BRENTFORD VS. LIVERPOOL
| Saturday, September 25th |
Premier League | Brentford Community Stadium
5:30PM GMT/12:30PM EST
Liverpool have not played Brentford in the league since 1947 — and last time the two teams met it was for a 1-1 draw that saw Liverpool go on to win the league and Brentford to face relegation.
Since that time, Liverpool have faced Brentford twice in the domestic cups, progressing each time — though the Reds have yet to face the new-look Brentford following the most recent takeover. The Reds have faced Midtylland in the Champions League, though, so will be familiar with both the likes of new signing Frank Onyeka and the general ethos of contemporary Brentford.
The Bees are likely to line up in the forward-looking 3-5-2* formation, which could work to combat Liverpool’s areas of dominance or could provide the Reds with promising areas to play in, depending on the Reds’ concentration levels this weekend.
Ivan Toney, who inexplicably has the 17 shirt, has been Brentford’s main fella this season, even if he didn’t find the score sheet on their opening day victory against Arsenal. His runs cause defenses loads of trouble, and he knows what to do if a chance falls his way. He’s one to watch, while fans will hope former Red Sergi Canos doesn’t repeat his opening day heroics against his former club.
Brentford play in their brand new ground after leaving Griffin Park mid-COVID, and Liverpool hope to make it 58 wins at 60 grounds visited — the best record of any team in the league.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Jones; Salah, Jota, Mané
Jürgen Klopp was able to rotate players both in the Champions League victory against AC Milan and in the League Cup tie against Norwich City. As such, Klopp has a lot of depth to choose from when it comes to the defense and midfield.
With new boy Ibra Konaté getting minutes in defense, Klopp is in the enviable position of having four top-class center backs ready to play on Saturday — though his first-choice two of Joël Matip and Virgil Van Dijk remain the most likely.
Andy Robertson, who was, alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, afforded a rest midweek is likely to return to the starting eleven, and, should Roberto Firmino not yet be back to full fitness, the only real choices left to the manager are in midfield.
Jordan Henderson, recently captaining Liverpool for the 200th time, should get the nod, as should Fabinho; depending on Naby Keïta’s health following his Champions League knock, Curtis Jones might find himself with time to prove himself yet again.
Brentford are newly promoted but they’re not naïve; they will want to take some points off Liverpool this weekend. Given the massive game happening elsewhere, hopefully the Reds are able to take this challenge head on.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “The football they play is incredible, the organization is incredible, Thomas [Frank] and Brentford [are] doing a brilliant job, how they recruit, how different they are, how they show that even with less money it’s possible to create something really special.”
Thomas Frank: “It is by far the biggest test this season so far. They are one of the best teams and biggest clubs in the world. Over the last three years they have played some of the most entertaining, forward-thinking, pressing, attacking football. It is very impressive what Klopp and his staff have done.”
Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Darren Cann, Mark Scholes Fourth official: Andy Madley VAR: Andre Marriner Assistant VAR: Scott Ledger
Kickoff is set for 5:30PM GMT/12:30PM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.