Sean Dyche not expecting ‘hungry’ Liverpool to ease off
Dyche admits his Burnley side have been ‘stretched’ by injuries.
Sean Dyche is not expecting any let up from Premier League champions Liverpool as injury-hit Burnley head to Anfield looking to cause an upset.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds romped to the title and, with no other silverware available, are looking to end the league campaign in record-breaking fashion.
Liverpool need three wins from their remaining four fixtures to surpass Manchester City’s record points total of 100 set in 2017/18 and boast a 100 per cent record at Anfield heading into their penultimate home match.
Asked if the trip to Merseyside is less intimidating without fans there, Burnley boss Dyche said: “No, not necessarily. I mean, you’ve still got very good players in front of you – top players, in fact, some of them.
“They look hungry to me. They look like they want to achieve other markers in the season.
“I think it is obviously more so when there’s a full house there, but I’m saying it’s still not an easy task, whether it’s a full house there or not.
“I mean, Man City had that a real edge to them when we played them and a real sharpness to them in their game.
“I can’t presuppose anything other than Liverpool will be ready to play.”
Burnley have no fresh injury concerns following the impressive 1-0 midweek win at West Ham, but Ben Mee, Matt Lowton, Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes look set to miss the rest of the campaign.
“I think it’s highly unlikely with Ben, almost impossible with Lowton and Corky – they won’t be figuring,” Dyche said,
“Barnsey I doubt it. He is back on the grass, which is really pleasing but we’ve got to be careful with him of course.”
Such injuries coupled with the likes of Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Lennon and Joe Hart departing at the end of their contracts has stretched the Burnley squad, yet they sit 10th in the standings on an impressive 49 points.
Beating their Premier League best of seventh and 54 points set in 2017/18 remains possible, but Dyche knows his absentees make that task harder.
“Well, I think if we had the full complement of players, I’d be looking at the games we’ve got and I’d be expecting to get things,” Dyche added.
“That’s not because I don’t believe in the group we’ve got, of course, it just means we are still stretched. It is a fact.
“We are playing back-to-back games in a short space of time. There is a demand on that.
“So I think I’m slightly more open-minded about that and where we can take it from now on in.
“I equally, on balance, would say it is our second-highest total of points since we’ve been in the Premier League, including the time when the team was in the Premier League before my time here.
“So, that’s very pleasing with games left to go, so it is that balance though.
“I just think if we had the full complement of players where we could make the changes, and more of them when needed, even if during a game.
“Then I’d like to think we could challenge for our highest total level. I’m not saying we can’t. I just think it’s slightly more tricky.”