Friday, March 5, 2021

Why Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool cannot afford to drop points against Burnley

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Liverpool currently find themselves in a very unfamiliar situation as the halfway point of the Premier League season approaches.

The Reds have been one of the most consistent sides in Europe over the last three years, but their fortunes have gone downhill in recent months.

After running away with the Premier League last season, Jurgen Klopp’s side face sterner competition this year, as they aim to defend their title.

Injuries, a lack of form by their players and improved performances from their rivals have seen Liverpool drop to fourth on the Premier League table.

The Reds, though, have an opportunity to close the gap at the top when they face Burnley on Thursday.

After drawing with Manchester United last week, Liverpool must strive to quickly bounce back to winning ways. They have lost a bit of their spark in recent months and dropping points again would be perilous to their title ambitions.

Liverpool’s miserable Premier League run

Although Burnley are currently struggling, the Clarets will be no pushovers. For Klopp though, the challenge will be to get Liverpool firing once again.

The Anfield outfit has endured a miserable run in the Premier League over the last three weeks, culminating in no wins in their last four games. They’ve also failed to score in each of their last three league games.

As it stands, it is unknown which Liverpool side will turn up against Sean Dyke’s team on Thursday. Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have uncharacteristically struggled in front of goal in recent games.

“We have to earn the right to win through our commitment. This is what we are all about and I look forward to seeing my boys embrace this challenge,” Klopp said ahead of the game, as quoted by Liverpoolfc.com.

“We come into the game with some focus on our recent form and I am fine with this. It is absolutely OK for those questions to be asked. When you are blessed to work at this club you know each and every performance brings close scrutiny. This level of interest in us is a privilege and it’s a pressure we should embrace.”

Liverpool’s Premier League rivals pulling away

Indeed, Liverpool will have to embrace the pressure and show character in their upcoming games. The form of their rivals means that they cannot afford to drop points against Burnley.

The game became a must-win when Manchester United, Leicester City and Manchester City all won their matches earlier in the week.

Leicester City rose to the top of the table when they defeated Chelsea 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday. The Foxes were, however, overtaken by Manchester City when Pep Guardiola’s side also beat Aston Villa by the same scoreline on Wednesday.

The Premier League table changed for the third time in 24 hours when Manchester United recorded a 2-1 win over Fulham to return to the summit.

The above results have seen Liverpool’s rivals stretch their lead at the top. As it stands, Manchester United, Manchester City and Leicester are pulling away from the Merseyside club.

Unless Liverpool also win against Burnley, they could soon be playing catch-up in the title race.

Published 21 Jan 2021, 18:18 IST



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