Heaton heaps praise on Pickford

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton has heaped praise of England colleague Jordan Pickford, who is the current first choice for the national team under Gareth Southgate.

Heaton missed the World Cup finals last summer because of a serious shoulder injury, but he has been handed a recall for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro after regaining his starting spot with Burnley.

However, the 32-year-old is aware that Pickford is the man in possession, with Heaton eager to focus on his own form and not worry about trying to displace the Everton gloveman.

He told reporters: "I think he's been outstanding wearing the England shirt. I thought he was incredible in the summer in the World Cup.

"I think his performances were really top-drawer and it's never an easy thing to do, putting the England goalkeeper jersey on, and I think he did it superbly well.

"Jordan's performances have been outstanding for England and that's where it's at. I try not to look at anyone else, as ever the thinking is on myself and we'll see what happens.

"We're here, we compete for the place. Of course, everyone wants to play. Try and get your things right and see what the manager decides."

England face the Czechs at Wembley on Friday evening, with the two teams having drawn 2-2 the last time they met, back in August 2008 – also at Wembley.

The Three Lions are 2/7 to win the game on Friday and are 4/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with the hosts 4/7 to keep a clean sheet.

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Dyche says red card a hindrance

Burnley manager Sean Dyche says that his side's reaction to Leicester going down to ten men contributed to their defeat.

The Clarets lost 2-1 to Leicester at Turf Moor despite the visitors playing most of the match a man down after Harry Maguire's early dismissal for a foul on Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

James Maddison gave the Foxes the lead from a free-kick but Burnley equalised through Dwight McNeil and looked the more likely to take all three points having the extra man advantage.

However Brendan Rodgers was left celebrating his first away win as new Leicester boss after substitute Wes Morgan scored the winner in the last minute.

The win kept Leicester in the top half of the Premier League but the table looks far less attractive for Burnley who are just a place and two points clear of the relegation zone after their fourth defeat in a row.

Afterwards Dyche admitted that his side had failed to make their extra man count.

He said: "First half we didn't get to grips with it really. They went to 10 men and I think it was so early it kind of shocked us and we didn't get to grips with it.

"Second half we adjusted it and we kept the ball better without really breaking them open. But it is difficult. Teams bank in with a 4-4-1 as they often do and they look for a counter.

"They didn't really counter many times and in the end they win it on a soft set-piece from our point of view."

The Clarets have two weeks off due to the international break and Dyche says that it has come at a good time for the squad.

"The clarity has to come," Dyche added. "[The international break] gives the chance for the players to clear their minds."

Burnley return to action on 30th March when they play Wolves at home.

They are 23/10 for a welcome three points with Wolves 5/4 and the draw 11/5.

Burnley are 8/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Rodgers hails Dyche work

Brendan Rodgers is a fan of 'quality' manager Sean Dyche ahead of a meeting between their sides this weekend.

Rodgers is back in the Premier League with Leicester after a spell in Scotland and he's an admirer of Dyche and Burnley as a club.

Having steered Celtic through a couple of summers of European qualifiers, Rodgers wasn't surprised that Burnley faltered early this season, having fallen at the final hurdle in their quest to reach the Europa League knockout stages.

Dyche steadied the ship, though Burnley still find themselves 17th and just two points clear of the relegation zone with eight games remaining.

"I think Sean's done an outstanding job," said Rodgers. "Great credit to the club as well, because when they got relegated a few years back they stuck with him.

"Last year they had really good success and qualified for European football. In my experiences of going through a qualification phase, it can be very difficult, because you've got to come back in the middle of June.

"Then if you don't qualify for Europe, it can start your season on a real downer. That's probably what happened, but I think Sean has shown the quality of his management."

Burnley are 19/10 to beat Leicester on Saturday afternoon, with the Foxes 11/8 and the draw 12/5.

Rodgers' first game as Leicester boss ended in a late defeat away at former club Watford, though his side were 3-1 winners over Fulham on his King Power Stadium bow last weekend.

Leicester, eight points better off than Burnley and sitting in 10th place, are 9/1 to win 2-1 at Turf Moor.

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Premier League: Liverpool See Off Battling Clarets

Liverpool 4-2 Burnley

Liverpool climbed to within a point of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League with a home win against struggling Burnley.

Two goals each for Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were enough to see off Sean Dyche’s Clarets after Ashley Westwood had given the visitors a shock lead and Johann Berg Gudmundsson had pulled another goal back.

With Liverpool at 1.17 to win this game among bookies like us, the result was no surprise. Despite having long periods of possession, the Reds didn’t have it all their way. It was a big win for Jurgen Klopp’s side; while the Premier League 2019 betting odds still favour City, his team is right in the hunt.

Highlights of the game

Ashley Westwood is delighted after scoring his Premier League goal at six minute

Ashley Westwood celebrates scoring Burnley’s first goal with Dwight McNeil

Klopp wanted to see a reaction from his players after drawing a blank against Everton in a goalless Merseyside derby last week. But the game couldn’t have started any worse for the Reds as Burnley went ahead on just six minutes. Joel Matip headed behind for a corner to the Clarets, and when Ashley Westwood swung it over, James Tarkowski seemed to impede Alisson who stayed rooted to the spot as the ball sailed into the net off the far post.

While they dominated the ball as expected, the Reds didn’t look too threatening in the early stages. But then, the recalled Roberto Firmino took advantage of some poor Burnley defending to draw level. Mo Salah crossed from the bi-line, and Tom Heaton and Tarkowski made a mess of their chance to clear, giving the Brazilian an easy job to poke the ball home.

Anfield breathed a big sigh of relief.

And there was more relief to come just ten minutes later as the Reds took the lead. The ball bounced around the Burnley box and Charlie Taylor put in a good tackle on Salah, but the ball ricocheted to Sadio Mane who curled a beauty into the corner to make it 2-1.

The wind began to pick up, which is never a good sign for Liverpool, and there was little in the way of goalmouth chances for the remainder of the half. Burnley’s biggest attacking threat is in the shape of tough guy Ashley Barnes, who had nine league goals coming into this game but hadn’t seen much of the ball.

Liverpool had plenty of possession at the start of the second half without creating much, Salah curling a shot just over the bar. But just as Burnley started to work their way into the game, Liverpool struck again with a little help from the Clarets. Taylor again made a superb tackle to thwart Salah, but the ball squirted out to Firmino who tapped home his second.

Mane should have made it four, but when he slid in to meet a cross from the deep he somehow hit the bar from six yards out. And the home crowd got the jitters again when Burnley pulled a goal back; substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson finished off a rare piece of good play from the Clarets.

But all those nerves disappeared again when the home side broke away and Mane rounded Heaton to make it four deep into stoppage time.

AS Roma 1X2 Draw @ 1.53 Empoli Asian Handicap +1.00 @ 2.08 Under 3.00 @ 2.06CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Serie A

Key statistics

When yesterday’s Premier League 2019 results came in, the pressure was back on Liverpool after Manchester City beat Watford 3-1 to go four points clear at the top of the Premier League. But they did the business today and are still in the hunt for a first title in 29 years.

Sadio Mane has now scored 50 goals in 109 appearances for Liverpool and has been on target in six consecutive home games.

The Reds are now unbeaten in 36 home games and have won eight of the last 11 meetings with Burnley. There is a small consolation for the Clarets: the opening goal was the first Liverpool had conceded in over 500 minutes of football, and they managed to breach the hosts’ defence again.

What’s next?

Next up for Liverpool is the Champions League and an away second leg fixture at FC Bayern, where Klopp believes his team starts with a big disadvantage, having had a tough match to play today while Bayern has had an extra day off.

Burnley have two home games to come in either side of the international break with Leicester City and Wolves the visitors to Turf Moor. The Clarets will be targeting those games as good chances to get back to winning ways. After an eight-match unbeaten run, they have slumped back into trouble with three defeats. They are just two points above the drop zone with eight games remaining.

 

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Lallana praised in Reds win

Liverpool maintained their Premier League title bid by beating Burnley 4-2 at Anfield, moving to within a point of leaders Manchester City.

City beat Watford on Saturday to open up a four-point gap and put the pressure back on Jurgen Klopp's side.

That pressure seemed to increase when Liverpool went a goal down to Burnley early on, Ashley Westwood scoring direct from a corner.

However the home side were soon level, Roberto Firmino scoring from close range though keeper Tom Heaton should have done better.

Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a half-time lead and they extended their lead to 3-1 when Heaton's poor clearance let in Firmino.

Burnley threatened a nervy last few minutes when Johann Berg Gudmundsson scored in the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the game but Mane ensured the points went the way of the home side, rounding the keeper and slotting the ball home for his second and Liverpool's fourth.

Lallana was making just his fifth start of the season but he played well, playing a part in his side's second goal and he was singled out for special praise by Klopp afterwards.

The Liverpool manager also referred to the weather in his post-match comments, the players affected by strong winds and hailstorms at Anfield.

Klopp told the BBC: "We played our game. The first Burnley goal was maybe a little bit of the wind. In most countries it would not be allowed that goal. You cannot treat the goalie like that in the six-yard box.

"Adam Lallana didn't score but he was best man on pitch. He had an outstanding game.

"At 3-1 up all the balls Burnley got were from us. I'm completely happy with the performance – especially against Burnley. Nobody gets rid of us."

Having kept themselves firmly in the title race Klopp's team will attempt to stay in Europe in midweek when they take on Bayern Munich in the second-leg of their round of 16 Champions League tie, the teams having drawn 0-0 at Anfield.

Liverpool are 23/10 to win the tie on Wednesday night with the German champions 21/20.

Liverpool are 9/1 to win the Champions League this year with Bayern 10/1 and Manchester City 9/4.

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Klopp fully focused on Clarets

Jurgen Klopp is expecting a tough test for his Premier League title-chasing Liverpool outfit when Burnley are the visitors to Anfield at lunchtime on Sunday.

The Reds could be four points adrift of Manchester City by the time they take to the field against the Clarets, but head coach Klopp insists that the focus will not change for his players and himself.

The German believes that that has to be the case, with Burnley having gone unbeaten in eight league games prior to losses to Newcastle United and Crystal Palace in the last ten days.

He told reporters: "We will know the City result before we start our game, but we won't make a big fuss about it because we are just fighting for the top spot in the league and it's important to be optimistic and excited.

"Our only problem this week is Burnley and that's enough – we have to be really good to beat this team. We have prepared for the fact it will be tough.

"They don't have the majority of possession in games, so we need to be creative and patient. It will be difficult.

"When you watch their last three or four games you give respect – they beat Tottenham. I'm sure they are looking forward to this game."

Liverpool are 1/6 to defeat Burnley and are 6/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with the Merseysiders 9/4 to be crowned Premier League champions this season.

The meeting of the two sides at Turf Moor earlier on in the campaign ended in a 3-1 win for the Reds.

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Klopp focused fully on Clarets

Jurgen Klopp is expecting a tough test for his Premier League title-chasing Liverpool outfit when Burnley are the visitors to Anfield at lunchtime on Sunday.

The Reds could be four points adrift of Manchester City by the time they take to the field against the Clarets, but head coach Klopp insists that the focus will not change for his players and himself.

The German believes that that has to be the case, with Burnley having gone unbeaten in eight league games prior to losses to Newcastle United and Crystal Palace in the last ten days.

He told reporters: "We will know the City result before we start our game, but we won't make a big fuss about it because we are just fighting for the top spot in the league and it's important to be optimistic and excited.

"Our only problem this week is Burnley and that's enough – we have to be really good to beat this team. We have prepared for the fact it will be tough.

"They don't have the majority of possession in games, so we need to be creative and patient. It will be difficult.

"When you watch their last three or four games you give respect – they beat Tottenham. I'm sure they are looking forward to this game."

Liverpool are 1/6 to defeat Burnley and are 6/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with the Merseysiders 9/4 to be crowned Premier League champions this season.

The meeting of the two sides at Turf Moor earlier on in the campaign ended in a 3-1 win for the Reds.

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Saints cautious over Ings retuirn

Southampton hope to have striker Danny Ings available for the final weeks of the Premier League season, with the loanee still sidelined by a hamstring problem.

Ings has scored seven goals in 18 league appearances since joining the Saints from Libverpool last summer, but has not featured at all in the last month, having been forced off during the 1-1 draw at Burnley.

And head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has ruled his player out of the visit from Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, with the South Coast outfit then having a three-week break before their next game.

Hasenhuttl told reporters: "Danny is not in the group at the moment. We don't take any risks, we want to give him the time to come back during the three-week break.

"We have one friendly game against a Championship team and maybe he can get 45 minutes to build him up for the games that are coming up then, because they are very important."

Southampton lost 3-1 when they faced Spurs at Wembley earlier on in the season, with the Londoners unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with the Saints.

Hasenhuttl's side are 13/5 to claim a draw at St Mary's on Saturday, with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 13/2.

Meanwhile, Southampton, who are currently two points and one place above the drop zone, are available at 8/1 to be relegated this season.

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Clarets quality surprises Crouch

January recruit Peter Crouch has admitted to being surprised by the quality on offer from in-form Burnley strike duo Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood.

Barnes has scored five times in his last six games, while Wood has four to his name from his last six appearances.

That return has left Crouch having to make do with a back-up role which has seen him make three contributions off the bench for the Clarets.

And the former England man has no complaints, telling the Lancashire Telegraph: "Those two have been really good. They have been first-class since I came in and I have been surprised by just how good they are.

"I've been so impressed with both of them. I really think they're two very good players and I've been very impressed with the amount of goals they've scored, the work that they get through and their hold-up play.

"All I can do is make an impact from the bench. I've done that when I've come on."

The Clarets recently put together an eight-game unbeaten run to ease their Premier League relegation fears, but losses last week to Newcastle United and Crystal Palace have left Burnley just five points clear of the bottom three.

Their next assignment is a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool on Sunday, with the visitors 13/2 to claim a draw against the title hopefuls.

Meanwhile, Burnley are 1/12 not to be relegated and 8/1 to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Hodgson voices Zaha delight

In-form Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha took the plaudits from manager Roy Hodgson after helping the Eagles secure a fine 3-1 win at Burnley.

Ivory Coast international Zaha found the net at Turf Moor to take his tally to five in his last five Premier League games, having previously gone 16 league games without a goal.

And Hodgson was delighted to see his charge continue to add goals to his undoubted skill and trickery on the ball.

He told reporters: "Wilf was good, he's always good. He's in good form at the moment.

"He's a dangerous player to have to mark if you're a defender when he gets the ball, because he's an extremely good dribbler and he's got not only dribbling skills, he's got strength to add to that.

"At the moment he's in good goal-scoring form."

Victory for Palace at Burnley made it just one defeat in their last six league games and was also enough to lift the Londoners eight points clear of the relegation places.

Next up for the Eagles is a visit from Brighton next Saturday, with the clash between the two sides at the Amex Stadium earlier this season having ended in a 3-1 victory for the hosts, despite them having Shane Duffy sent off just before the half-hour mark.

Last season the game at Selhorst Park finished 3-2 to the hosts, with Zaha scoring twice and all the goals coming inside the first 34 minutes of the game.

Palace are 4/5 to win the game next weekend and are 15/2 to do so by a 2-0 margin, with Hodgson's men now 10/3 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table.

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