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 NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been 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. A couple of 6 pointer relegation battles again this weekend and I fear we will slip a place because Southampton will probably beat Stoke. Here are my predictions, as if anybody cares. But it has been so slow on here lately then why not 🙂

    S’ton v Stoke – S’ton
    Swans v Wham – Draw
    Leicester v B’mouth – Leicester
    Spurs v Hudders – Spurs
    Watford v West Brom – Pardew sacked
    Liv v NUFC – Liverpool
    Brighton v Arse – Arse
    Palace v Man U – Man U

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  2. ERIC Sam got 4 mil pay off at toon and used it to buy a Villa in Spain with it,think he’s called it gallowgate I think or maybe Ime thinking that’s what my son called his house in Malta,I know the name has something to do with the toon

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  3. Icedog:
    ERIC Sam got 4 mil pay off at toon and used it to buy a Villa in Spain with it,think he’s called it gallowgate I think or maybe Ime thinking that’s what my son called his house in Malta,I know the name has something to do with the toon

    I heard it was called, fillmycoffers ice or dunbunging maybe 😉

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  4. ERIC it’s only our results that matter really at the end of season,but if we could keep that small gab with other teams having a bad day would help mentally for our players

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  5. Icedog: I agree that we have to take care of our own business but the other results will decide the mood of our fans. Anything against Liverpool is a bonus but then we sort of have to beat Southampton (I know, I know, one game at a time and all that) because then we have 3 weeks off and it would get a bit depressing.

    The Guardian did a prediction from all of their journalists yesterday and none of them had us going down. As a long time NUFC fan that makes me worry. I have been conditioned to think the worst will happen because with NUFC it usually does. My reaction was fatalistic and was “Oh sh!t, if they all say we will stay up that means we’re doomed” 🙂

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  6. And shouldn’t his mother have told little Sam Allardyce that it is not nice to chew with your mouth open? He is like an American Teenage girl smacking on his Wrigleys. At least he shows he can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    I don’t like Sam Allardyce much 🙂 Did he play for Sunderland?

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  7. Eric Sykes:
    And shouldn’t his mother have told little Sam Allardyce that it is not nice to chew with your mouth open? He is like an American Teenage girl smacking on his Wrigleys. At least he shows he can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    I don’t like Sam Allardyce much Did he play for Sunderland?

    Yes nearly sure he did

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  8. It’ll be interesting to see Rafas team selection and formation tomorrow like. How will he approach it?.
    I get the impression that he sees goal difference being something that could work in our favour – and Liverpool’s front 3 could really make a dent if we aren’t careful.

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  9. Sharpy17:
    It’ll be interesting to see Rafas team selection and formation tomorrow like.How will he approach it?.
    I get the impression that he sees goal difference being something that could work in our favour – and Liverpool’s front 3 could really make a dent if we aren’t careful.

    They play with 3 false 9s. So do we, but ours don’t score.

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  10. Good to see Adam Armstrong doing well. As Olly said it is the 3rd tier but he might come good. Dwight Gayle was in non-league and so was Jamie Vardy so nothing is impossible. It is about time we had a local lad come through.

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  11. Firstly, congratulations Sham on your promotion. Although you didn’t mention you were in the police. Our relationship on here might need re-evaluated ?

    As for today’s game I really don’t see us getting anything. Away games at the top clubs will be almost impossible for us. We need so many chances to score and we won’t get too many. Rafa will approach this game exactly the same as City away. Liverpool score a lot of goals on the break so I expect us to sit deep and sneak a goal and see where it takes us.

    Prediction 3-1

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  12. pissed about the Spurs game being postponed as there will be nowt for 21 days after Saints. Really have to get something from that game or it’s 21 days of misery there after.

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  13. Just watched Football Focus coverage of Liverpool versus Newcastle. Congratulations to the BBC. It must have been extremely difficult to cover the game with so little mention of Newcastle United.

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  14. kimtoon:
    pissed about the Spurs game being postponed as there will be nowt for 21 days after Saints. Really have to get something from that game or it’s 21 days of misery there after.

    Alternative look at that, Kim is that we will be fresh for the last few games of the season after a rest. We might also need to have a friendly game to keep the players fresh. After this Liverpool game we have two 6 pointers both at home. Two wins we stay up, two defeats we’re down. Anything in between and we’re still on a knife edge.

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  15. Stuart79: Alternative look at that, Kim is that we will be fresh for the last few games of the season after a rest. We might also need to have a friendly game to keep the players fresh. After this Liverpool game we have two 6 pointers both at home. Two wins we stay up, two defeats we’re down. Anything in between and we’re still on a knife edge.

    true mate, I think we should play Hartlepool as many have suggested if possible and let them keep all proceeds from game.

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  16. Groucho:
    Just watched Football Focus coverage of Liverpool versus Newcastle. Congratulations to the BBC. It must have been extremely difficult to cover the game with so little mention of Newcastle United.

    Did you really expect anything else really.

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  17. Envoys about today’s game. I think it’s going to have to be defensive with a view to keeping our GD down… although having said that, I’d love us to have a go and win it… maybe 4-3 ? ???

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  18. Id play a back 3 with Lescalles, Lejeune and Clarke, with Mbemba and Dummet as wing backs. Diame and Merino in the middle with Kenedy and ritchie supporting Gayle

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  19. Big Fat Sham not having a good time. Looking towards his 4 million pound payoff will cheer him up though.

    Keep your mouth shut when chewing gum.

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  20. Sham – congrats on your promotion buddy. Wasn’t on the last article much so just catching up ?.

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  21. Premandup:
    Id play a back 3 with Lescalles, Lejeune and Clarke, with Mbemba and Dummet as wing backs. Diame and Merino in the middle with Kenedy and ritchie supporting Gayle

    Like that away to Liverpool but I don’t think it will happen. I would also play Joselu in place of Perez because I think Gayle could play off him. Again don’t think it likely.

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  22. Been watching the Burnley/Everton game. Sean Dyche is a top manager in my opinion – he really gets the most out of the squad of players he has.

    Whereas the Toffees aren’t happy, and I can’t really blame them to be fair. They’ve probably spent something like £200m this season and find themselves 5 pts ahead of us. They were awful again today & Fat Sam looks absolutely clueless.

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  23. Groucho: Like that away to Liverpool but I don’t think it will happen.I would also play Joselu in place of Perez because I think Gayle could play off him. Again don’t think it likely.

    Perez offers absolutely nothing most of the games imo. Personally I’d rather see Murphy get a chance – his pace and drilling at least offers more of a threat. I predict if Perez plays, he spends most of the game on his arse

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  24. Perez did play a wonderful ball to Atsu for JJ’s miss last week. Didn’t think he had it in him. Joselu has nothing in him. Hay maybe?

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  25. Sharpy17:
    Sham – congrats on your promotion buddy.Wasn’t on the last article much so just catching up .

    Cheers mate ? Been 4 years of work to get it, since passing my theory exam – so pretty chuffed! Onwards and upwards!

    Thanks to you as well Stu ?

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  26. georgio:
    Perez did play a wonderful ball to Atsu for JJ’s miss last week. Didn’t think he had it in him. Joselu has nothing in him. Hay maybe?

    ???

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  27. Sharpy17: Perez offers absolutely nothing most of the games imo.Personally I’d rather see Murphy get a chance – his pace and drilling at least offers more of a threat.I predict if Perez plays, he spends most of the game on his arse

    Sharpy I admit I can’t always follow Rafa’s choices. Murphy scored a good goal against Man City showing a calmness and maturity beyond his youth. We haven’t seen him since. A complete mystery. If only Shelvey and Perez against Bournemouth had shown those attributes. I also think Murphy was getting better with every game. You could see real progress there, whereas Atsu takes one step forward and two back. Enough said about Perez who rarely who wins fifity fifties, jogs and never runs.

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  28. Sharpy17:
    3 in 3 for a young Serbian centre forward at Fulham.

    Slimani still in his sick bed.

    Rafa shouldn’t be so stubborn sometimes.

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  29. Stuart79:
    Firstly, congratulations Sham on your promotion. Although you didn’t mention you were in the police. Our relationship on here might need re-evaluated ?

    As for today’s game I really don’t see us getting anything. Away games at the top clubs will be almost impossible for us. We need so many chances to score and we won’t get too many. Rafa will approach this game exactly the same as City away. Liverpool score a lot of goals on the break so I expect us to sit deep and sneak a goal and see where it takes us.

    Prediction 3-1

    Feeling the same towards Sham, especially he mentioned my credibility is not that good 😆

    Well, I don’t think Rafa will approach the game exactly like MC away. We will see soon. But i agree that we need lady luck on our side in order to get point(s).

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  30. What’s Lawrenson’s prediction?

    Probably 18 minutes on the sunbed with the goggles on, followed by a greaze down.

    Gt in you Spurs.

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  31. Also doing a water change on fish tank so multi tasking, was also clearing slush from outside mine and 6 neighbours houses earlier ( lot’s of oldies and 2 cancer sufferers in my row ) . Anyway that’s my workout done . Think I deserve a Toon win after that.

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  32. Watching Spurs… hoping for them to stuff Huddersfield like… we need all the help we can get. Swans winn8ng is not good..

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  33. Well if B/mouth go on to beat Leicester then no way should we worry about facing them cause over both the games v B/mouth we were the better side.
    If they can beat Leicester then so can we.

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  34. No idea what the hell has happened at Swansea. I thought they’d drop points in the next few games after such a good run. Bit like Palace but no, they’re powering ahead.

    Need Saints/Stoke to stay the same. This game for us is a right off and it doesn’t matter what happens we won’t be in the bottom three.

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  35. Interesting team. Murphy, Atsu and Kenedy all starting. Wonder if Kenedy will be at No 10? Only one question: Can we keep Firmino, Salah and Mane all quiet? Same as last time we played them will do.

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  36. Davey, Davey Davey.

    The Wham supporters called off their protest after a meeting with Brady.

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  37. Stuart79:
    WBA losing. Surely that’s them gone. 2 from 8 now.

    That’s Pards gone you would think. Troysta, what do you think now?

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  38. Stuart79:
    No idea what the hell has happened at Swansea. I thought they’d drop points in the next few games after such a good run. Bit like Palace but no, they’re powering ahead.

    Need Saints/Stoke to stay the same. This game for us is a right off and it doesn’t matter what happens we won’t be in the bottom three.

    Stu – that lad has gone in and done a bit of a Ranieri at Swansea hasn’t he. I think it’s just a case that he’s got the players enjoying football again. Their players just seem to be playing without any pressure – fair play to them like.

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  39. Eric, I want them to keep faith with him long enough so no revival can take place under a different manager.

    And Leicester score to break B/mouth hearts and deny them 3 points . That’ll feel like a loss lads, take it from us. Ah, karmas a ****.

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  40. Groucho:
    Got your wish Sharpy with Murphy in the squad.

    Yeah mate, good call from Rafa I think. The 3 of those – well 4 with Gayle, have pace to burn and could cause the Liverpool defenders a real headache. If the rest of the lads focus firstly on keeping L’pool out at the other end, then maybe – just maybe we could come away with something today ??

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  41. Sharpy17: Yeah mate, good call from Rafa I think.The 3 of those – well 4 with Gayle, have pace to burn and could cause the Liverpool defenders a real headache.If the rest of the lads focus firstly on keeping L’pool out at the other end, then maybe – just maybe we could come away with something today

    It’s our only chance I think. Hit them on the break. Although it will only work if we keep a clean sheet. Can’t see us getting anything if we don’t.

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  42. Eric Sykes:
    Good weekend for Keys and Grays choices f or managers – Moyes, Fat Sam, Pards

    Dinosaurs who’s opinions are no longer relevant and haven’t been for some time.

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  43. Eric, wolfman creeps me out, I can imagine him being a bit of a sexual predator and a total misogynist too.

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  44. That young Ryan Sessegnon at Fulham is having a good season mind, wouldn’t mind us going in for him if Fulham don’t come up.
    Then again that involves forward thinking by the fatman, so scrap that.

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