By Daniel Ghorbal
The Bees’ return to the Premier League has taken many by surprise, playing a system whereby they are not afraid to express themselves and ruffle a few feathers. Survival was the main goal when promotion was officially confirmed, and as things stand that is a proposition the Brentford faithful would settle for.
Inconsistency has been the story of their season, with spells where they look like a dangerous top flight opposition, and others where they crumble and concede goals at a premium rate. With a desperate dog race occurring at the bottle of the table as things stand, expectations are that Brentford will make the next season in the Premier League, and games of this calibre away to Liverpool are a chance for Thomas Franks side to truly enjoy the experience and show their capabilities against Europe’s best.
To be truthful, the game comes at a favourable time for Brentford, with the reds suffering a mini dip in form at a crucial stage of the season.
Eyebrows have been raised at Liverpool’s inability to break down the reds 10-men of Arsenal, and Brentford will take inspiration from the way their London counterparts performed. Although a disappointing result away at Southampton in midweek has deflated those in the Brentford camp, a trip to Anfield is a rarity and one they will cherish.
Despite the poor recent form, Klopp’s men will be expected to dominate and this could play into Brentford’s favour as the likes of Mbuemo and Toney can express themselves. The reverse fixture was a fascinating 3-3 draw back in September and the 3-5-2 formation Frank deployed caused Liverpool multiple issues.
The direct nature of their attacks took the reds by surprise and this weekend I expect them to attack the game on the front foot too. With Salah and Mane still away on international duty, Brentford will feel as if committing bodies forward is not the worst of plans, especially when confidence amongst the Liverpool ranks is not at a high.
Despite the positivity around Brentford and rightly so supposing where they came from, defensively they have struggled in the top flight and have games whereby the opposition class gets too much for them. If Liverpool inflict a tempo upon the game, a goal or two could take matters out of their hands and the Bees could be in for a long afternoon.
With keeper David Raya out as well as Rico Henry and most recently Kristoffer Ajer, a weakened team has been put out and they have struggled to tame attacks. The opening 20 minutes will define the fate of the game for me, as Liverpool need to take control and show their quality early on.
Overall, Brentford are a credit to themselves and have been a breathe of fresh air in the Premier League thus far. Despite some patchy form, the insurance of top flight football next season is likely to be followed, and therefore Sunday’s trip to Anfield is one in which Brentford will treasure. Lots of hard work, concise planning and quality has gone into their vast development as a club, and days like this are what make the journey so special. The visiting supporters will have a trip to remember, and the players will undoubtedly leave everything on the pitch and give themselves the best chance of getting a result.
Predicted team: Fernandez, Canos, Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Roerslev, Baptiste, Norgaard, Janelt, Mbuemo, Toney