Liverpool enter 2023 in an unfamiliar sixth place in the Premier League table – only two points off a Champions League spot, but 15 adrift of leaders Arsenal.
The Reds have already lost four league games this season – twice as many as in the whole of the 2021/22 campaign – and a couple of their losses have been surprising.
While they went down 2-1 at Manchester United and 3-2 at Arsenal, they also lost 1-0 at Nottingham Forest and 2-1 at home to Leeds in consecutive Premier League matches.
They are also out of the Carabao Cup after losing 3-2 to Manchester City in the quarter-finals.
In the FA Cup, they entertain Wolves on Saturday, while in the Champions League they face Real Madrid, who beat them in last season’s final.
WHO’S IN CHARGE
Jurgen Klopp is the Premier League’s longest-serving manager, and the fourth longest-serving in all four divisions after taking over at Liverpool in October 2015. He has also been in the Anfield hotseat longer than any boss since Rafael Benitez (2004-2010).
Jurgen replaced Brendan Rodgers in October 2015 after spending seven years in charge of Borussia Dortmund, where he won two German league titles and led them to one Champions League final.
He started his managerial career at Mainz, the club where he spent the majority of his playing career, and ended Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a league title in 2020, and has also led them to two Champions League finals, winning the second of them.
In May 2015, reports linked Jurgen with the vacant Brentford manager’s job following the departure of Mark Warburton, but they came to nothing!
WE’VE MET BEFORE
Brentford and Liverpool have only ever met on a handful of occasions, and before last season our most recent matches had been in cup competitions.
This is only the seventh season in which we’ve met in the league, with the first five being in our spell in the top flight (Division One) either side of World War Two.
The Bees only won three of those 10 matches – two at Griffin Park and one at Anfield – drew three, and lost four. Last season we drew at home and lost away.
Our past league results (Brentford score first) are:
1935/36 – (H) L 1-2 (A) D 0-0
1936/37 – (H) W 5-2 (A) D 2-2
1937/38 – (H) L 1-3 (A) W 4-3
1938/39 – (H) W 2-1 (A) L 0-1
1946/47 – (H) D 1-1 (A) 0-1
2021/22 – (H) D 3-3 (A) 0-3
Last season’s home game in September was one of the games of the campaign as we drew 3-3. Ethan Pinnock gave us a 27th-minute lead, but Diogo Jota and Mo Salah, with his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool, had the visitors ahead 27 minutes later. Vitaly Janelt equalised for us before Curtis Jones quickly restored the Reds’ lead, but Yoanne Wissa dinked home a second equaliser with his first Premier League goal to earn us a well-deserved share of the spoils.
The return at Anfield in January was disappointing as we were comfortably beaten 3-0.
Fabinho put Liverpool ahead just before the break and further goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino were enough to seal our fate.
Our first-ever meeting was in the FA Cup third round in 1905/06 – when as a Southern League club, we travelled to Anfield to face First Division Liverpool who beat us 2-0.
Almost 70 years later, the Bees, then in Division Four, returned to Anfield – this time in the second round of the League Cup. We got off to a dream start when Roger Cross gave us the lead in the 10th minute, but our chances of a shock win vanished in the final quarter of an hour of the first half as Ray Kennedy and Phil Boersma struck as the Reds ran out 2-1 winners.
We met in the second round of the competition again in 1983/84, by which time we were in Division Three. This stage of the competition was then played over two legs, and the first was staged at Griffin Park. Ian Rush gave Liverpool the lead midway through the first half, but within a minute Gary Roberts equalised and it stayed that way until half-time.
Michael Robinson restored the visitors’ lead early in the second half and Graeme Souness made it 3-1 soon afterwards, before Rush completed the scoring in a 4-1 win.
In the second leg at Anfield, fewer than 10,000 fans turned out to see Brentford, unusually wearing an all-white kit, go down to a 4-0 defeat thanks to a Souness penalty, and then second-half strikes from David Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Robinson for an aggregate score of 8-1.
However, the meeting most people remember is the 1989 FA Cup quarter-final clash at Anfield.
Cheered on by around 7,000 Brentford supporters, most of us waving inflatable Bees, Richard Cadette nearly gave us an early lead, when through one-on-one with Bruce Grobbelaar, but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post in front of the Kop.
But that was as good as it got for us, as Liverpool, with John Barnes in scintillating form, turned on a brilliant display to win 4-0 with goals from Steve McMahon, in the 15th minute, and after the break Barnes and two from Peter Beardsley.
Liverpool: Grobbelaar, Ablett, Staunton, Nicol, Whelan, Gillespie, Beardsley, Aldridge, Houghton, Barnes, McMahon. Subs not used: Watson, Burrows.
Brentford: Parks, Feeley (Bates 83), Stanislaus, Millen, Evans, Cockram, Jones, Sinton, Cadette, Blissett, Godfrey (Sealy 75).
DID YOU KNOW?
Brentford and Liverpool possess the two longest-serving tannoy announcers in the country.
“Mr Brentford” himself – Peter Gilham first delighted Bees fans with his dulcet tones in October 1969 and George Sephton took over microphone duties at Anfield in August 1971.
Peter is now the Bees’ football liaison officer, and is so respected by the players that Pontus Jansson insisted that they lifted the play-off trophy together at Wembley in May 2021.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAME IF YOU CAN’T BE THERE
If you can’t get to the Brentford Community Stadium for Monday’s sold-out 5.30pm kick-off and want Brentford commentary, audio coverage is available via the new Buzz Box, currently on a free trial.
Coverage starts half an hour before kick-off and is advert-free, with Mark Burridge and guests.
There is also live commentary on TalkSport.
TV – The match is being shown live on Sky Sports, with coverage starting at 5.00.
PUBS IN BRENTFORD AND TRAVEL NEWS
For Liverpool fans coming to the Brentford Community Stadium, there are plenty of pub options pre and post-match and all are most welcoming and away-fan-friendly (as it should be).
The pub areas are split into two zones. There is the area around Brentford’s old Griffin Park stadium. The pubs there are still very busy on match day frequented by Bees locals before heading down the road to the stadium at Kew Bridge which is only 15 mins walk.
Then there is the area in and around the stadium in Kew Bridge.
It is possible, if you have a good early start, to savour a few pubs in and around Griffin Park and Brentford zone before heading off to the pubs in the Kew zone or even vice versa if you so fancy.
Pubs in Griffin Park/Brentford zone
When at Griffin Park, Brentford was well known for its four pubs – one on each corner of the ground. Three are still operating.
The Griffin is closest to the old away end and has always been very popular with both home and away fans and has its regulars who still make the journey down to the new stadium from there on matchday. The New Inn is on the other side which used to also be popular with away fans before the move. The Brook pub is the other option if you want to savour a pub in and around what is left of our old home. Worth a peep if you want to reminisce about old Brentford.
About five minutes’ walk away from the old ground are two pubs which are enormously popular. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is a “lively but comfortable” pub on matchday. Incredibly friendly and cosy, it has always been popular with a selection of away fans who fancied having a beer a few minutes further walk away from the ground without having to queue six persons deep. After the move to the new ground, The Globe has retained many of lot its regulars from the Griffin Park days and with screens throughout the pub and in its sheltered beer garden, it shows both Premier League and EFL football before and after each match.
Meanwhile around the corner, The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) is another incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs about one minute walk from The Globe. Again with a TV screen for live sports and a lovely beer garden, this is another pub frequented by “away fans in the know”.
The other pub worth checking out in the Griffin Park region is The Black Dog Beer House, formerly The Albany, on Albany Road, if you like your real ales.
There are plenty of other pubs in and around Brentford High Street including real ale pub Magpie and Crown (Brentford High Street) and the cosy Brewery Tap (Catherine Wheel Road) near the river.
For a Griffin Park area pub crawl before heading over to Kew we recommend the following: Take the Piccadilly line to Northfields station. Turn left and walk for 2 mins and you will come to The Plough (Northfields Ave). Then walk to The Lord Nelson (10 min walk from The Plough) & then The Globe (1 min walk from The Nelson) en-route before hitting The Griffin (8 min walk from The Globe) and then The Black Dog (2 mins from The Griffin). You can also try and do the other three pubs on the corner whilst down here if you fancy.
Then you can then either walk (15 minutes from The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog ) or take a train from Brentford station (which is five minutes walk away from both The Globe/The Nelson and The Griffin/Black Dog) or a bus (237/267) to Kew Bridge.
Trains run at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour to Kew Bridge from Brentford and take 2 mins.
Pubs in the Kew Bridge zone
Right next to Kew Bridge station, you will find the Express Tavern – an ale pub with a retro feel. The pub has been refurbished in readiness for the new football season and needless to say, is popular before the match due to its close proximity to the stadium.
Across the road by the river is One Over the Ait – a spacious boozer right next to Kew Bridge. This pub is situated on the location of the now-demolished Oxford & Cambridge pub where Brentford Football Club was founded in 1889.
Across Kew Bridge and the River Thames, there are two pubs on Kew Green – the Cricketers and the Greyhound – very close to the pier where Brentford fans have embarked on their away journeys by water to F*lham, Orient, Charlton, West Ham and even Southend.
North of the river along hoity-toity Strand on the Green, you will find The Steam Packet, in an old Cafe Rouge, and The Bell. A bit further down are The City Barge and the Bulls Head – two pubs side-by-side in which you would often see Ant and Dec hanging out.
There is also The Pilot which you can get to coming out of the BACK entrance of Gunnersbury station and we believe the old John Bull pub at the front of the station has been refurbed as The Gunnersbury but we have never been there so can’t give it a 👍🏾or a 👎🏻
Transport to Brentford and Kew Bridge
The simplest on paper to get to Brentford FC from town is to get the tube to Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee lines) or Vauxhall (Victoria Line) and then take the Overground train to Kew Bridge, which is right by the stadium. Brentford is one stop further on if you are on an ‘Original Griffin Park Pub’ mission.
With trains from Waterloo being only twice an hour (22 and 52) and taking 28 minutes, we normally recommend people jump on the tube from Kings Cross or Euston and head to Northfields or South Ealing on the Piccadilly Line as it is quicker (including the time getting across London and waiting at Waterloo) and trains are more frequent.
It is only 40 mins max station by tube to station meaning you could be in a Brentford pub within an hour of embarking your train at Kings Cross, Euston or Liverpool Street.
The other station option is Gunnersbury. You can walk to the stadium from Gunnersbury tube station (District line) in 25 minutes or take a bus (H91, 237, 267, 110), but note that it is closed for entry for one hour after the match.
For the Brentford/Griffin Park pubs you can get the Piccadilly line tube to Northfields station from King’s Cross or Euston (35 minutes) then walk down to The Plough, The Globe, The Lord Nelson and The Griffin and other pubs from there.
The new stadium is around 25 minutes’ walk from South Ealing station – if you don’t fancy Gunnersbury – or you can get on the 65 bus from across the road which will drop you almost outside in 15 minutes.
You can also pick up the 65 bus from Ealing Broadway (district and central line) which will take you to the new stadium in 25 minutes.
You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the Tube and Overground.