Liverpool FC status Frånvaroläge: Alla friska Trolig startelva (4-3-3): Alisson Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson – Fabinho, Thiago, Henderson- Diaz, Jota, Salah Tankar om elvan: Klopp har mängder av alternativ inför matchen mot Burnley, samtidigt som han måste ha veckans möte med Inter med i beräkningarna. Jag tror vi kommer att satsa på ungefär samma manskap som senast, men vi kommer knappast att få se Salah på bänken igen. På mittfältet tror jag att Henderson kommer vara tillbaka, jag hoppas att det blir tillsammans med Fabinho och Thiago, vars samarbete varit väldigt effektivt den här säsongen och nu när båda är friska hoppas jag de får spela. Den som antagligen är närmast att få vila är Thiago, i sådana fall står både Keita och Elliot redo. Mané kommer antagligen att vara tillbaka, men inte från start. – Jamie Smith(@JamieSmithSports), från Burnley status https://nonaynever.substack.com 1. Burnley are currently bottom of the Premier League, but have a few games in hand, what are the main reasons for your poor start of the season?
There are a few factors, it isn’t possible to blame one single thing. Until recently the defence has been unusually poor and key players through the side have under-performed. There has been an element of luck – we have lost some games where we deserved more. We don’t score enough, mainly as we create very little in most games. The squad looks old and lacks depth. A lack of investment in the squad over a sustained period has finally caught up on us. Lastly, I think Sean Dyche has run out of ideas a bit. Playing Maxwel Cornet up front is one of the few things he’s tried out that worked well this season, but usually it’s just the same old faces in the same old system.
2. How do you rate your chances of staying up? They are slim, we have to be honest. Performances have improved lately with a few draws, but that’s not going to be enough to climb the table. When you fail to beat teams as poor as Norwich, Newcastle or Watford, it’s hard to see how we can finish above three teams. We probably need about 20 more points to have a chance and I can’t see where they come from. But hope has looked lost in the past and we have got out of similar situations, so that’s a reason to be optimistic, while Wout Weghorst looks like he could be a good fit after a below-par debut. With Newcastle getting out of it after spending a lot of cash last month as expected, we need Everton to continue struggling to have any chance really.
3. If you stay up, what do you think needs to change to prevent you from being in this situation next season? Significant changes to the squad. We have about 10 players out of contract and a lot of them are past their best, so our summer needs to be similar to Crystal Palace’s last year. Some tough calls need to be made over the likes of Jay Rodriguez and Jack Cork, who have both played a lot of games for the club across a couple of spells each but no longer contribute enough. We need to bring the age of the squad down and invest in players who will develop and have a resale value – like Cornet.
4. Tell us a bit anout what happened at Burnley during this transfer window. Do you think your team is better or worse than before the window opened? It’s about the same, depending on whether or not you see Weghorst as an upgrade on Wood. Personally, I think the jury is still out. Wood was having a bad season but he was usually good for 10-12 Premier League goals – him going to Newcastle immediately strengthened them and weakened us. Weghorst is theoretically a better player with more to his game, but the first three halves he played for us were poor. Luckily, he looked more the part in the second half of the midweek draw against Manchester United, creating our equaliser and almost scoring himself. We needed to do much more business. A winger was needed with Johann Gudmundsson injured and the club failed to get a deal for Mislav Orsic from Dinamo done. A central midfielder was also required to add energy and craft. January is a tricky window but we really needed 2-3 new faces to add quality and all we did was replace the striker we didn’t want to lose.
5. Dwight McNeil broke through at your club a few seasons ago and is still only 22 years old, how has his development been lately and how good do you think he can be? It’s a really tough one with McNeil. Like you say, he’s still very young – although he has played a huge number of Premier League games for his age. But over the past 12-18 months his development has slowed. He has gone backwards this season. At the moment, he looks very low on confidence and it is evident he doesn’t trust his right foot at all. Personally, I feel for McNeil as our system requires huge work defensively from the wide midfielders. Only four players have made more tackles in the league this season, which shows he is delivering on that side of the game. But going forward he has only one assist and no goals in 20 Premier League games, which is obviously not enough. I see his future at no10 where his lack of pace won’t be as much of an issue. He is still one of our best players but even if we get relegated, he might not get picked up. A year in the Championship rebuilding his confidence might not be the worst thing for him at this stage.
6. What do you expect of the game against Liverpool?
It’s going to be tough, but we have played well against United and Arsenal recently so we have to try to play without fear. Liverpool will naturally be expected to win and our record in this game isn’t great – though we had that famous win at Anfield not long ago. We need to make it a physical battle and test whether the Reds are up to the task. I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will have plenty to whinge about anyway – he absolutely hates us!
Totaal reflektion: Det här är en match vi ska vinna, men man får inget gratis på Turf Moor och vi kan vara säkra på att det kommer att göra ont att ta de här tre poängen. Visar vi upp samma spel som mot Leicester ska det mycket till för att Burnley ska kunna rubba oss, men det gäller att göra jobbet. Med de alternativ vi har i offensiven nu kan vi göra förändringar om det inte klickar, att ha spelare som Mané, Firmino, Elliot, Keita och Ox att kasta in när vi behöver mål är inte helt fel och ska kunna vara en livlina om startspelarna inte får till det. Tre poäng är ett måste.