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10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Brentford – Reds can edge closer to 4th

Liverpool host Brentford as Thomas Frank’s men arrive at Anfield aiming to stop the Reds from winning their sixth consecutive match.

Liverpool vs. Brentford

Premier League (35) | Anfield
May 6, 2023 | 5.30pm (BST)


With Man United losing to Brighton on Thursday night, a win for Liverpool would take them just one point behind fourth place, albeit having played twice more.

In their way are a Brentford side that went six games without a win before claiming six points from the last six on offer.

Anfield will be very much up for this one as Jurgen Klopp‘s side welcome their third opponents in the space of just one week.

Here are 10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Brentford.

 

1. Jota and Henderson could miss out

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 30, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the winning fourth goal in injury time during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As the season draws to a close, Liverpool’s injury list is beginning to grow again.

Diogo Jota and Jordan Henderson are both now doubts for the match, with Klopp saying: “Diogo [Jota] has his back issue, the bruised rib.

“He could train yesterday but he didn’t do a lot, to be honest. He was not really in danger yesterday for any kind of contact and stuff like this.”

Klopp also said that Henderson “had a scan” on Thursday and that “we’ll have to see” about his availability.

The manager did offer reassurance, however, describing the captain’s injury as “not a big thing.”

 

2. Brentford for Europe

LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 2, 2023: Liverpool's Brentford's Yoane Wissa celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. Brentford won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has been a remarkable second season back in the top flight for Brentford who, without the budget of their competitors, have comfortably secured safety and are now even pushing for European football.

Though they may miss out on a trip to the continent next season – they’ve won just two of their last eight matches – this season has further proved Frank’s credentials as a manager.

The campaign has also provided some memorable moments for supporters in west London, as the Bees have beaten Man City, Man United and Liverpool already this season.

Brentford are currently ninth in the Premier League, four points behind Aston Villa and Tottenham, whom they would need to finish ahead of to qualify for the Europa Conference League.

They will now just be hoping that they can keep hold of their talismanic Danish manager for at least one more year.

 

3. A right royal farce

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 28, 2017: Liverpool supporters' banner "The power of the people is greater than the people in power" on the Spion Kop before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have gone against the views of many supporters and announced they will play ‘God Save the King’ at Anfield on Saturday, as a result of the Premier League‘s recommendation.

Due to the nature of the Reds’ anti-establishment fanbase, boos are inevitable on the day of King Charles III’s coronation, and the club acknowledged that the national anthem won’t go down well.

“It is, of course, a personal choice how those at Anfield on Saturday mark this occasion and we know some supporters have strong views on it,” Liverpool said in a statement.

Whatever happens, supporters will be castigated, but it does appear that the club have chosen to shift the blame onto fans, rather than themselves.

 

4. Robertson and Gakpo return

After Klopp made three changes to his side to play Fulham, he is expected to bring all three of those who dropped out back in for the visit of Brentford.

Andy Robertson should resume his role at left-back, while Cody Gakpo will almost certainly start up front.

If Henderson isn’t fit to play, it will be between Harvey Elliott and James Milner for a spot in right midfield.

Darwin Nunez could also start if Diogo Jota is unfit and Luis Diaz is rested.

Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Elliott, Jones; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo

 

5. Frank on Anfield and Liverpool’s luck

LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 2, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp with Brentford's manager Thomas Frank before the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ahead of his team’s trip to Anfield, Frank has praised the atmosphere at Liverpool’s stadium, saying “it is probably the most difficult away ground to go to.”

He also praised Klopp for his success in recent years and said Liverpool “have been quite unlucky” not to win more.

“They played every possible game they could and just missed out by a point in the league. And, they played a Champions League final they should have won, they were unlucky,” the Dane added.

“Now this year they are, in their terminology, struggling a little bit and that is only losing [Sadio] Mane.

“Football is so strange.”

You’re right there, Thomas.

 

6. Just 4 left for Milner

With James Milner set to leave for Brighton in the summer, the 37-year-old has just four matches left of his Liverpool career.

Due to Henderson potentially missing out on the Brentford match, there is a chance Milner could feature on Saturday, and if Klopp had his way, he would be staying even longer.

Ahead of the match, Klopp said: “Milly, I can say over the last few months I had really good convos with him.

“He knows how highly I value him. He’s an incredible part of the team and I would have loved to work together with him even longer.”

Klopp also underlined his importance in Liverpool’s success, saying that “nothing in the last seven-and-a-half years would have happened without James Milner.”

 

7. Watch out for Toney

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (R) and Brentford's Ivan Toney during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He hasn’t yet scored against Liverpool, but Klopp will know the threat that Ivan Toney presents.

Despite a potential ban looming for breaching betting rules, the Bees’ striker has scored 21 goals in all competitions this season and has helped fire Brentford to ninth in the league, just nine points behind Liverpool.

With the Reds often exposed on the break this season, Toney will be key to Brentford‘s counter-attacking plan on Saturday.

Along with Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo in attack, the west London side have become known for their swift attacks, getting plenty of men forward to support.

 

8. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 30, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If Alisson keeps a clean sheet on Saturday, it will be his 100th for Liverpool in all competitions.

Mo Salah can keep rising up the all-time scoring ranks, as his next goal will take him level with Steven Gerrard on 186 goals for the club.

In fact, the Egyptian is just one goal short of recording 30 in all competitions for the fourth time in seven seasons with the Reds, and needs one to reach 20 in the league this season.

The No. 11’s next goal will also see him reach the landmark of 100 at Anfield, for Liverpool, in all competitions. He would become the eighth player to achieve the feat.

 

9. Taylor to take charge

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 29, 2019: Referee Anthony Taylor awards the opening goal to Liverpool after a VAR review during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Roberts/Propaganda)

Anthony Taylor is set to referee his fifth Liverpool match of the season with the Reds unbeaten in the last 11 matches that he has taken charge of.

Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn will act as his assistant referees, while Graham Scott is on fourth official duties.

Andre Marriner is the lead VAR for this one and his assistant will be Marc Perry.

 

10. Follow the match with TIA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 25, 2023: A general view of Anfield looking towards the redevelopment of the Anfield Road stand before the LFC Foundation match between Liverpool FC Legends and Glasgow Celtic FC Legends at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Brentford is live on Sky Sports Premier League with kickoff at 5.30pm (BST), with coverage starting from 5pm.

TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 4.45pm, with Sam Millne tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.

Come on you Reds!