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Preview: Liverpool vs. Brentford - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Brentford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Liverpool will endeavour to produce a drastically-improved attacking performance when they welcome Brentford to Anfield for Sunday's Premier League battle.

The Reds were held by 10-man Arsenal to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Thursday, while the Bees' most recent game ended in a humbling at the hands of Southampton.


Match preview

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the match on January 13, 2022© Reuters

With Arsenal losing key players before the game, forced into an injury change within 10 minutes and down to 10 men after 24 following Granit Xhaka's dreadful challenge on Diogo Jota, a full-strength Liverpool outfit were expected to blow the Gunners out of the water in Thursday's EFL Cup clash.

However, a combination of remarkable Arsenal defending and dire Liverpool finishing ensured that all would be left to play for at the Emirates in next week's second leg, with Takumi Minamino blasting the best chance of the game over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Such a result was a sure-fire way to dampen the Anfield spirits after their FA Cup thumping of Shrewsbury Town, and it is now just two wins from their last six in all tournaments for Jurgen Klopp's side, who cannot welcome Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane back to the side quickly enough.

The Reds are also in the midst of a three-game winless run in the Premier League and are falling further and further out of sight with regards to the title race, currently in third and 11 points behind Manchester City with a game in hand at the time of writing.

There is the silver lining of at least one of Chelsea or Man City dropping points in Saturday lunchtime's crunch clash, and a four-game Premier League winning run at Anfield also stands Liverpool in good stead before the Bees pay a visit.

 Brentford manager Thomas Frank applauds fans after the match, January 11, 2022© Reuters

Brentford boss Thomas Frank could frankly not have dreamt of a more disappointing evening at St Mary's on Tuesday, with the Bees suffering a humbling 4-1 defeat at the home of fellow mid-table outfit Southampton to end their perfect start to 2022.

Vitaly Janelt had levelled for Brentford after a Jan Bednarek header broke the deadlock, but an unfortunate own goal from shot-stopper Alvaro Fernandez preceded second-half strikes from Armando Broja and Che Adams in a South Coast rout.

It is now three defeats in their last four for Frank's crop in the Premier League, who are still comfortably 12 points clear of the relegation zone as they occupy 13th spot in the table, but the fact that 18th-placed Burnley have three games in hand may unnerve some of the Brentford faithful.

As eye-catching as some of their performances have been on home soil this season, Brentford have now gone six games without victory away from home in the Premier League - conceding at least two goals on each occasion at an average of over 2.5 per game.

Liverpool fans will need no reminding of how they were held to a 3-3 draw at the Brentford Community Stadium earlier this season, and another less-than-satisfactory result would pile the pressure on the Reds hierarchy as the transfer window remains open for business.

Liverpool Premier League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D

Liverpool form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D

Brentford Premier League form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Brentford form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L



Team News

Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara celebrates after the match, December 4, 2021© Reuters

Liverpool continue to cope without Africa Cup of Nations representatives Salah, Mane and Naby Keita, while none of Nat Phillips, Thiago Alcantara, Harvey Elliott or Divock Origi will return in time either.

Klopp's midfield selection did not go down too well with the Anfield faithful in midweek, and the hosting manager will certainly consider swapping James Milner out for either Curtis Jones or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Trent Alexander-Arnold also appeared a little rusty after recovering from COVID-19 infection, so Neco Williams could very well push for a place at right-back or perhaps further forward this weekend.

As for Brentford, Frank Onyeka remains away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, while Sergi Canos exited the Southampton game early with an apparent hamstring problem but ought to be fine here.

Frank is also having to cope with the absences of Josh Dasilva, David Raya, Charlie Goode and Mathias Jorgensen, but there is more optimism over Rico Henry's availability.

Yoane Wissa will hope that his earlier heroics against Liverpool could see him rewarded with a rare start here, but Frank will be unlikely to shuffle the pack too much.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Williams, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Fabinho, Jones; Jota, Firmino, Minamino

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Roerslev, Janelt, Norgaard, Jensen, Henry; Wissa, Toney


SM words green background

We say: Liverpool 2-0 Brentford

Liverpool simply cannot afford another performance with so little attacking inspiration, and Brentford's leaky tendencies away from home should help them right the wrongs of Thursday night.

Frank's side have already taken points off Liverpool once this season, but their downward spiral should continue with a comprehensive defeat on Merseyside.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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How you voted: Liverpool vs Brentford

Liverpool
81.4%
Draw
10.3%
Brentford
8.3%
253
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Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring their third goal on December 16, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23183255144157
2Liverpool22146258193948
3Chelsea24138348183047
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd2211563630638
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham23114841311037
6Arsenal2111373325836
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs2011362624236
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2110471916334
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2261242323030
10Leicester CityLeicester207583437-326
11Aston Villa2182112832-426
12Southampton2251072634-825
13Crystal Palace225983134-324
14Brentford2365122638-1223
15Leeds UnitedLeeds215792440-1622
16Everton2054112435-1119
17Norwich CityNorwich2244141345-3216
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2129102143-2215
19Watford2042142340-1714
20Burnley181981627-1112

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