Liverpool (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

 With every point precious between now and the end of the season, it’s essential that we respond well from last weekend’s collapse at Bournemouth in this one.
Whilst a result is not beyond the realms of possibility, it’s important that we keep the scoreline down if we are to come away empty handed. They have the ability to blow us away and that could do real damage to a goal difference that currently looks set to earn us an extra point on our relegation rivals.
Liverpool have scored 9 goals in their last two games, with their electric front three having scored an incredible 66 goals between them all season. Not only are they deadly in front of goal and so difficult to contain, they’re fully invested in the ‘Jurgen press’ and won’t give us much time on the ball.
As good as they are going forward, they can be got at defensively, so there’s some hope to hold onto here. If we can frustrate them in the early stages and knick a goal then there’s a chance of a Rafa masterclass here – however there can be no signs of deflation from last weekend’s devastating draw.
It’ll be a special occasion, with Rafa still adored by so many Reds, but you can bet Benitez will be fully focused on getting a shock result on his return to Merseyside.

Preferred XI

I’d make just one change from the side that drew with Bournemouth at the weekend and it’s an enforced one, with Merino coming in for Shelvey.

 

Although we capitulated in the last 10 minutes at Bournemouth, I see no reason why Rafa shouldn’t stick with the side that has generally done so well over the last two games.

Merino in for Shelvey is a relatively like for like replacement, however Merino’s superior defensive traits and ability to break with the ball could actually serve us well in this one. That being said, he hasn’t looked quite the same since his back injury several months ago, so here’s hoping he can put in a big display. We’ll need him to.



It’ll be a big game for Perez too. He was a little too cheap on the ball at Bournemouth and must be far more cute in possession and far less wasteful when big chances arise. There’s a hope that Ritchie and Kenedy will get some joy out wide, with Liverpool’s full-backs tending to bomb forward.

Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Merino – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy–  Gayle

 

The Opposition

Aside from the obvious trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino, here’s a few ones to watch tomorrow:

Andrew Robertson – The left-back is a bundle of energy and a player who plays with impressive intensity at both ends of the pitch.

Virgil Van Dijk – The £75m centre-back is an impressive athlete and a player who brings some much needed presence to their back line. He’s one to watch when we’re defending set pieces.

Loris Karius The Liverpool goalkeeper’s form has picked up, however he’s still got to be seen as one of the few a weaknesses in Klopp’s side. Firing early shots at him and putting balls into the box could help unsettle him.

Predicted Liverpool XI – (4-3-3) – Karius – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson – Can, Henderson, Chamberlain – Salah, Firmino, Mane.

For an inside look into this weekend’s opponents, take a look at the latest edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’ . A great insight into this weekend’s opponents.

 

Form

Newcastle – 15th (29 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 1 / Drawn: 3 / Lost: 1

Liverpool – 3rd (57 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 3 / Drawn: 1 / Lost: 1

 

Team news

Benitez has confirmed that Jonjo Shelvey will miss out with a knee problem, whilst Islam Slimani remains on the sidelines following last week’s injury setback.

On the plus side, Dwight Gayle has been passed fit after complaining about a tight hamstring in the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

For Jurgen Klopp, Jordan Henderson could return, however ex-Mag Gini Wijnaldum looks set to miss out through ilness.

 

Match Prediction

 

This along with Spurs away may be seen as damage limitation fixtures to an extent, however it is possible for us to come away with a result here.

They have their tails up, putting 4 past West Ham in their most recent home game, but they can be got at. Their defence is far from impregnable and their goalkeeper is unpredictable, however it’ll require a huge team effort if we’re to keep the likes of Salah, Mane and Firmino quiet.

If we can go in at the break level or be down by just the one goal in the latter stages then a point is possible, but it’s hard to envisage them not outscoring us..

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

92 thoughts on “Liverpool (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. I have been vindicated now on Pardew. I know I was not the only one to say that he was a crap manager (sackpardew.com) but I said so many times on here to Troy Stavers. And that Troy Stavers has run away like a little girl. Well, little girls have more backbone than he does, it seems.

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  2. I have to rub it in a bit. Him with his woo hoos and reality train. And smirks when Palace were doing OK.

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  3. Well it’s an uphill battle now… Salah has 32 goals this season.. 😳😳 unbelievable buy for Liverpool. Damage limitation now I think..

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  4. That was a cracking shot from Diame mind, great save from Karius. That could’ve been an equaliser. We have to believe.

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  5. Well I can’t see how this keeper is any better than Elliott or Darlow personally.

    And to bang the same drum as earlier. Fulham are winning games with one of our centre forwards we could desperately do with.

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  6. We could have saved everyone 90mins there. I think we could have all predicted how that one went and it defo went to script.

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