Liverpool Face Stiff Brentford Challenge in Premier Clash

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Brentford vs Liverpool – Premier League Preview

For this weekend encounter, Liverpool will travel south to face off against the ever-impressive Brentford, in the 24th game of their 2023/24 Premier League campaign. Thomas Frank has continually outperformed in his duties since his arrival at the Brentford Community Stadium in 2018, which makes this a very difficult encounter for Jürgen Klopp and his title chasing men. The dreaded Saturday lunch time kick off arises once more, hopefully with positive results.

Photo: IMAGO

Brentford’s Availability

On the injury front, the hosts will be without Rico Henry, Bryan Mbeumo, Aaron Hickey, Kevin Schade, and Joshua Dasilva, whereas the pair of Frank Onyeka and Yoane Wissa, may become options after their recent return from the African Cup of Nations.

In terms of recent form, an away day at Wolves last week ended in a solid 0-2 win for the visitors, after falling to a 1-3 home loss against Manchester City. A 3-2 defeat away to Tottenham was preceded by a good 3-2 home win against Nottingham Forest, as form is sporadic. After 23-games played, Thomas Frank and his men have a respectable 25-point total, which sees them sat 14th in the Premier League, six points clear of the relegation places.

Below is my prediction on the starting eleven for the home side, in a 3-5-2 formation.

  • GK – Mark Flekken
  • RCB – Nathan Collins
  • CB – Ethan Pinnock
  • LCB – Ben Mee
  • RWB – Mads Roerslev
  • RCM – Mathias Jensen
  • CDM – Christian Nørgaard
  • LCM – Vitaly Janelt
  • LWB – Sergio Reguilón
  • CF – Neal Maupay
  • CF – Ivan Toney
Photo: IMAGO

Liverpool’s Availability

In terms of injures, Trent Alexander Arnold, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Stefan Bajčetić, are all currently short-term absentees that should all return to fitness in the next two weeks. Thiago Alcântara is once again injured, after sustaining a muscle injury in his cameo against Arsenal, just two weeks ago. Joël Matip has sustained a season ending ACL injury, one that may have seen him play his last game for the club. Conor Bradley is now back with the group after compassionate leave, Mohamed Salah is also with the group, whereas Ibrahima Konaté returns after his one match suspension.

Photo: IMAGO

Regarding recent form, Liverpool will be approaching this game after a 3-1 win against Burnley last Saturday. The weekend prior saw the reds losing 3-1 at Arsenal, which created a very tight situation at the top of the Premier League. Prior to that loss, a strong 4-1 win was recorded at Anfield, as Chelsea was soundly dispatched. Progression to the EFL Cup final was secured after a 1-1 draw away to Fulham (3-2 aggregate win), following a 5-2 win against Norwich, as the FA Cup 5th round was safely navigated. After 24-games played, the reds have amassed a 54-point total, as they currently sit top of the Premier League.

Below is my prediction on the starting eleven for the home side, where the reintroduction of Mohammed Salah may well unfold with a substitute’s appearance.

  • GK – Alisson Becker
  • RB – Joe Gomez
  • RCB – Ibrahima Konaté
  • LCB – Virgil van Dijk (c)
  • LB – Andy Robertson
  • RCM – Curtis Jones
  • CDM – Wataru Endō
  • LCM – Alexis Mac Allister
  • RW – Diogo Jota
  • CF – Darwin Núñez
  • LW – Luis Díaz
Photo: IMAGO

How Will This Contest Play Out?

The return of Ivan Toney from suspension creates a huge battle for a Liverpool’s twin towers, Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté. The ferocity and physicality of the hosts will need to be matched by the visiting side, however, the plethora of firepower at the titles contender’s disposal should see them sneak a narrow win.

Player to Watch:

Virgil van Dijk

Steven Smith’s Score Prediction:

Brentford 1 – 2 Liverpool

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