Brentford vs Liverpool. Premier League.
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Shandon Baptiste could return after suspension for Brentford, but Liverpool will be without midfield pair Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita; watch Brentford vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm
Saturday 25 September 2021 17:36, UK
Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Brentford vs Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm.
Shandon Baptiste could return after suspension when Brentford host Liverpool on Saturday.
The midfielder sat out Tuesday's 7-0 Carabao Cup win over Oldham after his red card in last weekend's 2-0 Premier League win at Wolves.
The Bees have no new injury issues, but Mads Sorensen and Josh Dasilva are long-term absentees.
Liverpool will be without midfield pair Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita, but several players could return to action.
Thiago is likely to be out until after the international break after sustaining a calf injury in last week's home win against Crystal Palace and Keita hurt his foot in the midweek Carabao Cup victory at Norwich.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (illness), Roberto Firmino (hamstring), James Milner and Neco Williams are all expected to be back in contention.
Brentford vs Liverpool is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Brentford are a very smart club. The decision to base their season of survival on clean sheets rather than playing the free-flowing football that got them to the Premier League is one Norwich must be wishing they had adopted. In their five fixtures, Brentford have conceded just two goals, a statistic backed up by their expected goals against figure of 3.92 - which marks them down as the second-best defence in the Premier League. A thorough test awaits here though.
Liverpool have their swagger back but the 4/9 with Sky Bet for an away win doesn't get me excited. The 6/4 for a Liverpool win to nil is a little more tempting, although it could take time for the Reds to break down this well-organised outfit.
Brentford are being rated too highly in terms of their ability to restrict Liverpool getting shots away though. This has led to Sky Bet offering very generous Liverpool shot lines with 18 or more being allowed to be punted at 7/2. A fantastic price.
In their last 14 Premier League matches, Liverpool - full of verve and energy - have averaged 21.36 shots per 90 minutes in that period. This season, they are working at a 25 shots per 90 minutes ratio with 125 being posted in their five games. They are just the second side since 2003/04 to have 100+ shots in their opening five games of a season - with Chelsea having 138 in 2009/10.
To give you a flavour of the value being offered here, Liverpool have had 16 or more shots in 13 of their last 14 Premier League encounters. Let's not forget, Brentford are a newly promoted team and - naturally - there's going to be plenty of fear factor on show, taking on one of the best teams in Europe.
Yes, they have restricted teams like Brighton, Aston Villa and Wolves to minimal efforts on goal but this is Liverpool we're talking about. Jurgen Klopp's men are a different level and a relentless beast in terms of suffocating teams when going forward. I'd be very surprised if they don't clear the 16 or more shots line and punters should also respect the 21+ (11/2 with Sky Bet) and 25+ (22/1 with Sky Bet). That 22/1 line would have won in three of Liverpool's five Premier League fixtures this season.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-2