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Brentford v Liverpool preview: In-form Reds eye another win

Liverpool will look to make it three quick wins on the spin in the Premier League since the resumption when they travel to Brentford on Monday.

The Reds have hit the ground running in the Premier League since the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, beating Aston Villa 3-1 on Boxing Day and then Leicester City 2-1 on Friday. 

Jurgen Klopp's side returned to domestic action in December with a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in the EFL Cup, but the signs are positive ahead of their first game of 2023. 

Brentford come into Monday's game on the back of a five-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, and after recent wins over Manchester City and West Ham they will fancy their chances of pulling off another upset.

What: Brentford v Liverpool 
Where: Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford 
When: 17:30, Monday January 2 
How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Football 
Odds: Brentford 9/2, Draw 10/3, Liverpool 11/20

Can Brentford shine without Toney?

Brentford boss Thomas Frank is optimistic that striker Ivan Toney avoided any major damage after he was stretchered off in the closing stages of the 2-0 win over West Ham on Friday.

The England international opened the scoring at the London Stadium to take his tally to 12 for the season, but his night ended on a sour note.

Toney appeared to injure his knee when challenging for the ball at a corner, and he was in visible pain as he was taken down the tunnel. While Frank has said a knee injury is "never a good sign", he has refused to give up hope that he could play again in the near future.

Toney's absence is certainly Liverpool's gain ahead of Monday's battle, with plenty of Brentford's attacks going through the powerful forward.

As well as his 12 goals, Toney has picked up three assists this season, and Yoane Wissa has not had the same impact in the final third. He is likely to partner Bryan Mbeumo against Liverpool, but it is now difficult to back Brentford to score.

Liverpool's defence has been fragile all season, with Klopp's side only keeping four clean sheets in the Premier League. The Reds should have too much quality for Brentford, but it appears safer to back an away win and over 2.5 goals, rather than risk backing Brentford to find the back of the net.

A Liverpool victory and over 2.5 goals is available at 6/5, and the Reds should have no problem scoring, having registered seven in four on their travels in the Premier League.

Time for Nunez to deliver

Liverpool are now 15 points behind league leaders Arsenal in the title race, and the likelihood is that they will have to focus their attention on a top-four finish.

Related football news

Misfiring Darwin Nunez still being backed by Jurgen Klopp

Cody Gakpo: What to expect from Liverpool's new signing

The Reds are only four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United but they will need striker Darwin Nunez to start firing in front of goal if they are to push higher up the table.

His record of five goals in 12 appearances in his debut campaign in the Premier League is nothing to be ashamed of, but the Uruguay international continues to be criticised for missing big chances.

Nunez has wasted several great opportunities of late, and arguably could have doubled his tally for the season in recent games against Aston Villa and Leicester.

Among the players in Europe's top 10 leagues with 500 or more minutes played this season, Nunez is ranked first for shots per 90 minutes. However, he is 99th for goals per 90 minutes.

Reds boss Klopp has shown no signs of losing confidence in his forward, but with Cody Gakpo now at Anfield, Nunez needs to start firing.

Gakpo scored nine goals and grabbed 12 assists in 14 league games for PSV Eindhoven before his move, and with Roberto Firmino returning to full fitness, Nunez's place in the lineup is far from guaranteed.

The former Benfica man has proven time and time again that he can get into some great positions, and he is 7/5 To Score Anytime against Brentford and 15/2 to Score Two or More.

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