Whenever Liverpool and Newcastle meet at Anfield, memories almost inevitably cast back to that now famous night in 1996.
The game ended 4-3 to Liverpool on that occasion and is fondly looked back on as one of the best games the Premier League has ever seen. There was even a repeat of that same scoreline the very next season although that game wasn’t so close.
However, whichever way you look back on that night in 1996, or however fondly that game is remembered, the fact remains that it ultimately ended in defeat, which is a recurring theme of our trips to Anfield.
In fact you have to go back nearly two decades (well, 18 years anyway) to find our last league victory at Anfield, which came in 1994 courtesy of goals from Rob Lee and Andy Cole. Since then we’ve tried to replicate that 17 times and have only two draws to shows for our efforts, with 15 defeats making up the rest of the stats.
Brad Jones is likely to retain his place in goal as Pepe Reina recovers from a hamstring strain that has kept him out of the last four games. Glen Johnson is suffering from a similar ailment although neither are ruled out as yet and both will be fitness tested prior to the game. Fabio Borini, Jon Flanagan, Marton Kelly and Lucas Leiva are all out.
Cheik Tiote serves the second game of his three match ban for his indiscretion against the Mackems. Dan Gosling, Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic are all out long term while Rob Elliot recovers from a groin injury.
Demba Ba is the big question mark. He was rated as “50-50” by Alan Pardew in midweek as he attempts to shrug off a slight calf injury which forced him off against West Brom last week. However I wonder if it is mind games or whether Ba really is struggling?
As you may have guessed, our record against Liverpool is not good. Granted we beat them last time out at St James’ Park, but once again they beat us at Anfield and once again they scored three goals. In fact our last four trips to Anfield have seen us ship three goals in each of them.
Overall there have been 163 meetings between the two sides. Liverpool have won 78, Newcastle 47 with the other 38 games ending in a draw. Liverpool have scored 282 goals against us with us finding the back of the Liverpool net on 200 occasions.
Stats and facts
Liverpool are unbeaten in the league in four matches – their longest unbeaten streak of the year.
Luis Suarez has scored or assisted nine of Liverpool’s 12 league goals so far this term.
Demba Ba has scored seven of Newcastle’s 11 goals this term.
Newcastle haven’t won in eight away games. The last away victory recorded was at Chelsea at the back end of last season. Since then we’ve lost three and drawn five matches away from St James’ Park.
I talked last week about “write off” games which include those against the likes of Manchester United etc etc. To me this game is another one of those write off games, but not because Liverpool are some form of force to be reckoned with, but because we are just so damn awful there time and time again. For that reason I’m expecting nothing yet again tomorrow.
Having said that there is nothing to suggest that we might not just go and get a result. Whilst unspectacular so far this season, we have for the most part been hard to beat which is something that doesn’t attract so many plaudits but should still be lauded all the same.
If we go there and perform as we can then we can take at least a point back to the North-East, but I’m not holding any breath on that one. It’s up to the team to prove me wrong I guess…
Howay the lads!
Date: Sunday, 4th November, 2012
Time: 4pm – Live on Sky Sports 1
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool