Liverpool play host to Brentford in their 35th game of the Premier League season and head into the tie as one of the form teams in the division.
Jurgen Klopp has managed to turn the end of the season around with recent tactical tweaks and although Champions League qualification is still an improbable objective, it’s still mathematically possible.
Ahead of the weekend, Mark Douglas and Tony Evans report for iNews that the Premier League has “strongly suggested” each home team to play the national anthem in celebration of King Charles’ coronation. Images and the official portrait of the King have also been provided for presentation on big screens in the league’s stadiums.
Liverpool are reportedly likely to conform despite “unease” related to the mixed response supporters have displayed towards the anthem in the past. Evans took to Twitter to say the decision from the Premier League is “really poor form” due to the difficult position it places clubs in.
Simon Hughes of the Athletic has added his voice to the debate, labelling the decision from Liverpool to follow suit as “ridiculous.”
Can Liverpool continue strong league form to end the season on a high?
The Reds have been woeful this season compared to the lofty standards they have set in the past four years, but since losing 4-1 to Manchester City, they are undefeated in seven games.
Two draws followed that defeat before a five-game winning streak. Klopp has made some fundamental tactical tweaks including giving Trent Alexander-Arnold even more license to roam when in position.
This has improved their defensive fortune even if it hasn’t totally papered over the cracks that have been appearing since the start of last season. Brentford haven’t enjoyed their last seven games as much but their direct style of play presents a much bigger threat to Liverpool’s defence compared to Fulham.
Brentford’s set piece strengths and midfield runners pose a threat to Liverpool’s defence due to the apparent inability of the Reds’ midfielders to track runs into the box.
How can Brentford expose Liverpool’s new system?
Liverpool are much improved over the last few weeks but there are still many issues that exist within their defensive game. With Alexander-Arnold often high up the pitch in central areas when Liverpool lose the ball, Thomas Frank needs to ensure his left-sided players are constantly looking to occupy the space that he leaves.
When Liverpool’s Scouse creator is caught too high, the responsibility falls to the Reds’ makeshift back three of Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson. The likes of Fabinho and Curtis Jones don’t have the speed to cover adequately and so the pathway to success for the Bees is laid pretty clearly.