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Liverpool return to the Premier League’s Saturday lunchtime kick-off time when they take on Brentford this weekend.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has been a long-time critic of the slot and here, the PA news agency looks at Liverpool’s record in early kick-offs under Klopp.

Early birds

Graphic showing Premier League teams with the most Saturday lunchtime kick-offs since Jurgen Klopp's appointment: Liverpool 44, Manchester City and Tottenham 39, Manchester United 34, Chelsea 33
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will have had five more Saturday lunchtime kick-offs than any other team (PA graphic)

The clash at the Gtech Community Stadium will be Liverpool’s 44th Saturday lunchtime kick-off since the German arrived on Merseyside in October 2015, which is the most of any Premier League club in that time.

Manchester City and Tottenham have each played 39, ahead of Manchester United (34) and Chelsea (33).

Klopp has overseen a total of 21 wins, 14 draws and eight defeats in the early Saturday slot, which equates to 1.79 points per game.

That represents the second-best record among ‘big six’ clubs, behind City (2.26), but is well below his average return across all other kick-off times (2.17).

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, left, and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola
It was a lunchtime date for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’sManchester City earlier this season (Martin Rickett/PA)

Liverpool’s performances in Saturday lunchtime games have been indicative of their title prospects in recent years, with the Reds having won all 12 of such matches in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2021-22 – seasons in which they won the title or finished within a point of Pep Guardiola’s City.

By contrast, Klopp’s team won just one of five 12:30 kick-offs in 2020-21 – when they barely made it into the top four – and none of six on the way to finishing fifth last season.

It is their fifth early Saturday kick-off this season – also the most in the Premier League, breaking a tie with Spurs and Everton – with an encouraging return of three wins so far alongside a draw with City.

Bees’ lunchtime buzz

Ivan Toney scores Brentford’s second goal in last season's lunchtime win over Manchester City
Ivan Toney and Brentford rocked Manchester City in a lunchtime kick-off last season (Nigel French/PA)

Among all Premier League clubs, Liverpool rank fifth by points per game in early kick-offs since Klopp’s arrival.

Only City of the teams ahead of them have played even five games but of note is the fact Brentford have won all four of their 12:30 kick-offs since their promotion to the Premier League in 2021, with some notable scalps along the way.

Thomas Frank’s side won 2-0 at Wolves in their first such game in September 2021, 2-1 in a rare lunchtime setback for City and 3-1 at Tottenham last season, and 2-0 at Chelsea earlier this term. This will be their first Premier League home game in that time slot.

They are without the injured Bryan Mbeumo, who has scored in three of those wins including a brace against Spurs, but the recently returned Ivan Toney scored the penalty opener against Wolves and both goals – including a dramatic stoppage-time winner – against City.

Nottingham Forest and Cardiff each average two points per early kick-off, in just three and two games respectively.