Liverpool v Newcastle - Rafa’s Return
Liverpool v Newcastle is a Premier League game that is revered in Sky folklore.
Who can forget Martin Tyler’s fantastic commentary on that momentous evening in April 1996 when Kevin Keegan’s entertainers lost the league at Anfield?
I as a Toon Army fanatic certainly cannot.
Now Rafa Benitez brings his team to Anfield 22 years later in the midst of a relegation battle. They should have come here on the back of 2 consecutive league victories for the first time since September.
However they contrived to let slip a 2 goal lead against Bournemouth in the last 10 minutes. This after a hugely impressive performance at St James’ Park against Manchester Utd culminating in a 1-0 victory.
This shows how well Newcastle can perform when their backs are against the wall. However it has to be said that Manchester Utd under performed on the day and the debutant goalkeeper Martin Dubravka performed heroics.
Rafa Benitez knows that his team will have to perform at the same high levels to hold this free flowing Liverpool team.
Liverpool v Newcastle - Klopp’s Tasty Trio
Liverpool’s fabled front 3 will likely look at getting at Newcastle from the off on Saturday teatime.
However Newcastle have a fairly impressive defensive record. Only Brighton have conceded less than them from 8th place downwards (37 goals to Newcastle’s 38).
Therefore the goals may not flow as easily as they have recently for the Reds. Only Manchester City have scored more in the league than Liverpool and Liverpool are still protecting an unbeaten home League record this season.
I expect this to continue. Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah alone have 37 league goals between them.
This is 10 more than the WHOLE Newcastle team have managed this season. Therein lies this teams problem.
They in all likelihood will not be able to contain the pace and movement of these 3 players for the full 90+ minutes and I cannot see them getting more than 1 goal at Anfield despite Liverpool’s well documented defensive frailties.
Liverpool v Newcastle - Injury News
Liverpool are expected to be at near full strength for this game. The only injury doubt is Nathaniel Clyne who is still playing his way back to full fitness.
Newcastle have had a nightmare this week. Jonjo Shelvey, Dwight Gayle and new loan signing from Leicester Islam Slimani are all expected to miss this game.
Liverpool old boy Shelvey will be a particularly big miss as he has been in exceptional form in recent weeks.
Joselu is expected to return in attack in place of Gayle which is a shame as Gayle has a decent record against Liverpool and would have been full of confidence after his goal against Bournemouth last week.
Tip of the Day
My tip in the Liverpool v Newcastle match is for LIVERPOOL -1 goal to win the match at odds of 8/13.
For those who prefer odds against bets bets I like the look of MO SALAH 1st GS & LIVERPOOL TO WIN at odds of 3/1