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Resurgence of form, 'mentality giants' & the battle of left-backs: The talking points ahead of the Burnley-Liverpool match

Karishma J
ANALYST
Preview
29 Aug 2019, 20:17 IST

A moment from a Liverpool-Burnley clash last season.
A moment from a Liverpool-Burnley clash last season.

Liverpool currently sit alone on the top of the Premier League table with three wins out of three matches played. They will look to maintain their 100 per cent record when they travel to Burnley this Saturday. Burnley, meanwhile have made a decent start to the season with a win, a defeat and a draw.

They would want to put their mid-week League Cup defeat against Sunderland past them to continue their good form in the Premier League.

Liverpool have a good record against Burnley, but they know that it won’t be easy to come out of Turf Moor with 3 points. Below, we take a look at the five talking points ahead of the clash.



#1 - Resurgence of form

Mohamed Salah.

Mohamed Salah.


Out of the three golden boot winners of the past seasons, two were from Liverpool. While Sadio Mané, having missed out on the entire preseason due to the AFCON finals, ended up being decisive in the Super Cup by scoring two goals to help Liverpool win against Chelsea, the Egyptian star Mohamed Salah seems to have been come into his goal-scoring best after some early criticism despite scoring in the opener.

Against Arsenal, Salah had a resurgence in form as he netted twice against Bernd Leno. A calmly hit penalty followed by a stunning run to leave David Luiz behind before nailing the perfect technique to score his second goal of the night, made everyone aware of the abilities of the Liverpool forward.

With confidence running high for Salah, Burnley will have to be on the lookout if they don’t want to be Liverpool’s latest victim.


#2 - The 'mentality giants'

Joel Matip celebrates his goal against Arsenal.
Joel Matip celebrates his goal against Arsenal.

After a nervy win at Saint Mary’s, Jürgen Klopp hailed his team as 'mentality giants', having won back-to-back games, especially after their mid-week Super Cup win against Chelsea. One of the Reds who displays that very mentality is the giant Joel Matip.

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This season, Joe Gomez was preferred over Joel Matip for the first match while Matip made his comeback for the Super Cup game. Ever since, Matip hasn’t put a foot wrong as he started the last two Premier League games for Liverpool.

The former Cameroon international was the one to break the deadlock against Arsenal with a superb header that saw him score his first Premier League goal for 11 months now. Joel Matip is set to keep his place alongside Virgil Van Dijk as he look forward to repay the faith that his manager has shown in him lately.


#3 - Burnley’s hero

Ashley Barnes.
Ashley Barnes.

Led by an in-form Ashley Barnes, Burnley has had a better start than last season. A comfortable win against Southampton 3-0 at home on their opening day was followed by a 2-1 away loss to Arsenal and then scrapping a 1-1 draw away at Wolves.

The 29 year-old striker is having an incredible season, scoring four times, one better than Liverpool’s highest scorer, Salah. Barnes had 12 goals to his account in the 2018-19 season but this season he is on a better average with four goals in just three matches and with an overall quality of play that is far better from his six previous seasons at Burnley.

Burnley has found a hero in Ashley Barnes who will need to find a way past the colossal Virgil van Dijk on Saturday.


#4 - The battle of left-backs

Andy Robertson.
Andy Robertson.

Scotland’s captain Andy Robertson had been an absolute steal for Liverpool for £8 million. The former Hull City player now has a Champions League as well as a Super Cup to his name. While the Liverpool left-back has made a name for himself with the assists he grabbed in the past season, against him is Burnley’s Erik Pieters who has two assists in the opening game.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah running riot on his side, Pieters might be forced to stay back and defend but his attacking capabilities are not to be underappreciated.

The battle of the left-backs would be worth keeping an eye on this Saturday.


#5 - Previous Meeting

Roberto Firminho (left) scored a brace the last time the two met.
Roberto Firminho (left) scored a brace the last time the two met.

The last time Liverpool and Burnley met, the latter had a quick shot at Alisson and took the lead in the 6th minute itself with Ashley Westwood getting on the score-sheet. But it didn’t take long for Liverpool to counter with a brace from both Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané. The match ended with a score line of 4-2 as the men of Jürgen Klopp took the upper hand.

This season Sean Dyche wouldn’t want his boys to suffer the same consequences and will be more circumspect against the European Champions.

Be on the lookour for an intriguing battle as the Reds travel to Turf Moor.

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