BURNLEY entertain Liverpool in the evening Premier League kick-off on Saturday. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Burnley v Liverpool | Saturday 31st August, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Liverpool look to rewrite a bit of club history on Saturday evening, as they go in search of a 13th successive league win. However, it’ll be a stern early season examination of Jürgen Klopp’s side, as they travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley.
Will the Reds top the table heading into the first dreaded international break?
Goals at both ends
Burnley kept a clean sheet in their opening home game, but it was a match that Southampton had more shots on-target and generated a large Expected Goals (xG) figure.
That’s one more clean sheet than Liverpool have kept. Klopp’s side have conceded in all three league games to date, and the worrying thing is, they have been allowing shots on their goal more often than last year.
Nevertheless, both of these sides have decent figures on the xG model: Burnley at 1.48xG and Liverpool at 2.08xG, so that shows they’ve been creating good opportunites.
Obviously we know all about Liverpool’s deadly triumvirate, and Roberto Firmino heads into this game on 49 Premier League goals. The Brazilian netted in both games against Burnley last season.
The Clarets have their own powerhouse that could give this Reds backline plenty of problems with their direct play. Chris Woods proves a useful foil for Ashley Barnes, who has already netted four times this season. Only Sergio Aguero (16) and Sadio Mane (15) have scored more goals than Barnes (13) in 2019, so he is the obvious candidate to score from a Burnley perspective, and he’s 10/3 with Bet365 to do just that.
Liverpool have won eight of the last 10 meetings with the Clarets, and under Klopp, the Reds have won four of the last five – each of those saw both teams scoring, so that is a very appealing angle. The Merseysiders to win and Both Teams To Score can be backed at 2/1 (Coral).
Get stuck in
We’re all expecting Liverpool to dominate the possession here with Burnley sitting deep trying to soak up the pressure. That could see the Burnley players getting stuck in with some crunching tackles to knock Liverpool out of their stride.
One man catches the eye for Burnley, and that’s summer signing Erik Pieters.
Since joining the club, he’s already recorded two assists, which both came on debut against Southampton, while in two of their three games, he’s put in the most tackles.
He tops the tackling charts for Sean Dyche’s men with 14 completed tackles, so with the likelihood of a busy evening in store, then I’d be looking at him in the tackles and cards market too.
Having recorded seven tackles against Southampton and then six at Arsenal, the 31-year-old won’t mind getting his hands dirty, and that’s proven with his 4.70 tackles per game average.