Brentford have proven themselves to be consistently tricky customers since arriving in the Premier League, with the Bees hoping to cause Liverpool some problems when they arrive at Anfield this weekend.
Three successive wins for Thomas Frank's men has lifted them up the Premier League table, but they still find themselves some way off the Reds.
With Liverpool having won all of their eight home matches in all competitions, few may give Brentford a shot at upsetting the apple cart.
However, Jurgen Klopp's side have had a tough week with some disheartening performances, so they will have to be at their best to come away with three points from Brentford's visit to Merseyside.
For those of a statistical persuasion, let's take a look at the underlying numbers behind Brentford's season.
Starting with some of the obvious stats, Brentford currently sit ninth in the Premier League table having won four, drawn four and lost three of their opening 11 matches.
Brentford currently have a positive goal difference after their recent upturn in form, scoring 19 and conceding just 14 this term. By contrast, Liverpool have scored five more and conceded four fewer than this weekend's opposition.
The Bees are pretty well balanced, boasting the eighth best attack and defence. They have also kept two clean sheets from their last three matches, despite some defensive injuries.
"He's a cool guy, I respect him a lot!"
Jurgen Klopp has praised Thomas Frank and the job he is doing at Brentford 💪 pic.twitter.com/GVp3PIsHl9
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 10, 2023
When looking at xPTS (expected points), we can see that Brentford have actually been slightly underperforming this season.
They currently sit on 16 points, but have an xPTS total of 18.58. Based on the calculations of the magical statistical supercomputer in the sky, Brentford should have around three points more than their current total, which would place them, in an alternate universe, seventh in the current table.
Let's hope Brentford don't pick up those three extra points this weekend.
Some people are less receptive to the concept of xG (expected goals) than others, but the underlying numbers suggest that Brentford should have scored and conceded more goals than they have this term.
The Bees may have netted 19, but they should have scored approximately 22 instead. Having Neal Maupay as one of your strikers probably explains this anomaly, as does the absence of Ivan Toney, but the Bees are underperforming in terms of their ruthlessness in front of goal at present.
Saman Ghoddos 🤝 Goal of the Month Winner
🎥 Saman on his stunning effort pic.twitter.com/hyo0zytPaR
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) November 10, 2023
Brentford's misfortune in front of goal is made up for in their defensive luck. The Bees have an xGA (expected goals against) total of 15.3, meaning they should have conceded just over one more goal than they actually have.
However, Liverpool have been far more fortunate when it comes to xGA. The Reds may have conceded just ten, but they should have let in over 14. Undoubtedly, Alisson's brilliance explains such a statistical disparity.
Liverpool also should have scored almost three more goals in the Premier League, meaning both teams are technically underperforming offensively and overperforming defensively.
Despite being ninth in the Premier League table, Brentford rank in the bottom half for possession. They have an average of 48.3% of the ball in their matches, 10.2% lower than Liverpool's average.
Expect the Reds to dominate possession on Sunday.
Liverpool have only ever lost once at home to Brentford, a 4-3 defeat all the way back in 1937. That's one of just four losses the Reds have suffered at the hands of Sunday's visitors.