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10 key things to know ahead of Burnley vs. Liverpool – Jota “surprise” & 17-1 record

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Liverpool head to Burnley in the Premier League, aiming to maintain Jurgen Klopp‘s perfect Boxing Day record. Here’s all you need to know ahead of kickoff.

Burnley vs. Liverpool

Premier League (19) | Turf Moor
December 26, 2023 | 5.30pm (GMT)


The manager may not be a fan but Boxing Day football is a tradition that English football prides itself on, and this year, Liverpool’s opponents are Burnley.

Draws against Man United and Arsenal, punctuated by a League Cup win against West Ham, have left Liverpool a point behind the Gunners, meaning the Reds would go top for 48 hours with three points.

Here are 10 key things to know ahead of Burnley vs. Liverpool:

 

1. A quick turnaround

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 16, 2022: Liverpool supporters welcome the team coach bus before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Liverpool playing at 5.30pm on December 23, the Reds have just two days, including Christmas, to prepare for this one.

Of course, Burnley have just a couple of hours longer so things will be fair in that respect. Liverpool have actually got off quite lightly with their festive fixtures this time around.

After playing Burnley, the Reds don’t feature again until 8pm on New Year’s Day, at home against Newcastle. They do have to contend with a two-legged League Cup semi-final in January, though.

 

2. “Early” preparations

As mentioned, there’a tight turnaround for the Boxing Day match, and footballers in Britain don’t get a normal Christmas.

“It’s England, nobody gives a s**t about my Christmas!” Klopp said.

“So this schedule is again crazy. Our Christmas, we call it Holy Evening, it’s the 24th, night time – family will be over, it will be great.

“25th, we will have training. I think we will train early in the morning and then the boys can go home and have Christmas lunch with families. On the 26th, we drive to Burnley.”

 

3. “Great place to celebrate Christmas”

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Thursday, August 16, 2018: A portrait of Burnley's manager Sean Dyche at The Royal Dyche pub near Burnley's stadium before the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round 2nd Leg match between Burnley FC and ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Following that, Klopp sarcastically said that Burnley is a “great place to celebrate Christmas.”

This obviously didn’t go down well in some parts, with Klopp even joking that the Daily Mail would pick up on it. The boss later clarified his comments, saying: “I didn’t think for a second that it was serious.

“If he would have said London, I would say great place to be; if he would have said Fiji, I would’ve said great place to be, because we play football there and I wouldn’t have been with my family.

“The family of one of my best friends is from Burnley, just to make sure I have no issue with that.”

I’m sure his explanation won’t be shared quite as widely by the Daily Mail!

 

4. Jota would be a “surprise”

With Luis Diaz picking up a knock to his knee, Liverpool could really do with Diogo Jota back in action soon to help ease the burden on four attackers currently fit.

On Saturday night, Klopp gave an update on Jota, saying: “I don’t want to rule out anybody now, we will see.

“He didn’t train with the team yet, we have only one proper session so it will be a surprise. But maybe I will get a surprise. I don’t know.

“He didn’t train with the team but the session I saw was really intense but I didn’t ask who will be available yet and the medical department will tell me now or tomorrow.”

 

5. Team prediction

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 29, 2023: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As Kostas Tsimikas begins his lay-off with a broken collarbone, Liverpool have increasingly few options in the squad.

The likely decision will be for Joe Gomez to start at left-back, especially in away matches, but there is a more attacking option in Luke Chambers should Klopp feel the 19-year-old ready.

Elsewhere, Wataru Endo may have to start his seventh consecutive match and Darwin Nunez will likely return.

Dominik Szoboszlai could be rested but, with six days until the Newcastle match, the boss might just throw caution to the wind and play his strongest team available.

Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Szoboszlai, Jones; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez

 

6. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 23, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Surprisingly, Liverpool have won more games at Turf Moor than at Anfield, against Burnley in the Premier League era, with six clean sheets in their last nine visits.

The Reds picked up 23 points away from home in the whole of the 2022-23 league campaign. So far this season, they have accrued 16 points from nine away matches in the league.

Not since October 2015 have Liverpool played out three consecutive league draws in the same campaign – a good omen, potentially.

 

7. A memorable duo officiating

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 1, 2021: Referee Paul Tierney during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 239th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. Liverpool won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Paul Tierney will be the referee for this one, with Simon Hooper the video assistant referee.

Hooper was in charge for Tottenham vs. Liverpool this season, and Tierney refereed Liverpool vs. Tottenham last season – probably the two most controversial Liverpool fixtures for controversy of recent times.

Tierney’s assistants will be Marc Perry and Scott Ledger, while Graham Scott takes the fourth official role. Nick Hopton will be Hooper’s assistant in Stockley Park.

No repeat of the nonsense that saw Martin Odegaard’s handball not penalised, please.

 

8. 17-1 on Boxing Day

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Monday, December 26, 2022: Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Since arriving on Merseyside, Klopp boasts a perfect record on St. Stephen’s Day, winning five out of five as fans tuck into leftovers.

In fact, the total sum of scores add up to 17-1 and include some memorable results, such as 4-0 at Leicester, 4-0 vs. Newcastle and last year’s 3-1 at Villa Park.

In those five games, 12 different scorers have come to the fore. The only goal conceded was last year, to Ollie Watkins before Stefan Bajcetic sealed the win with his only goal to date.

 

9. Off the bottom

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 13, 2022: Burnley's manager Vincent Kompany celebrates after the Football League Championship match between Burnley FC and Blackburn Rovers FC at Turf Moor. Burnley won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Saturday’s surprise win at Fulham took Burnley above Sheffield United and off the bottom of the Premier League. They have still earned only 11 points so far, though, but are just three behind Nottingham Forest, who lie 17th.

Having started the campaign trying to play the free-flowing football that won them the Championship, Vincent Kompany’s side have had to adapt.

The team is full of youngsters who have technical ability but, if Liverpool play as well as they did against Arsenal, they shouldn’t pose too many problems for the Reds.

 

10. Follow the match with TIA

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 19, 2021: LED Floodlights during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Burnley vs. Liverpool is live on Amazon Prime with kickoff at 5.30pm (GMT).

TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 4.45pm, with Adam Beattie tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.

Come on you Reds!