Preview: Liverpool - Burnley - Clarets looking to climb out of drop zone

Burnley will be hoping to pick up some vital points when they visit high-flying Liverpool in the Barclays' Premier League on Wednesday night.

The Reds are the only team to remain unbeaten since the start of 2015, and come into the game with plenty of confidence having won won their last three games against top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Manchester City.

The latter, a 2-1 victory thanks to superb strikes from Jordan Henderson and the excellent Philippe Coutinho, assured that they should not be taken lightly as they maintain a late charge towards the UEFA Champions League qualification places.

Despite having struggled until mid-December, the Reds are now one of the favourites to acquire European football next season as Rodgers' fantastic managerial record in the second-half of the Premier League season rolls on.

Burnley meanwhile, without a win in their last six league games, sit just inside the relegation zone with a worse goal difference than Queens Park Rangers, who occupy 17th place on the same points total. 

Sean Dyche's side have only 11 games left to maintain their status in the top-flight, meaning they will not hold back at Anfield, having adopted a positive approach throughout their 2014-15 campaign. 

The visitors will take inspiration from the fact that the Reds have only taken seven wins from 14 games on home turf this season, having drawn to the likes of Sunderland, Hull City and Leicester City - all of whom sit in the lower half of the current Premier League table.

Yet, the Clarets' form is far from promising. They have won just once in their last 11 games since mid-December and their away form has been alarmingly poor - winning just one game on the road all season, a 2-1 defeat of Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

As they travel to Merseyside desperate for any kind of result that could help see them stay up, history does not appear to be on their side. The last time they emerged from Anfield victorious was 40 years ago, when the Clarets stole a 1-0 win in September. 

Yet that does not mean Burnley go to L4 with no hope of a result, if their draws from Manchester City and Chelsea are anything to go by. After Christmas, they managed to take a deserved point against the reigning champions whilst Ben Mee's header shocked the current league leaders only two weeks ago.

Whilst the home side will be looking to continue their fine run of form, Burnley will be looking to boost their morale as they face tricky fixtures against Manchester City, Southampton, Tottenham and Arsenal in the coming weeks.

They may look to play on the fatigue of a Liverpool side who have played 16 games since New Years' Day - giving them an average of 3.8 days rest between each game, but Rodgers' side, who somehow came away from Turf Moor with the three points thanks to Raheem Sterling's effort back in December, will understandably be the clear favourites to come out as the winners again.

Team News:

Brendan Rodgers is unlikely to make many changes from the side that beat Manchester City on the weekend.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard could return, after missing the Reds' last five games in all competitions with a hamstring injury sustained against Spurs. The skipper returned to training earlier this week, and could be included in the match-day squad, but is more likely to feature against Blackburn Rovers in their FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

Fellow absentee Glen Johnson (illness) is available and Mamadou Sakho (hip) is nearing full fitness, but Rodgers will be without the services of young Jordon Ibe. The teenager has been impressive in filling in as a wing-back recently, but has damaged his lateral collateral ligament, which will keep him out for up to four weeks.

Daniel Sturridge could also return to the starting line-up, after he had to watch much of their their win against City from the sidelines on Sunday afternoon.

Visiting manager Dyche has no fresh injury worries and may also look to play the same side that started in Burnley's 1-0 loss to Swansea on the weekend.

Rumoured Liverpool target Danny Ings is in good goalscoring form and is certain to start up-front for the visitors, alongside one of Sam Vokes or Ashley Barnes - but the 43-year-old boss is without Matthew Taylor, who remains out of contention as he works on recovering fitness following surgery on his Achilles. Dean Marney and Kevin Long are also out for the remainder of the season after cruciate ligament damage. 

Head-to-head:

Total: Liverpool - 36 wins, Draws - 20, Burnley - 27 wins.

At Anfield: Liverpool - 23 wins, Draws - 10, Burnley - 8 wins. 

At Turf Moor: Burnley - 19 wins, Draws - 10, Liverpool - 13 wins.

Last Meeting: Burnley 0-1 Liverpool, 26th December 2014.

Last Five (all competitions):

Liverpool: WWWLW
Burnley: LDLDL

Match Facts:

Liverpool have won all three Premier League meetings between the two sides, scoring nine goals without conceding a single goal. 

Liverpool have won their last seven home meetings with Burnley in all competitions, keeping a clean sheet each time.

Burnley have failed to score in their last five league games against the Reds and in six of the last seven matches in all competitions.

Burnley had 16 shots against Liverpool in their last meeting on Boxing Day but could not manage a single one of them on target.

The Clarets have conceded the most headed goals in the Premier League this season (16).

Liverpool have acrrued 20 points from eight matches (W6, D2) in 2015, putting them at the top of the form table.

The Reds, however, have drawn five of their home league games this season, more than any other side in the top half of the table.

Brendan Rodgers' side have kept five clean sheets in their last seven Premier League games.

Burnley have scored seven times withint the first 15 minutes of Premier League games, accounting for a league high proportion of 28% of their goals in that period.

Burnley have now gone six games without a Premier League win (W0 D2 L4).

Liverpool have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League matches (W10 D4 L1).

All three of Jordan Henderson’s Premier League goals this season have been assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Sterling has now assisted as many Premier League goals this season (7) as the previous three campaigns combined.

The Clarets are winless in their last seven away matches, winning just one away from home all season - a 2-1 triumph at Stoke in November.

They have conceded 45 league goals, the division's joint-worst tally with QPR.

Burnley striker Danny Ings, reportedly subject of Liverpool interest, has scored five goals in his last eight league games.

Pre-match comments:

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers - "I rate Burnley as a team and their manager in particular.

"Sean Dyche has done an incredible job. He’s very talented. I’m always impressed when I watch Burnley. They have gone away from home in big games and got good results.

“"hey are maximising what they’ve got. Their budget is nowhere near a lot of teams at this level. They will have a great chance to stay in the division.

"Sean has got them very well organised. They play with great motivation and commitment. They are fighting to stay in the league. They are a team we are wary of."

"You can’t take anything for granted. We know Burnley are a very good side. We had a close game with them over the Christmas period.

"We are very focused on ourselves and trying to cause problems for Burnley. We are playing at Anfield. We are getting back to the sort of form we’ve had for the last 18 months - respecting the opponent but believing we can win and Burnley will be no different."

Burnley manager Sean Dyche - "I thought we were excellent against Liverpool earlier in the season and didn’t get anything out of the game.

"That’s something we’ve done too often this season. We need to get results and we are aware of that.

"They are a very good side and the form book suggests that. They don’t just get wins, they get big wins against big teams.

"He (Brendan Rodgers) has tried a few systems usually, but usually it is down to players and they’ve got good ones. He’s found system that is appropriate for the players and he’s certainly getting the results.

"It’s another challenge for us, but it’s a great thing. A year ago we were chomping at this kind of challenge, so there is no fear for us, it’s just about being clear-minded to go and deliver a performance.

"The weight of expectation is on who we’re playing aginst because it’s Liverpool. All the world is thinking they’ll win but it’s not that easy."

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