As they look to preserve their slim hopes of Champions League qualification, Liverpool will need to overcome a foe who bested them earlier this season. Here’s our Liverpool vs Brentford prediction and stats preview.
Liverpool vs Brentford: Quick Hits
- Liverpool are predicted to win this match against Brentford by the Opta supercomputer (60.8% chance of victory).
- The Reds are aiming to secure six successive wins for the first time since May 2022.
- Brentford can win three in a row for first time since January, which included their home win against the Reds.
When the Liverpool fans react to the national anthem ringing out at Anfield ahead of this game to mark the coronation of King Charles III, don’t be surprised to hear the commentator ask: “Are they saying ‘boo’ or ‘Boo-rentford’?”
It would be premature to say the good times are back at Anfield, but they are certainly less terrible than they were as recently as early April. Liverpool’s five wins on the bounce may be too late for them to earn Champions League qualification, but Jürgen Klopp’s men have at least given themselves a puncher’s chance in the final games of the campaign.
Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Fulham was followed by Manchester United’s last-minute defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on Thursday, leaving the Reds four points behind Erik ten Hag’s side having played a game more. The Opta supercomputer subsequently upped their chances of taking fourth place from 6.1% to 9.7%, while an even less likely third place improved from 0.4% to 0.7%.
Hoping to dash those hopes much like they ruin picnics are the Bees – not to accuse the likes of Ben Mee and Ethan Pinnock of nicking your sandwiches, but do keep an eye out for them just in case.
Liverpool have lost just one of their 10 home meetings with Brentford in all competitions (W7 D2), winning the last six in a row since a 4-3 loss in November 1937. However, Thomas Frank’s side got the better of them in the reverse fixture in early January and have bloodied the noses of Manchester City and Chelsea in impressive away showings this season.
Those are the only times Brentford have won in their 14 Premier League games against sides in the top five of the table (D5 L7), but they may take solace in the fact Liverpool have lost six of their past 11 league games played on a Saturday (W3 D2), one more than they had in their previous 90 (W65 D20 L5).
Brentford will ideally need to prevent the hosts from scoring first as Liverpool have won their last 20 Premier League home games when scoring the first goal, their most since a run of 25 games from October 2012 to August 2014. They may not need to see all that much of the ball though, as 21 of Brentford’s 25 Premier League wins since promotion in 2021 have come when having less possession than their opponents. That’s at least four victories more than any other team have managed in that time while having less than 50% possession.
Brentford 3-1 Liverpool: 2 January 2023 (Premier League)
On just the second day of 2023, Brentford hosted Liverpool at the Gtech Community Stadium and emerged with a fairly comfortable victory.
Their set pieces troubled the Reds all game, with an Ibrahima Konate own goal from a corner giving them the lead, before Liverpool survived two more goals against them after VAR checks for offside. An error from Harvey Elliott led to Yoane Wissa heading in the second as Alisson just failed to keep the ball from crossing the line.
Darwin Nunez had a goal ruled out for offside in the second half, though Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain headed in to halve the deficit for the visitors, only for Bryan Mbeumo to restore Brentford’s two-goal advantage after robbing the ball from Konate.
Defeat for Liverpool meant they had dropped 23 points already by the start of January, one more than they let slip in the entirety of the 2021-22 campaign. The Bees only had 27% possession that day but turned it into 1.8 expected goals, seven shots on target and three points.
Liverpool are currently on their longest winning run of the season and will be looking to win six league games on the spin for the first time since May last year.
After thrashing Leeds United 6-1 at Elland Road, Klopp’s men have achieved a curious stat of winning four games on the bounce by one goal, but each by different scores (3-2 vs Nottingham Forest, 2-1 vs West Ham United, 4-3 vs Tottenham Hotspur and 1-0 vs Fulham).
Mohamed Salah’s first-half penalty was enough to secure the win against Fulham on Wednesday, a goal that meant he has scored in each of his last eight home games in all competitions (nine goals), the longest scoring run by a Liverpool player at Anfield since Luis Suárez in January 2014 (also eight).
Brentford’s form dipped around mid-March, failing to win in six games (D3 L3) before their 2-0 victory at Chelsea was followed by a 2-1 comeback defeat of Nottingham Forest at the end of April.
They will be looking to win three in a row for the first time since January, which included that 3-1 victory against Liverpool.
Jordan Henderson almost had annoyance in his voice on Wednesday when he praised Alisson for the role he played in Liverpool’s win over Fulham, but not because he doesn’t like the handsome bearded shot stopper, merely because the goalkeeper had to be called upon so often.
Wherever the Reds finish this season, they will have the Brazil international to thank for not being lower in the table as he has pawed and clawed shots away left, right and centre, including three more saves against Fulham to keep a vital clean sheet.
Only Fulham’s Bernd Leno (10.8) has more than his 9.7 goals prevented in the Premier League this season, well ahead of Brentford’s David Raya (4.0) in third.
And Alisson could be a busy man again on Saturday as he comes up against…
Brentford: Ivan Toney
Ivan Toney didn’t play in the reverse fixture earlier this season, not that it did Liverpool much good.
The boyhood Red will be ready to start at Anfield, though, hoping to add to his 20 Premier League goals this season. Of those, 11 have come at home and nine away. With Erling Haaland and Harry Kane having already done so, this could be only the second ever Premier League campaign to see three players score 10+ home and away goals after 1993-94 (five players – Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Matt Le Tissier, Chris Sutton and Ian Wright).
However, Toney will be hoping to break one pattern, having alternated between not scoring and scoring in each of his last 14 Premier League games, netting exactly once on each of the seven occasions he has scored. As he found the net in Brentford’s 2-1 win against Forest last time out, he will need to end that run if he is to have an impact on Merseyside.
Liverpool v Brentford Prediction
The Opta supercomputer has in-form Liverpool as favourites for this, giving them a 60.8% chance of avenging their defeat at Brentford, while the visitors have a 15.8% probability of completing their first ever league double over Liverpool, in what is the seventh different season in which they have met.
There is a 23.4% chance of a draw, which would certainly not do Liverpool any favours, and the Bees probably also need a win if they are to maintain their hopes of sneaking a European spot.
Brentford are ninth, four points behind Tottenham and Aston Villa above them. Thomas Frank’s men are predicted to finish where they are (75.9%) but are still given a 13.5% chance of claiming either seventh or eighth, which would be enough for UEFA Europa Conference League qualification.