Liverpool's stutter over the festive period, coupled with Manchester City's relentless winning run, means Jürgen Klopp's men find themselves 14 points off top spot going into tomorrow, albeit with two games in hand.
The Reds have won just one of their last six in all competitions, that last Sunday's 4-1 Emirates FA Cup success over Shrewsbury Town, having won eight in a row previous to that.
The absence of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, who account for 24 of Liverpool's 52 Premier League goals, was keenly felt on Thursday night as ten-man Arsenal held on at Anfield for a goalless draw in their Carabao Cup Semi-Final First Leg.
Without Salah and Mane, who are both away at the African Cup of Nations, The Reds have turned to Diogo Jota (10) and Roberto Firmino (4) for their goals.
Anfield remains an imposing place to visit this season. No visiting side has left with all three Premier League points while only four of them, Chelsea, Manchester City, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Newcastle United, have even managed a league goal in L4 this term.
Sergi Canos and Rico Henry should both be available for Brentford following hamstring issues. David Raya, Julian Jeanvier (both knee), Tariqe Fosu, Zanka, Charlie Goode, (all hamstring), Frank Onyeka (international duty), and Josh Dasilva (hip) will be the absentees.
For Liverpool, aside from the absence of Salah and Mane, there'll also be no Nat Phillips (cheek), Thiago Alcantara (hip), Divock Origi (knee), and Harvey Elliott (ankle). The good news on Thursday night was the return of Alexander-Arnold and Allison against Arsenal.
Writing for Hot Off The Press,Sky Sports' Dan Sheldon advises: "Never take your eye off Liverpool’s marauding right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold (above), the player who has created the most big chances in the Premier League this season. The England international returned to Liverpool’s starting line-up for their goalless draw with Arsenal at Anfield in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday night after recovering from Covid and expect him to be heavily involved in the hosts’ attacks on Sunday. Keep Alexander-Arnold quiet and the Bees will go a long way to getting a result on Merseyside…"
- After a 14-match winning run, Liverpool have failed to win either of their last two Premier League home matches against promoted sides, drawing against West Bromwich Albion and losing against Fulham last season. They last went three without a win in such matches between December 2000 and January 2002.
- Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino has scored four goals in his last three Premier League matches against promoted sides, including a hat-trick against Watford in his last such appearance. The Brazilian had only netted four goals in his previous 27 matches against such sides in the competition.
- Brentford have won three of their six Premier League matches played on Sundays (D1 L2). Of all teams to have played at least five matches on the day, they are one of just four to have won at least half of their matches along with Manchester United (165/301), Chelsea (137/270) and Arsenal (151/300).
- Liverpool’s Diogo Jota has scored four goals in his last four Premier League home matches, having netted just once in his previous 12 at Anfield before this.
Jürgen Klopp was a utility player during his professional days, the large majority spent at Mainz 05 in Germany.
Retiring in 2001, he became the Manager at 05, winning promotion to the Bundesliga three years later. Relegation came in 2007, Klopp resigning a year later after failing to get them back to the top-flight. He was the longest-serving manager in club history.
He joined Borussia Dortmund, guiding them to the Bundesliga title in 2011, and followed that up with Dortmund's first-ever domestic double a year later. Klopp also took them to the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, losing to Bayern Munich at Wembley, before leaving in 2015 again as their longest-serving manager.
Arriving at Anfield, Klopp took The Reds to back-to-back Champions League Finals, winning the second in 2019. The following season, they captured the UEFA Super Cup and a first FIFA Club World Cup. They also won the Premier League title, their first league honours in 30 years. These achievements won Klopp back-to-back FIFA Coach of the Year awards in 2019 and 2020.
THE OPPOSITION VIEW
On what he expects, Jürgen Klopp told LiverpoolFC.com: "A fight. Brentford are a team who have a specific way to play, especially against us. We have to be absolutely alert, we have to be absolutely ready. They have special set-pieces, they will probably be direct, they play a brilliant first season in the Premier League and that's absolutely impressive.
"Thomas Frank is doing a brilliant job there. The squad is well set up, interesting players there, the way they want to play. How I said, 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"
LAST TIME OUT
Referee: Jon Moss
Assistant Referees: Marc Perry and Timothy Wood
Fourth Official: Tony Harrington
Video Assistant Referee: Lee Mason
Additional Video Assistant Referee: Derek Eaton
209 fouls - 7th in Premier League
28 yellow cards - Third-fewest in Premier League
1 red card - Sixth-most in Premier League
All adult supporters (18+) attending must fill in a Covid-19 Self Declaration form and be able to show proof of an NHS COVID Pass or negative test result within the 48 hours leading up to kick-off
Stadium access for visiting supporters has changed at Anfield with no through road on Anfield Road. Brentford fans must approach the stadium via Dahlia Walk onto 97 Avenue (Blue Route) as there is no access from the direction of Arkles Lane. At the end of the game when leaving the stadium, please turn left.
Tomorrow's game is not live in the UK but will be shown around the world through the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if the game is on where you are.
Mark Burridge will be bringing live Bees Player commentary from Anfield alongside former Bees striker Ben Burgess.