Newly-promoted Brentford are likely to face the toughest test of their fledgling Premeir League season so far as they take on an unbeaten Liverpool side on Saturday evening.
Here’s everything you need to know about that clash at the Brentford Community Stadium:
The Bees have made the step-up to the top-flight with consummate ease, having picked up two wins and two draws from their opening five Premier League games to leave them ninth in the table heading into this weekend.
Their latest league encounter saw Ivan Toney register a goal and an assist as Thomas Frank’s side saw off Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, despite being forced to play the final half an hour or so with 10 men.
Last season’s Championship top scorer – who had an early strike disallowed for offside – put his side ahead from the penalty spot having been wrestled to the ground by Marcal at a corner, before seeing a clever back-heeled finish once again chalked off, this time for a handball in the build-up.
The heavily involved striker did eventually help his side extend their lead, however, teeing up Bryan Mbeumo for a simple tap-in just 10 minutes before half-time, with the visitors going on to produce a resilient defensive display after Shandon Baptiste had been handed his marching orders for two rash yellow card offences.
The newly-promoted side then added to that win with a comfortable triumph over League Two strugglers Oldham in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, striker Marcus Forss netting four as the far superior hosts ran out 7-0 victors.
Manager Frank had the luxury of making 11 changes for that brutal thrashing, although is likely to revert back to the side that beat Bruno Lage’s men at the weekend, with midfielder Baptiste once again available after serving his one-game suspension in midweek.
What a goal 🤯
Brentford's Yoane Wissa scored a sensational bicycle kick in their 7-0 win over Oldham last night 👏 pic.twitter.com/mWk5e6oSbT
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) September 22, 2021
The Reds are currently second in the table after an unbeaten start to the Premier League season, having recorded an identical record to that of rivals Chelsea, with both sides picking up four clean sheets and conceding just once thus far – with those solitary strikes coming against each other at Anfield a few weeks ago.
While the Blues have been heavily praised for their imperious form, Jurgen Klopp’s side have somewhat slipped under the radar to date, with some having almost written them off as title contenders following their quiet summer of transfer activity.
As they have proved in the opening weeks of the campaign, however, the Merseyside club boast a starting XI as good as anyone, while even their relatively slim squad still has plenty of quality in reserve, as proven in their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Even without both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, Klopp’s men were able to overpower their opponents, with the ever-reliable James Milner producing a stunning display as a stand-in right-back, while Sadio Mane netted for the ninth successive league game against the Eagles to bring up a milestone of 100 goals for the club.
Liverpool then made it four straight wins in all competitions as they saw off Norwich City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, a Takumi Minamino brace and a Divock Origi header clinching a 3-0 win, with second-choice stopper Caoimhin Kelleher saving a vital penalty just before half-time.
Those so-called fringe players will likely get another run out in the fourth round against Preston North End in a few weeks time, although as for this weekend Klopp has already confirmed that Thiago Alcantara will be absent, while Alexander-Arnold is a doubt after missing the win over Palace due to illness.
Meanwhile, Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino has returned to training, although this weekend’s clash could well come too soon for him.
Liverpool 4-0 Brentford, 18 March 1989, FA Cup
Saturday’s encounter will be the first league meeting between the two sides since 1947, although their most recent match-up came in the late ’80’s, with a Kenny Dalglish-led Liverpool side running out comfortable winners in the FA Cup sixth round tie at Anfield.
The hosts – who had dominated English football over the previous two decades – took the lead early on against their lower league opponents through Steve McMahon, before England international John Barnes extended that lead midway through the second-half.
With the win all-but secured, Peter Beardsley then added further gloss with two goals in quick succession late on to carry the Merseyside club into semi-final’s, as the then Third Division Bees’ spirited cup run came to an end.
The Reds’ last-four clash with Nottingham Forest would, however, be marred by the tragic Hillsborough disaster which claimed the lives of 97 supporters, albeit with Dalglish’s men courageously, and fittingly, going on to win the competition with a 3-2 win over rivals Everton at Wembley.
Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Baptiste, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Mbeumo, Toney
Liverpool: Alisson; Milner, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Mane, Jota.
Who is the referee?
What channel is Brentford v Liverpool on?
Those in the UK and Ireland can watch or stream the match on Sky Sports Premier League.
What time is kick off?
Saturday 25 September, 17:30 BST
Brentford – 6/1
Liverpool – 9/20
Draw – 7/2