A trip to Turf Moor is always a challenge, and despite only having joined Liverpool last summer, midfielder Fabinho is keenly aware of the threat that Sean Dyche’s team pose.
The Brazilian says that the Clarets will present a very tough test when the Reds face them on Saturday, and he knows that they will need to fight in order to come away with the three points:
“We know their style of play, a quality team who play to their strengths with the ball and in the air. We know how difficult it is to play, we know the quality we’re up against and we’ll try and neutralise their threat and be the stronger team.”
There is no disputing the fact that Burnley are a difficult team to play against, but it must be remembered that in the ten matches Liverpool have played against the Clarets in the Premier League, they have won eight, drawn one and lost one.
The only time the Reds suffered defeat was the 2-0 reverse in the 2016/17 season when Jurgen Klopp’s side had more than 80% possession of the ball.
Of course, such a record doesn’t mean that Liverpool should take their opponents lightly. The last two visits to Turf Moor have been hard-fought victories.
The Reds needed a last-minute winner from Ragnar Klavan in January 2018 to come out 2-1 winners, while on their last visit, the Merseyside club only sealed a 3-1 win with a Xherdan Shaqiri goal in the 91st minute after an outstanding save from Alisson at the other end.
Jurgen Klopp’s men also went behind in the game last December, but it must be said that in both of these matches, the Liverpool manager rung the changes due to the fixture pile-ups around Christmas and the New Year.
With a full week’s preparation for the game this weekend, and the ability to name his strongest side ahead of the international break, this match has a very different feel to it than the last two away games.
Certainly, the Reds will have to keep their guard up. Burnley have taken four points from their first three games this season, and in their one league defeat, they actually had more shots than their opponent’s Arsenal at the Emirates.
As Fabinho said, the key is to work hard and to win the individual battles. Dyche’s side play a direct style and rely on retrieving second balls. With Liverpool’s defence having looked a bit shakier at the start of this campaign, these weaknesses will be exploited so there will need to be concentrated minds at the back.
Klopp has shown, though, with his previous record against Burnley that fans should not fear an upset, as long as their work rate and quality matches their previous performances against a tough, streetwise team.