Premier League Preview: Klopp’s Reds Gear Up for Brentford Clash

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Three Points Needed for the Reds

With the most recent midweek Europa Group game uncomfortably navigated (a 2-3 loss at Toulouse), the next Premier League outing quickly avails itself. The most recent Premier League fixture on Jürgen Klopp’s plate was the disappointing 1-1 draw away to Luton. That single point was only salvaged by the stoppage time heroics of his Colombian flyer, Luis Díaz. This weekend represents the chance to reset and realign against some building stagnation, before it truly kicks in. A win and some travellers positive surrounding results could see the reds end the weekend as joint leaders; therefore, I am confident of a bounce back result.

The Brentford Availability

In terms of availability, the away side will be without Rico Henry, Aaron Hickey, Ivan Toney (suspended), Kevin Schade, Mikkel Damsgaard, Joshua Dasilva, and Shandon Baptiste, whereas Mark Flekken and Keane Lewis-Potter remain doubts for Thomas Franks side. With regards to form, the overachieving club currently reside in 9th position in the Premier League, with sixteen points taken from eleven games played. The form guide for the visiting team is very good at the moment, after straight three wins in the league. A straightforward 3-0 win (at home to Burnley), was followed by a very controlled 0-2 win away to Chelsea, before a return home saw them overcome West Ham, 3-2. This is a side built to outwork and upset the richer opposition; therefore, they will be looking to add Liverpool to their list of recent victims.

Predicted Line Up

A predicted line up for the visitors is listed below.

GK – Thomas Strakosha RB – Kristoffer Ajer RCB – Nathan Collins LCB – Ethan Pinnock LB – Vitaly Janelt RCM – Frank Onyeka CDM – Christian Nørgaard LCM – Mathias Jensen RW – Bryan Mbeumo CF – Neal Maupay LW – Yoane Wissa

In a 4-3-3 system, this will be a side that will be hard to break down and even harder to pin down. With an abundance of pace on the flanks, a counter attacking enterprise will no doubt be incorporated, with every loss of home possession offering up an opportunity for the visitors to spring an attack.

The Liverpool Availability

The 4th placed reds host the incoming West London side, with a much-criticised week of football behind them. Three points is vital to progression, which makes the initial team selection very important for their German manager.

In terms of those available, the Spanish pair of Thiago Alcântara and Stefan Bajčetić remain sidelined until late January. Curtis Jones is out with a hamstring complaint, whereas Ryan Gravenberch faces a late fitness test with a minor knee problem. Alexis Mac Allister is suspended for this game, after receiving five yellow cards thus far, which makes the team sheet a very curious puzzle to solve. The form of the six-time European champions was very positive before last weekend, after their 1-2 EFL Cup victory (away to Bournemouth), was preceded by a solid 3-0 home win over Nottingham Forest. This victory came after a 5-1 win over Toulouse, which made this Thursday result even more bewildering. The Anfield giants currently sit third in the league, with 24 points taken from their own eleven games played.

GK – Alisson Becker RB – Trent Alexander Arnold RCB – Ibrahima Konaté LCB – Virgil van Dijk LB – Joe Gomez RCM – Dominik Szoboszlai CDM – Wataru Endō LCM – Cody Gakpo RF – Mohamed Salah CF – Darwin Núñez LF – Diogo Jota

How Will This Contest Play Out

The 2pm contest should end in a home win, especially after such an uncharacteristic week for the reds. With the firepower in the Liverpool front line and the form of Alisson Becker, Virgil, Salah, and Dominik, it should prove enough to overcome a dangerous Brentford team. Bryan Mbeumo offers the most prominent threat to a home win, with his expected dual with whoever starts at left back (for the reds) being the most interesting watch of the afternoon. Form is temporary; therefore, the hope is that class will once again shine through.

Player to Watch – Darwin Núñez

Score Prediction: Liverpool 2 – 0 Brentford

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