the last place of the table. After an important and moralizing win over Southampton two weeks ago, the Clarets sucumbed once more last Saturday, this time at the hands of Tottenham at White Hart Lane and conceded their eighth defeat of the season. Burnley put up a brave display but failed to withstand the Spurs’ attacking avalanche and the latter ended up winning the match by 2-1.
It is hard to name any favourites for the Boxing Day’s match, especially if we have in mind that Burnley tend to be twice as strong when playing at home. Nevertheless, due to the overall quality of their team, Liverpool enjoy from a slight favouritism for the Turf Moor’s match.
Stats: W-1 L-2 D-2
Recent Form - LWLDD
Stats: W-1 L-1 D-3
Recent Form - DWLDD
Burnley (4-4-2) –Heaton - Trippier - Keane - Shackell - Mee - Boyd - Marney - Jones - Arfield - Ings - Barnes
Liverpool (3-4-3) – Jones - Sahko - Skrtel - Lovren - Lucas Leiva - Henderson - Markovic - Gerrard - Sterling - Coutinho - Lambert