LIVERPOOL VS. BRENTFORD
| Saturday, May 6th |
Premier League | Anfield
7:30PM GMT/12:30PM EST
Let’s be clear: this is the big one. Every game effectively makes or breaks the season at this point, but Brentford are good. They’re hungry.
In January my partner and I left a very good Prescot Cables match to get back into the city center to watch Liverpool play Brentford, and I regret that move to this day. It was an abject performance before we saw the true level of abject performances that this season had to offer.
What worries me, though, is just how good Brentford were. They have not fallen off. They are a team who are confident in their own game plan, and are willing to weather whatever you throw at them.
And they’ll hit you back, likely through Ivan Toney — a player Thomas Frank gets asked about in related to the likes of Erling Haaland.
This game is worrying. This is a bigger test than the Reds have dealt with in some time, and they will absolutely need to be at their best to beat Brentford.
In terms of personnel: Christian Norgaard is out for the Bees. and Thomas Strakosha and Pontus Jansson continue to be unavailable as well — though Kristoffer Ajer is back and available for Frank.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Fabinho, Jones; Salah, Núñez, Diaz
Roberto Firmino isn’t ready to play yet per Jürgen Klopp, and Diogo Jota has had a knock and may be in question for Saturday — if he’s fit I think he starts.
This is a weird game in that the challenge of Brentford is high, but I almost expect more rotation as a result. The midfield could be any three, given that most have had good showings recently, but I would expect at least one player who hasn’t recently put in more than one full 90 to keep it fresh. Jordan Henderson looked like he could be carrying an injury from late last match, and as such he may miss out. It’s possible we get some rare James Milner midfield minutes (he’s played this season and played well, but almost always in defense). It’s a toss up.
The back five can expect to stay stable should there be rotation elsewhere. Alisson has been on top form lately while his back line has let him down, but we hope they’re up for the challenge Saturday.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “We have mixed new ideas with the main ideas [on the formation] and that’s the way we want to do it, it has nothing to do with any kind of system to be honest. It’s rather about the way we play really.”
Thomas Frank:“They are so good at playing in behind, getting crosses in and combining. It’s very difficult to close them down.”
Referee: Anthony Taylor Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn Fourth Official: Graham Scott VAR: Andre Marriner Assistant VAR: Marc Perry
Kickoff is set for 7:30PM GMT/12:30PM EST tomorrow. Stick with The Liverpool Offside team to keep yourself up to date with team news and match buildup, live updates, and post-match 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.