Liverpool vs Brentford: Reds may have to work for win against determined visitors

Mo Salah and Sadio Made were badly missed in the 0-0 draw with Arsenal in midweek. Planet Sport looks ahead to the Liverpool's must-win game against the newly-promoted Bees.

Liverpool were held to a draw in a six-goal thriller at the Brentford Community Stadium back in September and have managed just two points from the last nine.

This is a must-win game for Jurgen Klopp's men if they are to have any hope of catching Manchester City at the top but Brentford will be no pushovers.

When: Sunday, January 16, 14:00 GMT

Where: Anfield

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Who is the ref for Liverpool v Brentford

Jon Moss takes charge at Anfield

Jon Moss, owner of the 'Vinyl Whistle' record shop in Headingley, will be hearing a live rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' for the first time in nearly two years.

The last game he took charge of at Anfield was a 3-2 win for Liverpool in 2020 while his only Reds game this season was the Merseysiders' 5-0 victory at Watford.

He's shown three reds cards in his last five Premier League matches and no top-flight ref this season has sent off more players than Moss's four.

Season stats 2021/22: Premier League matches (12), yellows (27), red (4), penalties (4)

Recent form

Liverpool are the only Premier League team with an unbeaten home record this season, winning six and drawing three.

While they've reeled off four straight top-flight wins at home, the Reds have not got it done in 90 minutes against the last two Premier League visitors, drawing Carabao Cup games with Leicester (3-3, went through on penalties) and 0-0 against 10-man Arsenal.

They've also taken just one point in nine in the Premier League after a pair of 2-2 draws at Tottenham and Chelsea either side of a 1-0 loss at Leicester.

Brentford have lost three of their last four Premier League games and succumbed to a heavy 4-1 defeat at Southampton in midweek.

On the road, they've taken just two points from the last 18, conceding 16 goals across those six games.

Liverpool and Brentford players in form

With Mo Salah away on AFCON duty, their form player won't be available. Diogo Jota is the Premier League's second-top goalscorer with 10 although he hasn't netted in his last three outings.

Bryan Mbeumo bagged a hat-trick in the 4-1 FA Cup win at Port Vale so has four in his last five games when adding in a goal in the 2-1 home win over Watford three games earlier. He's a fitness doubt however.

Last three matches

The two teams shared six goals last time

Brentford 3-3 Liverpool (September 25, 2021)

Brentford refused to be beaten and twice came from a goal down to gain a battling and well-deserved point.

Ethan Pinnock's early goal for the Bees was wiped out by goals from Jota and Salah either side of the break.

Vitaly Janelt headed in an equaliser and despite Curtis Jones smashing in a third goal for the Reds, Yoane Wissa popped up to earn the hosts a draw.

Liverpool 4-0 Brentford (March 18, 1989)

The last time these two clashed at Anfield was in a sixth round FA Cup clash when Brentford, managed by Steve Perryman, were in the third tier.

Steve McMahon headed Liverpool in front before some vintage John Barnes magic made it 2-0 to Kenny Dalglish's men in the 65th minute. Peter Beardsley added two further goals.

Liverpool 4-0 Brentford (October 25, 1983)

Liverpool completed an 8-1 aggregate League Cup second-round romp thanks to a comprehensive victory at Anfield.

A Graeme Souness penalty put the Reds in front before David Hodgson, Dalglish and Michael Robinson netted in the second half.

Head-to-head record

Liverpool wins: 9

Draws: 4

Brentford wins: 3

Liverpool scored: 35

Brentford scored: 21

Manager's thoughts

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: "Brentford are a team who have a specific way to play, especially against us. They are pretty direct.

"So many things really work together there that we have to be really aware of. But I hope we can play much better than we did in the first game and can use Anfield - that would be helpful."

Brentford boss Thomas Frank said: "I've been there a few times, it's an unbelievable atmosphere.

"Of course (missing duo) Mane and Salah are two world-class players. I still think they have good players in Jota, Firmino, Minamino and Jones."

Predicted Liverpool v Brentford teams

Liverpool, as is well documented, have Salah, Mane and Naby Keita away on African Cup of Nations duty.

Liverpool's midfield three of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Fabinho struggled to create against Arsenal so Curtis Jones, who impressed as a sub, could start. Thiago is still unavailable

Klopp may also choose to rotate his full-backs with the second leg against Arsenal to come next week.

Frank doesn't have too many options despite the temptation to shuffle the pack after the heavy defeat at Southampton.

Sergio Canos went off against the Saints with a reported hamstring problem but Rico Henry could return.

Possible Liverpool starting line-up: Alisson, N Williams, Tsimikas, Van Dijk, Konate, Henderson, Fabinho, Jones, Minamino, Jota, Firmino.

Possible Brentford line-up: Fernandez, Ajer, Pinnock, Jansson, Roerslev, Janelt, Norgaard, Henry, Jensen, Wissa, Toney.

Liverpool v Brentford prediction:

It's an obvious chance for Liverpool to get back to winning ways and they should do. But don't be surprised if they have to huff and puff a little to get the three points so try 2-1.

READ MORE: Can you ever score TOO early in the Premier League?

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