Preview: Liverpool vs. Brentford 

Preview: Liverpool vs. Brentford 

Seeking vengeance on the team who made their start to 2023 a miserable one, Liverpool welcome Brentford to Anfield on Saturday evening for their penultimate home game of the Premier League season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side eked out a 1-0 win over Fulham in midweek, while the Bees won in similarly nervy circumstances against Nottingham Forest last weekend, coming from behind to prevail 2-1.

Still trusted with penalty responsibilities after his fluffed effort against Arsenal last month, Mohamed Salah stepped up to the spot to fire Liverpool into the lead against Fulham on Wednesday night after Issa Diop brought down Darwin Nunez, albeit controversially.

While the awarding of the penalty was up for debate, there were no such questions on goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who single-handedly thwarted Carlos Vinicius on two occasions to preserve a precious win and clean sheet for his side, receiving praise from Klopp for his “sensational” contributions in the process.

Now basking in the adulation of a five-game winning streak, Liverpool are not waving the white flag in the race for Champions League qualification and have entrenched themselves in fifth place with four games to go, and while Manchester United failed to extend their lead over the Reds to seven points by losing to Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday, they still have a game in hand.

Not since April 2022 have the Reds managed to string together a six-game winning run in the Premier League, and while it may realistically be too little too late for their top-four chances, Klopp’s men are truly ending the campaign with a flourish.

The hosts enter the evening battle having gone unbeaten in seven successive games since their 4-1 trouncing at the hands of Manchester City, while their streak without defeat at Anfield now stands at 10 Premier League matches, but Brentford had the Reds’ number earlier in the season.

Three days on from comprehensively putting West London rivals Chelsea to the sword at Stamford Bridge, Brentford faced a sterner test of their European credentials against relegation-battling Nottingham Forest, who drew first blood on the stroke of half time through Danilo’s second goal in as many matches.

Staring down the barrel of defeat, Brentford were indebted to Ivan Toney for drawing them level with a fortuitous 20th top-flight goal of the season – a free kick which deflected in off Keylor Navas – before impact substitute Josh Dasilva squeezed in an injury-time strike at the Costa Rican’s near post.

Having claimed back-to-back wins in the top flight since the turn of the year, Brentford are not surrendering the European dream just yet as they occupy ninth place in the standings – four points behind Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa – but eighth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion can soar out of sight should they win their three games in hand.

Still needing to face Spurs and Manchester City before another positive season of progress draws to a close, the Bees – who are not exactly the force they once were earlier in the season – travel to Anfield having only won two of their last eight Premier League away matches, although their stunning 2-1 Etihad success back in November means that Thomas Frank’s side are not to be counted out before the first ball is kicked.

The New Year celebrations continued long into the night at the Gtech Community Stadium when Frank’s team secured a 3-1 triumph over Liverpool in January, but the Reds had eased to a 3-0 win at Anfield 12 months before that and have not suffered a home defeat to their capital counterparts since 1937.

Liverpool Premier League form:

Brentford Premier League form:

We say: Liverpool 2-1 Brentford
Neither Liverpool nor Brentford were entirely convincing in their most recent one-goal victories, and there may not be a lot to choose from in this battle, particularly as fatigue sets in for the hosts’ tired legs.

Klopp is blessed with options to refresh his forward line, though, and the in-form Reds’ home exploits contrast starkly with the Bees’ patchy results on the road, so we still have faith in Klopp’s side to get the job done. It may not be pretty, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *