Liverpool vs Brentford – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 6th May 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Brentford’s trip to Anfield. The record between these two sides is W1, D1, L1 – will this be close? Free betting tips and more with our Liverpool vs Brentford prediction.
Liverpool vs Brentford Preview
Liverpool come into this game – their third league match in six days at Anfield – in revitalised form. Indeed, in what has been a disappointing season, Liverpool still have a chance of finishing fourth, incredibly. Much of the work for this has been done recently, with the Merseysiders winning their last five games. Jurgen Klopp’s men have destroyed Leeds and beaten Nottingham Forest, West Ham, Spurs and Fulham on this run. Most of the games have been close, with the last four wins all coming by a goal each.
In midweek against Fulham, the team looked tired and relied on a Salah penalty to take all three points. However, Fulham are decent and represent tough opposition, so Liverpool will be glad just to have got the job done. Indeed, Liverpool have now taken 40 points and won 12 games in their 17 at Anfield this season, highlighting that their home form in their famous stadium has kept them competitive, as their away form has been poor.
In fifth place with 59 points from 34 games, Liverpool must win all four remaining matches and hope that Newcastle or Man Utd collapse. All Liverpool can do is take care of their own business. It will be relatively challenging with Leicester, Aston Villa and Southampton to round out the season.
Brentford make the long trip to the North-West feeling better about life than they did a few weeks ago. Thomas Frank’s side have now won the last two games after they had gone on a run of six matches without a win. True, these two wins have been against Nottingham Forest and Chelsea – Forest are terrible on the road, but Brentford did well to come back from 1-0 down to beat them courtesy of goals from Toney and Dasilva. As for Chelsea, winning at Stamford Bridge is not what it used to be. However, Brentford deserve credit for emerging with three points there for the second season running.
Brentford know they are in for a difficult game against a Liverpool side chasing Champions League qualification. The Bees won’t relegate, and they can’t realistically qualify for Europe now. However, they have to maintain professional pride and Toney’s excellent scoring record (he has 20 this season) and should give Liverpool a good game. They’ve only lost six of 17 on their travels, so Liverpool know this will be challenging. Further complicating matters for Liverpool is that Brentford won the reverse fixture 3-1, dominating the North-West club, so Brentford know they can beat Liverpool.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Oxlade-Chamberlain
Will Not Play: Thiago, Ramsay, Bajcetic, Keita, Firmino
Might Not Play: Ajer
Will Not Play: Strakosha, Jansson, Lewis-Potter, Norgaard
Liverpool vs Brentford Lineups (Predicted)
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate, Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Jones, Elliott; Nunez, Gakpo, Salah
Brentford (3-5-2): Raya; Mee, Pinnock, Zanka; Henry, Jensen, Onyeka, Janelt, Roerslev; Toney, Mbeumo
Liverpool vs Brentford Analysis
Liverpool Must Keep Winning and Try To Control This Game
Liverpool come into this game having played well and winning games recently. They played in midweek, so technically Brentford should have a freshness advantage. However, Liverpool are a side that tend to control matches and keep possession. At Anfield, in particular, Liverpool often fly out of the blocks and try to put their opponents under immense pressure. Liverpool were uncharacteristically lethargic for large parts of the Fulham game. They won in the end, though, and if they can pin Brentford back early will fancy their chances of winning this match too.
Liverpool will play their usual high line, with Alisson sweeping and distributing from his box. At the same time, Van Dijk and Konate will try their best to snuff out any counter-attacks. This situation will allow Liverpool to compress the play and maintain a compact shape so that when the ball goes into Fabinho in midfield, he can pass it wide to the full-backs or ahead to Jones and Elliott (or Henderson). The two young midfielders must be very energetic and counter-press in midfield, preventing Brentford from having any spells of possession. Furthermore, Alexander-Arnold will come inside to help as an inverted full-back. This system gives him more freedom in dangerous areas inside the pitch and also helps Liverpool on counters.
When the ball goes into the attackers, Liverpool have plenty of ingenuity and invention. The dribbling and ability to cut inside and shoot Salah possesses on the right is joined by the creativity and pace of Diaz, Nunez or Jota on the left. Gakpo should play in this game; his link-up and clinical finishing could prove crucial for Liverpool. Generally speaking, the forwards will interchange, and the crossing and interplay from Robertson (or Tsimikas) and Alexander-Arnold from inside or wide areas will be crucial.
Brentford Will Be Physical and Play On The Counter And For Set Pieces
Most people know what to expect from Brentford now. They tend to play three at the back against the better sides – especially away from home – so we expect Mee, Pinnock and Zanka to start. These three and Raya in goal must be brave in the face of a potential incessant Liverpool press. They must try to send the ball into midfield and down the channels to give Brentford’s midfielders and attackers some opportunity to create something.
Defensively, the three centre-backs and the midfielders must be very compact and prevent spaces developing 15-30 yards from their goal that Liverpool might exploit. Liverpool have some tricky customers in their team with good dribbling and incisive passing, so Brentford must deny them room. In midfield, Brentford do have good pressing players in Onyeka, Jensen and Janelt (though Norgaard is a massive miss). These players can mix it with the Liverpool midfield, trying to press the home side so they can quickly launch counter-attacks. They must beware Liverpool’s ‘counter counter’, though.
Toney and Mbeumo’s pace, physicality and dribbling will be crucial as ever in attacking areas. Toney has been on fire this season. Indeed, he will drift into that Brentford left channel where Liverpool might be weak, as Alexander-Arnold has been vacating it to play inverted. Klopp will probably instruct Fabinho and Konate to cover this area and not allow Toney to come inside and shoot or get crosses in. Toney and Mbeumo are a severe threat on the break in this game, and Jensen and Janelt are good at joining from midfield to get shots or headers on goal. Henry and Roerslev are also dangerous from wing-back.
As ever, set pieces will be a crucial weapon for Brentford – counters and set plays led to goals in the reverse fixture. Brentford will hope to deliver dangerous balls for their big players yet again. Damsgaard, Schade, Dasilva and Wissa are potential attacking reinforcements from the bench. All are tricky and/or fast with quick feet.
Liverpool have been inconsistent all season and have endured a disappointing campaign by their high standards. Alternatively, Brentford have had an excellent second season in the Premier League and appear resurgent after suffering a lull for several games. With this game being at Anfield – given Liverpool’s strength at home and Brentford being middle of the road away – you’d expect Liverpool to be very motivated, especially given they still have a slim chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
Brentford are a real threat to Liverpool from set pieces and counter-attacks. Their pace and physicality could be problematic for a Liverpool side that has sometimes looked ponderous this season. However, with an injection of youth in midfield with Jones and possibly Elliott, as well as the return of the hard-working and technical Diaz or the energetic Nunez on the left wing, we believe Liverpool will have just about enough.
Liverpool weren’t entirely convincing against Spurs and Fulham. However, they may well score goals in their third game in six days against London opposition at Anfield. It might be tight, though, and Brentford could undoubtedly score.
Liverpool 2-1 Brentford
Liverpool vs Brentford Betting Tip – Liverpool Odds:
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