There’s certain clubs you simply love to see do well. Brentford have climbed the football pyramid under superb ownership, and are now a fully fledged member of the Premier League. With top tier football comes box office competition, and this weekends game sees European royalty, Liverpool FC, roll into town.
With a an excellent opening day victory at home to Arsenal, Brentford will be keen to add another heavyweight scalp this Saturday evening. After five games, Brentford have a superb eight points to their name, plus an impressive League cup victory this last week. The win last weekend (away to Wolves) underpinned a hugely impressive start to the campaign, and they continue to rise high as the leagues current surprise package. Expect the team to be largely unchanged from last week, with a fearless attitude as their current mindset.
Liverpool enter the affair as overwhelming favourites, and sit sit pretty as joint leaders of the English top division. With Chelsea set to battle Manchester City this weekend, the need for maximum points will be at the top of Klopp’s wishes, with at least one of their title rivals primed to drop points. The much rotated team that defeated Norwich in the league cup will now be reshaped to overcome Brentford. Virgil Van Dijk will return to partner Joël Matip, with a midfield consisting of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and probably James Milner. With both Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita carrying minor knocks, and Harvey Elliott out with a long term injury, the only other viable option appears Curtis Jones. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones undertook a full games worth of minutes in the week, therefore will surely drop to the bench as in game options later on. Jones may well be in contention to start however, given his impressive showing against Norwich.
This season’s preferred forward line should all start, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota all likely to enjoy a variety of chances. Roberto Firmino may well make the bench, but is more likely to be in contention for Porto away, this coming midweek. The most interesting picks will almost certainly be at fullback, with Trent Alexander Arnold set to return after illness, and either Kostas Tsimikas or Andy Robertson starting on the left. If rotation theories are to be believed, then Kostas starting in midweek (against Norwich) should now see Robbo recalled for this game. It’s a interesting dilemma that should bring the best out of the two left backs.
The game will be an interesting encounter, and how Brentford set up will possibly decide the score line. Whether to sit in and low block or attack the Liverpool backline, both offer many issues. Liverpool are becoming more ruthless against low block sides, and the returning quality in defence means a high line is now being held with authority. If Brentford allow them, Liverpool will cut the pitch in half and this would make for a very long afternoon for the Premier League newcomers.
Brentford are a lovely side and up top have an intriguing striker in Ivan Toney. If he is isolated, then he will not get too much joy from a fierce Liverpool rearguard. Brentford should look to spring their attacks, and be as direct as possible in order to avoid being dominated. Pushing back seems to be are viable threat for Brentford, and they must look to land as many blows as possible.
Liverpool will once more offer varying creativity, with Trent a likely source of service. Mo Salah is the leagues outstanding attacking threat so far this season, and I don’t see how Brentford will manage to keep this red side at bay for long.
Player to watch – Trent Alexander Arnold
Brentford 0 – 2 Liverpool