As Liverpool approach the halfway stage of their title defense they remain firmly in the title race despite being shorn of their first choice defense and with goals no longer as free-flowing as they once were. The latter could be a significant issue against Burnley, whose defense has conceded only one more goal than the league champions (albeit having played one match fewer).
Certainly in recent weeks Sean Dyche's side have rediscovered some of their best form since a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City, conceding just five in eight league games since. Mohamed Salah and company could wish for few more challenging defenses at Anfield come Thursday night. Here is how to watch and all you need to know.
- Date: Thursday, Jan. 21
- Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Anfield -- Liverpool, United Kingdom
- TV: NBCSN
- Live stream: FuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: Liverpool -550; Draw +600; Burnley +1600 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Liverpool: There is one issue that is dominating the discourse around the champions at the moment, what has stopped them scoring goals? Their last three games have passed by without a goal whilst they only managed one in their draw with West Bromwich Albion, Sadio Mane striking in the 12th minute. For a team blessed with such attacking quality it is a remarkable drought.
CBS Sports addressed the issue at length on Tuesday with the absence of key defenders having a ripple effect across the squad: forcing midfielders out of their best roles, asking more of Trent Alexander-Arnold and prompting Mohamed Salah deeper to pick up the ball.
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Burnley: Though there has been something of an upswing in form after a slow start to the season at Turf Moor back-to-back 1-0 defeats by Manchester United and West Ham have Burnley rather nearer the bottom of the table than they might like to be with only four points separating them from Fulham before the Cottagers hosted Manchester United on Wednesday.
With just nine goals scored from 17 games it is clear where the problems lie but Dyche is offering no guarantees that new owners ALK Capital will be able to sign him a new striker. "People often make these strange comments about needing to get a goal-scorer, do you know how much goal-scorers cost?," he said. "Unless someone's going to give me that amount of money, trust me we'll be working very hard with the players we've got, we believe in them."
This is unlikely to be plain sailing for Liverpool but such is their quality their goal drought cannot last forever It is altogether more likely that Burnley's might. PICK: Liverpool (-550)