The Opposition Opinion returns ahead of another weekend of Premier League football, and this week we’ve been chatting to Liverpool fan in the build up to our daunting trip to Anfield.
Here we are looking to bring you a view from ‘the other side’ before each game, chatting to an opposing fan to gain their opinions on NUFC, some insights into their own side and their thoughts on our upcoming match.
Here’s our chat with Liverpool fan Paul Quinn ahead of this weekend’s 12.30pm kick off on Merseyside:
Q1 – How confident are Liverpool fans going into this one? Is it being seen as a guaranteed 3 points, or are you wary after our 1-0 win at Spurs?
“Our record at home really is quite something now, so it’s hard not to be extremely confident now we’ve not lost at home for over 2 years!
“We’re top of the league, we’re the only team with a 100% record after 4 games and, no offence to you lads, but I don’t see Steve Bruce’s Newcastle changing that.
“I used to be a little wary of you when the tactical master Rafa Benitez rocked up to Anfield, but I don’t get that feeling now. You were brilliant in that win at Spurs, I’ll give you that, but I think we’d soon pick you off if you adopted the same approach here.
“Spurs’ main threats were Son and Kane. Stop them and you stop Spurs, but we have Salah, Firmino, Mane, two of the league’s best attacking full-backs and a centre-back who looks like scoring every time he goes up for a corner!”
Q2 – We all know about your star men, but who are the ‘ones to watch’ in this Liverpool side? Any hidden gems or weaknesses?
“That’s an interesting one, because Salah and Mane’s goals often see them grab the headlines most weeks.
“Alexander-Arnold’s delivery and passing range from the right-hand is a joy to watch.
“Joel Matip doesn’t get enough praise for the job he does alongside Van Dijk, and one of your ex-players Gini Wijnaldum has come on leaps and bounds too.
“We’ve not been quite at it defensively this season, mind. We’ve been allowing sides to create more chances than we did last year, but Alisson’s absence may have something to do with that.
“He exudes confidence from the back, and new stand-in goalkeeper Adrian does anything but. I don’t want to give him too much stick as he’s done a job so far, but he looks error prone. If you score, I’d like to bet it’s via his mistake!”
Q3 – What do you make of this Newcastle side and which players do you see as the strengths and weaknesses in our team?
“I like the look of Joelinton. I saw Hoffenheim in the odd Champions League game last season and I remember him causing City problems.
“Atsu had a brilliant game against us in our win at your place in May, but Almiron is the one winger I’ll be watching out for. He has a headless chicken look about him but his pace and energy level is pretty impressive.
“Schar also looks a class act at the back for yous. He’s surely going to be linked with a big move if he keeps on defending well and scoring goals like a seasoned striker?!
“Longstaff looks a talent, but I’ve just read he’ll miss this game…and that brings me onto your potential weakness – Jonjo Shelvey.
“He’s supremely talented, I just don’t rate his attitude in games. He lets his head drop and his tracking off the ball is hopeless, which is exactly what you don’t want against us.
“I also fancy our chances if Willems is playing for you at left-back. I saw bits of him at PSV and he looked extremely attacking, so he might be in for a shock when he spends 90% of the game defending against Salah and TAA!”
Q4 – What sort of game do you think it’ll be and how do you see it panning out? Give us a prediction..
“I reckon you’ll sit deep, give us most of the ball, try and hit us on the counter from time to time, but ultimately play into our hands.
“If we have 80% of the ball and get you camped in your own half, it won’t end well.
“Almiron, Atsu and Joelinton could give us something to think about on the break, but will you actually commit bodies forward?
“I see us winning this at least 3-0. Sorry!”
Q5 – What did you make of Rafa Benitez’s exit this summer?
“I knew Mike Ashley was an idiot, but I didn’t realise he’d get rid of the best thing you guys had since Sir Bobby!
“What’s worse, he’s replaced a world class manager with a Championship one in Steve Bruce.
“Rafa is a legend of the game and a phenomenal manager who you were pretty luck to have. He stuck around when you went down, did a great job keeping you up and obviously wasn’t prepared to stay if Mike Ashley wasn’t prepared to show ambition?
“It’s sad to see him leave as you do have real potential.”
Q6 – It’s not an area of the league Liverpool fans are all that familiar with, but which 3 sides do you see going down this season and why?
“I know they took the game to us here on the opening day of the season, but I think Norwich are naive defensively and are going to ship too many goals.
“Sheffield United have impressed so far however I’m not sure they have the quality to survive a 38-game season at this level.
“As for the final spot, a lot will depend on how the likes of you, Brighton, Palace and Southampton get on. I have my doubts about all four.”
Q7 – If you could sign one player from NUFC, who would you like to see Klopp go for?
“I think it would be one of Joelinton, Almiron or Schar, although we could do with Dubravka right now while Alisson’s out!.
“I’d probably go with Schar. I was tempted to say Joelinton as we don’t have much depth when Firmino’s out, but Schar looks a quality player who is capable of playing for a top team.”
A big thanks to Paul for answering our questions ahead of this weekend’s game.
Next time we’ll be speaking to a Brighton fan ahead of their trip to St James’ Park next Saturday.