Dogged Burnley to test whether Liverpool are truly back to their best

Liverpool will face Burnley in the Premier League next.
Liverpool will face Burnley in the Premier League next.

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine where a team like Liverpool are at, depending on their performance on the opening day of the 2021-22 Premier League season.

We’ve seen teams lose their first matches and still go on to win the league, while there have been others who have won their opening three matches and gone on to finish outside the top four.

On this basis, it would be premature to start rating any side as the favourites in the early weeks of the Premier League. So far, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have impressed the most.

The Reds, especially, endured a frustrating campaign last season after being blighted by injuries to several key players. However, they now have a full house, and were ruthless against Norwich City last week.

Liverpool look to make it two wins from two matches

After the kind of season Liverpool had last term, Jurgen Klopp would be looking to avoid a similar fate. In truth, though, not much depends on the German manager.

He has neither control over injuries nor bad form of players, which affected his team last season. However, Klopp has done well to get Liverpool fit and in shape for this campaign.

The decision to get Virgil van Dijk to opt out of Euro 2020 has helped to get the defender back to fitness and in time for the season. The same applies to Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane, who went through patchy form last season but are back after the off-season and a gruelling pre-season.

Now, though, Liverpool and Klopp will look to build on their 3-0 win over Norwich as they aim to make it two wins from their opening two league matches.

Burnley to test Reds

For the first time in over a year, the Reds will be playing in a fully-packed Anfield. The presence of fans will definitely be good for the team, but it doesn’t mean Burnley will be pushovers on the night.

Sean Dyche’s side are dogged and play in a way that usually frustrates attacking teams like Liverpool. The Clarets beat Liverpool last season, so it isn’t difficult to see why they could present another huge test for Klopp and his side.

“There are no guarantees out there, not at all, especially not against Burnley because they can make your life really uncomfortable,” the Liverpool boss said in a pre-match press conference, as quoted by
“They defend well, have really good footballers in the team. Sean is doing a brilliant job there, set them up for being not only annoying, but they can be annoying as well, good (at) set-pieces, all this kind of stuff."
“They have a clear way of play, so that's what we prepare for – not for any kind of revenge or whatever. We really want to have a positive game, and that only works when you play really good.”

Klopp already knows how disruptive Burnley can be; they are a team that are comfortable with ceding possession, but sees every set-piece as a half chance.

It’s, therefore, up to the Reds to devise a game plan that would thwart their opponents’, which makes Saturday’s match very intriguing.

Edited by Bhargav

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