Liverpool endured a disappointing defeat to Toulouse in the Europa League on Thursday evening, and the Reds will have to bounce back quickly as they prepare to host a resurgent Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday (14:00).
Jurgen Klopp’s side are now two games without a win for the first time in 2023/23, but they will fancy their chances of ending that run before it gets any longer. Liverpool have won all eight games they have played at Anfield this season.
Brentford will be a tough nut to crack, though, after winning their last three games, keeping a clean sheet in the first two of those.
Liverpool will be without Alexis Mac Allister for the first time in the Premier League this season, as the Argentine serves a one-match suspension for accumulating too many yellow cards.
Wataru Endo could replace Mac Allister at the base of the Liverpool midfield, but Curtis Jones won’t be making his return from a hamstring injury until after the international break.
There’s better news for Ryan Gravenberch, though, who could shake off a knee injury to start on Sunday.
The away side have a number of long-term absentees including Rico Henry, Aaron Hickey and Kevin Schade, but Josh Dasilva (hamstring), Keane Lewis-Potter (calf) and Mikkel Damsgaard (knee) are all back in training as they close in on a return from their respective injuries.
Most importantly, goalkeeper Mark Flekken is expected to be passed fit, after being withdrawn at half-time during last weekend’s 3-2 victory over West Ham.
Understandably, Liverpool are strong 2/5 favourites at home, with Brentford priced at 6/1 to pull off a first-ever win at Anfield. A draw can be backed at 4/1.
You can get both teams to score in this match at 4/6, while NO is 11/10.
Both teams to score @ 4/6
Brentford are yet to score at Anfield since winning promotion to the top-flight in 2021, but with Liverpool light in a couple of key areas, Sunday represents their best chance yet of doing so.
The continued absence of Andy Robertson at left-back means either Kostas Tsimikas or Joe Gomez will deputise in his place, but the former has struggled defensively in recent weeks, and Gomez is still getting used to the position.
With Bryan Mbuemo and Yoanne Wissa drifting out to wider areas, expect Liverpool’s full-backs to be severely tested with Brentford in strong goalscoring form of late.
In fact, the Bees have scored in each of their last five games, which includes trips to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, and that makes for uncomfortable reading for the Reds who have conceded to Toulouse, Luton and Bournemouth in their last three games.
Not much needs to be said about Liverpool and their goalscoring prowess at Anfield – they last failed to score there in January.
Yoanne Wissa to score anytime @ 3/1
Mbuemo and Wissa have combined for nine goals in the Premier League this season, nearly half of Brentford’s league total (19), and while the former has been responsible for the majority (six), I’m backing Wissa to score for a third time in his career against Liverpool this weekend.
Those two goals both came in home games for Brentford, but Wissa’s previous two visits to Anfield saw him start as a sub.
This time around, with Ivan Toney still sidelined and Frank favouring Wissa and Mbuemo at the top of a 5-3-2 formation against the so-called elite sides, the 27-year-old will get his first starting minutes at the home of the six-time European Cup champions.
Antoine Semenyo and Jarrod Bowen are the only two players to have scored at Anfield in the Premier League this season, and I think Wissa can add his name to that list with Liverpool’s issues in defence and the base of their midfield.
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