Liverpool vs. Burnley
Venue: Anfield Stadium
Kick off: 3PM
Premier League champions Liverpool could set more records tumbling when they welcome Burnley to Anfield this afternoon.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are three wins away from setting a new points record but face a Burnley side who are still chasing European qualification for next season.
Klopp’s line has not changed throughout a season in which notable records and landmarks have fallen with incredible regularity – he is not interested in breaking those records, only in winning football matches.
Whether he regards it as important or not, three more wins from their four remaining games would be enough for Liverpool’s class of 2019-20 to etch their name into the history books as statistically English football’s most dominant team in a single season.
Manchester City’s 2017-18 centurions currently hold most of the remaining available targets – most points, most wins and biggest title-winning margin – but those would be broken with the three more wins.
Given how relentless they have been all season, most would expect the Reds to achieve that; they have room for one slip-up in matches against Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle United, and crucially have now seemingly rediscovered their winning touch after their first major blip of the entire campaign.
Wednesday night’s 3-1 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion saw them record back-to-back wins for the first time since February and move on to 30 for the season – already a joint club-record alongside the 1978-79 and 2018-19 campaigns.
The result – which was not quite as straightforward as the scoreline suggests – also saw Liverpool end a woeful away run, but their record at home is faultless and they remain on course to become the first team to ever win every home game in a season.
The Reds have won 17 from 17 so far this term and an unprecedented 24 in a row stretching back to January 2019, while it is now 57 games and more than three years since they last tasted a Premier League defeat at Anfield.
A trip to the red half of Merseyside is just about the most difficult assignment in football at the moment, then, but Burnley arrive in good form themselves – and particularly away from home.
Sean Dyche’s side have won back-to-back Premier League games on the road without conceding for the first time since May 2015, and have only lost one of their last six such outings.
Indeed, Wednesday’s 1-0 triumph over West Ham United means that they have now amassed 13 points from their last six away games – as many as they had earned from their previous 16 such outings.
The one defeat in that time was a heavy one at the hands of Manchester City, which does not bode well heading into a match against the only team better than City this season, but that is also their solitary league defeat in their last 12 home and away so they are clearly a difficult team to beat.
European qualification is still very much on the agenda for Burnley with only two points separating them from seventh-placed Sheffield United, although there may be some fans keen to avoid that.
Burnley finished seventh in 2017-18 to qualify for the Europa League but then finished 15th the following season – just scraping to the 40-point mark – and with such a small squad and reported friction over potential incomings it could be a big ask for them to juggle another competition.
Not that Dyche will want his squad to hold back at all, and there is a very real chance that they could continue their fine form until the very end of the season with Norwich City and Brighton in their final two games.
Matches against Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the meantime are likely to be more difficult, but Chelsea and Man City are the only top-half teams they have not taken points off already this season and so they will believe that they can pull off an upset at Anfield.
Liverpool possible XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Keita, Fabinho, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Burnley possible XI: Pope, Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor, Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil, Rodriguez, Wood.