Jurgen Klopp insists revenge is not in his thoughts as Liverpool prepare to welcome “annoying” Burnley to Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool’s 68-match unbeaten run in the Premier League was ended by Burnley in January, beginning a run of six straight top-flight defeats for the dethroned champions.
Seven months on from that loss and Liverpool are in far better shape, having enjoyed a positive pre-season and kicked off their 2021-22 campaign with a 3-0 win at Norwich City.
Indeed, they are on the longest unbeaten run in the division, going 11 without defeat and winning six in a row, and Klopp is only thinking about this next game and not the past.
“I didn’t even think about that defeat to Burnley until you mentioned it,” Klopp said when asked if he was seeking revenge this weekend.
“It was a strange one. We lost it Burnley, won it, that’s how football is – well deserved. But it’s obviously nothing to do with the game now.
“Burnley defend well and have really good footballers in the team. Sean (Dyche) is doing a brilliant job there and sets them up to be annoying.”
The Clarets ended last season poorly and started the new season with a 2-1 loss at home to Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend.
Burnley are at risk of losing five successive Premier League games for the first time, but Dyche is hopeful of pulling off another shock result on Merseyside.
“We’ve got to concentrate on what we do and work very, very hard. We’ll try to turn around the kind of thinking from most in football that you’re going to get beat,” Dyche said.
“We’ve done that before, but it comes with hard work, it comes with organisation, it comes with discipline, and it comes with talent as well.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Liverpool – Roberto Firmino
Firmino was introduced as a substitute against Norwich as he is eased back to fitness following his Copa America participation and found the net during his 30-minute outing. The Brazilian forward tends to be on the scoresheet in this fixture, too, having scored five to add to an assist in six league appearances against Burnley.
Burnley – Ashley Barnes
Barnes will go down in Burnley folklore as the player who scored the winner in January’s memorable victory at Anfield, converting a penalty that he won. He is pushing for a start here after being brought off the bench in the loss to Brighton, with Dyche a big fan of the defensive side of the 31-year-old’s game – that could come in handy at Anfield.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Burnley have suffered 10 defeats in 14 Premier League matches against Liverpool (W2 D2). Defeat in this match would see the Clarets lose more than 10 Premier League games against an opponent for the first time, also losing 10 against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.
– Liverpool have not suffered back-to-back home league defeats against an opponent since losing three in a row against Crystal Palace between 2014-15 and 2016-17. Alan Pardew, who led Palace to the first two of those three consecutive wins, remains the only English manager to win consecutive away Premier League games against Liverpool.
– The Reds have lost their first home league match in just three of the last 55 seasons and have won their first league game at Anfield in each of the last eight. Their last defeat of this kind was against Chelsea in 2003-04, losing 2-1 under Gerard Houllier.
– Burnley have won their first away league game in just two of the last 14 seasons (D3 L9), beating Sheffield Wednesday in 2013-14 and Chelsea in 2017-18.
– Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has scored 98 goals in his 159 Premier League games. Only four players have ever scored 100 in their first 160 matches in the competition – Alan Shearer (124), Harry Kane (141), Sergio Aguero (147) and Thierry Henry (160).