SEAN Dyche has warned Burnley to underestimate Liverpool at their peril.

The Reds have been plagued by injuries all season and have had their defence disrupted, with Virgil van Dijk a long-term absentee, while Joel Matip's recent absence has led to Jordan Henderson filling in at centre back.

But Dyche insists Liverpool remain the powerhouse that led to them being crowned Premier League champions last season.

And, although Matip could return against the Clarets, he stressed that the possibility of facing a makeshift backline would have no bearing on how he approached the game.

"No. I think they had a really good performance the other night," said the Burnley boss.

"We don't know obviously if the other players will be fit. A top pro like Jordan Henderson slotted in and did his job.

"The wrong word is to start talking about anything other than they're still a fine side because you can get into a situation where you're kidding yourself with 'this player's missing, that player's missing' and that somehow makes them less than what they are. Well it doesn't really, because they're still top players and they can still find a way of doing the job."

However, Dyche admitted that Anfield was less of an intimidating arena without supporters there.

"I think all stadiums are," he said. "Some stadiums can be good or bad though, so when a team's going really well like Liverpool have over the last couple of seasons at least then it adds to the feeling. But of course you do go to some stadiums when it's not going so well and that can actually play into your hands a bit more because if there's lot of people in the stadium all getting at the team that can actually go with you a little bit.

"But generally speaking, and particularly at Liverpool over the years but certainly over the last few years when they've been winning things of course that adds to the feel in the stadium.

"In my experience Liverpool fans are pretty hardy and tend to stay with the team a lot in varying times.

"A bit like we talk about at Burnley, as long as you're wearing the shirt with pride and you're working for it I think they'll go with it, that's always the feeling I get with Liverpool fans, they'll give them a chance, which is right enough about most fans."

And Dyche feels empty stands could be a contributing factor in a decrease in goals across the Premier League.

Burnley have scored only once in their last four league games, while Liverpool have gone three Premier League games without scoring - their worst barren streak since 2005.

"At the beginning of the season there were factually more goals, and it seemed games were more open. Whether or not everyone has got used to this idea (of playing behind closed doors)...I think we're all trying to define it and I haven't got the answer, but coming out of lockdown last season, it was like 'the last nine games, go for your life, cram it all in' and I think everyone went on that kind of thinking," said Dyche.

"Then I think we all hoped over that small summer period, you never know, there might be people coming back in the stadiums and the first signs.

"Then we realised that wasn't going to happen, and then we had a weird series of results, which can happen, and then, after lots of goals, it seems to have tightened up again.

"I don't know if that is the reality of teams re-adapting to not having the crowds in, to having to find that edge in performance and tighten things up a bit, I don't know, but there seems to have been a calming down period with games becoming tighter again.

"The margins seem to be less, I think we're all trying to define it, how much an impact it is still having without fans in stadiums, but it's definitely had some form of impact."