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Liverpool predicted line-up vs Burnley

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Liverpool enter the busy Christmas period in decent form of late.

A good display against Manchester United, despite being beaten 3-0 by their rivals, was followed up with a 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup.

Against Arsenal on Sunday, the Reds arguably put in their best performance to-date, however they needed an injury time Martin Skrtel header to salvage a point.

Brendan Rodgers' side now travel to Burnley on Boxing Day, which in paper looks an easy fixture.

However, the Clarets have been playing good football of late despite sitting in the relegation zone, and have lost just two of their last seven matches.

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With the Merseyside club pushing for Champions League football again this term, maximum points is essential over the Christmas period, especially as they don't have time on their side.

Goalkeeper - Brad Jones

The Australian has replaced Simon Mignolet for Liverpool's last three matches and it seems that Rodgers will likely start him again.

Jones hasn't done much better than his predecessor, however and the pair both lack similar qualities.

One of Mignolet's biggest problems was not leaving his line for crosses and the ex-Middlesbrough man is the exact same. For Mathieu Debuchy's goal on Sunday, Jones should have really come and claimed Alexis Sanchez's cross but instead was rooted to his goal line.

Every Liverpool fan knows that Jones is not the answer to their goalkeeping troubles but he seems set to keep his place until the January transfer window.

Centre-back - Kolo Toure

With Rodgers preferring the system of three at the back and seeing it's positive effects, there seems no reason why things will change at Turf Moor.

Toure has been the side's best defender by a long way this term and brings vital experience to the back-line.His latest performance against Arsenal wasn't a bad one as he used his knowledge to read the play well and kept the Gunners' front-line quiet to just three shots the whole game.

There is room for improvement and was beaten far too easily on the left-hand side that lead to Olivier Giroud's goal. 

There's no doubt the Ivorian will keep his line-up and will effectively lead the back-line.

Centre-back - Martin Skrtel

Skrtel's heroics snatched Liverpool a point against Arsenal, when he met Adam Lallana's corner with venom in the seventh minute of injury time.

He was dubbed as the saviour, but people were soon to forget his mistakes in the game.

The Slovakian was beaten far too easily at the back-post for Debuchy's goal and was unaware of the Frenchman's presence as well as being out-jumped.

Then for Giroud's, Skrtel was caught in no-man's land taking up a position that got nowhere near the striker and allowed him an easy finish.

The ex-Zenit S. Petersburg man has been far from his best this term and despite grabbing his side a point, his place his still at threat and has to perform against Burnley.

Centre-back - Mamadou Sakho

Coming back from injury, Sakho didn't do bad against Arsene Wenger's outfit.

He won plenty of aerial challenges and tackles and kept Alexis Sanchez quiet throughout the game, not allowing the Chilean to make an impact.

However, he failed to communicate with Skrtel for Giroud's strike and allowed the forward acres of space in the Liverpool box as well as looking uncomfortable on the ball throughout.

You can see the 24-year-old does have the potential to do well on Merseyside but he is yet to put it all together. But, he'll appreciate the lesser opposition on Friday and hopefully Kopite's can see why the club paid a hefty fee for his services last season.

Right-midfield - Jordan Henderson

Henderson is used to playing in the centre of the park but has been pushed wide since Rodgers changed his tactics.

The Wearside native plays more as a wing-back, a role which you need a superb engine to be successful. This is something the 24-year-old is famous for, never stopping from the first to the final whistle.

His work-rate allows his to attack and able to get back when his side lose the ball and won the ball well to assist Philippe Coutinho's opener against Arsenal.

Centre-midfield - Lucas

The Brazilian has been in solid form of late and played very well against Arsenal and made six tackles throughout the game.

What Lucas offers is both experience and protection for the back-four. He constantly snaps at the heels of the opposition when they're on the attack, relentless until he wins the ball back and does so on a consistent basis.

He too got forward a bit more on Sunday and had a chance just scrape past the post in what would have been an excellent finish.

Centre-midfield - Emre Can

Steven Gerrard has played an awful lot of games of late and he could very well be rested for this clash.

Can is more than a suitable replacement and has really impressed since joining for Bayer Leverkusen in the summer. He's a player who Liverpool players want to see more of, especially after his performances against Real Madrid and Chelsea.

His last start came against Jose Mourinho's side and he was one of the Reds' best players but has not started since.

Despite being just 20-years-old he is blessed with every quality a manager would want in a centre-midfielder; power, vision, hard in the tackles and an ability to score goals. 

Left-midfield - Lazar Markovic

The youngster has been in flying form of late and left Liverpool fans wanting him in the line-up all of the time.

Against Arsenal, the Serb played like a left-wing back and for a lad with little experience, he went about his role like a veteran.

Markovic was rarely caught out of position, always helping out at the back and too getting forward. He was extremely threatening on the left-wing, using his pace to beat defenders and hit a number of excellent passes.

Left-wing - Adam Lallana

Lallana was excellent against the Gunners and is really starting to show his worth of late.

The play-maker has an exception first-touch with the ability to move the ball without killing it dead and always knows what his next move is.

After having a phase when he was in and out of the team, it now seems that cemented his place in the Liverpool team for the meantime.

Right-wing - Philippe Coutinho

The Brazilian had struggled prior to last week, however is now thriving in the new system.

Coutinho needs movement ahead of him and now more men are committing to attacks there is people finding gaps so he can split defences by either gliding past him or hitting inch-perfect balls.

His goal against Arsenal was a superb finish and the new system will again bring the best from him.

Striker - Raheem Sterling

He may not be a proper number nine, but Sterling hasn't done too badly in the role.

The 20-year-old is blesses with blistering pace and it allows him to drag defenders with him, creating space for others. 

He had several chances against United a few games back and should have buried at least two of them but it shows that the England winger is getting into the right positions.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Premier League
Football

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