Brentford vs. Liverpool: 10 key things to know for another 12.30pm kickoff

Liverpool visit Brentford for another crucial Premier League game clash and at one of the few stadiums Jurgen Klopp has never overseen a victory.

Brentford vs. Liverpool

Premier League (25) | GTech Community Stadium
February 17, 2024 | 12.30pm (GMT)

The Reds bounced back from their defeat at Arsenal with a 3-1 win at home to Burnley last weekend, even if the performance wasn’t always convincing.

Next up is Saturday’s trip to Brentford, as Jurgen Klopp‘s side kick off the Premier League action.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.


1. Liverpool’s big incentive in title race

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 10, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool head to Brentford Community Stadium with a massive incentive, in what feels like another huge game in the title battle.

A win for the Reds would put them five points clear at the top of the Premier League, laying down the gauntlet to Man City and Arsenal, but last season’s 3-1 loss there acts as a warning.

Granted, there is every chance the Gunners will win at Burnley soon after, but pressure can still do funny things to teams.

City then host Chelsea in the evening, and while the Blues have underwhelmed this season, they still have players who can hurt anyone on their day.


2. Brentford boosted by Ivan Toney return

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 5, 2023: Brentford's Ivan Toney during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Brentford FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Brentford‘s season had been threatening to peter out in December and early January, losing seven out of eight matches at one point.

The return of Ivan Toney after an eight-month suspension has injected new life into Thomas Frank’s team, however, and they now look like a different animal.

The Englishman scored in his first game back in a 3-2 win at home to Nottingham Forest, and the 2-0 victory at Wolves last time around was an impressive result.

Could Liverpool be heading to west London at a bad time?


3. Who’s out for Liverpool?

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 8, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold looks dejected as Brighton & Hove Albion score the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the American Express Community Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have been hit with the bad news that Alisson has now joined Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai on the injury list this week.

They are joined on the sidelines this weekend by Thiago and long-term absentees Joel Matip, Stefan Bajcetic and Ben Doak.

On the plus side, Joe Gomez has recovered from illness after missing the Burnley game, and Mohamed Salah returned to training this week.

Conor Bradley is also back in the fold after mourning the devastating loss of his father, and Ibrahima Konate is available after serving a one-match suspension.


4. Predicted Liverpool XI

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 4, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Liverpool FC and Union SG. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Whether Klopp goes with Gomez or Andy Robertson at left-back remains to be seen.

The former has been superb in the role this season, but the latter is still first choice and could end up getting the nod.

Bradley will likely start in the absence of Alexander-Arnold – Gomez is an option at right-back, too – while Konate should replace Jarell Quansah.

Harvey Elliott is pushing for a start after changing the game against Burnley – he looks better of the substitutes’ bench, though – while Salah could come back in the starting lineup after not featuring since New Year’s Day.

Possible Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Mac Allister, Jones; Jota, Diaz, Nunez


5. How will Brentford line up?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 11, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (L) is challenged by Brentford's Ethan Pinnock during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool aren’t the only team who can feel aggrieved about injury problems this season, with Brentford without a host of key men.

Rico Henry, Aaron Hickey, Bryan Mbeumo, Kevin Schade and Josh Dasilva are all missing for the hosts, while Nathan Collins and Mathias Jensen are doubts.

Toney and Maupay are two players to watch, with the former superb on his day and the latter scoring in five of his last six appearances.

Predicted Brentford XI: Flekken; Ajer, Pinnock, Mee; Roerslev, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Reguilon; Toney, Maupay


6. Klopp’s press conference

Speaking to the media on Friday, Klopp insisted that he hadn’t rushed Szoboszlai or Alexander-Arnold back, causing further injury.

“Nobody’s doing that (forcing the player back). [There are] different cases, different scenarios and, as long as I am here, we never forced anybody back and never will…

“The last decision is then always by the player and if we always listen only to the player then they would play after two weeks and then it’s a real problem.”


7. Liverpool will wear purple

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 4, 2024: Liverpool players form a pre-match huddle before the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal won 3-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is rare that Liverpool wear their third kit over the course of a season, but Klopp’s side will don purple at Brentford.

This comes due to a clash with Brentford‘s red-and-white home kit and both of the Reds’ home and away strips.

Saturday will be the fifth time Liverpool have worn their third kit this season, which is already more times than the popular dark green kit last term (four).


8. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 28, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is Liverpool’s fifth 12.30pm kickoff of the season so far, which is one fewer than in the entirety of the previous campaign.

It has gained the reputation of being a tricky slot for Klopp, but the Reds are yet to lose an early kickoff this season, with three wins and a draw so far.

In fact, in three of Klopp’s nine campaigns in charge of Liverpool they have won every lunchtime kickoff, with only four losses from 29 in the last five seasons.

Overall, Liverpool have won 24, drawn 14 and lost 10 of their 48 games to kick off at either 12pm or 12.30pm under the current manager.


9. Michael Oliver takes charge

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott (L) is shown a yellow card by referee Michael Oliver after celebrating with supporters after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Michael Oliver will officiate Saturday’s match, with the Englishman still seen as one of the leading referees in the country.

This is the 38-year-old’s third Reds game of the season so far, overseeing the 3-1 win at Wolves back in September and the goalless draw at home to Man United just before Christmas.

David Coote is on VAR duty – yikes! – and Graham Scott is the fourth official.


10. Follow the match with TIA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 11, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (R) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s trip to Brentford is live on TNT Sports 1 on Saturday, with coverage getting underway at 11am (UK). Kickoff is at 12.30pm.

Harry McMullen is once again in charge of TIA’s live blog, keeping you all entertained and providing minute-by-minute updates from 11.45am.

Come on you Reds!