Liverpool (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

After a week that saw the shameful European Super League dominate the headlines, we travel to take on one of the main culprits in Liverpool this weekend.

Safety is not certain, but results over the past three weeks have given us some much needed breathing space at the bottom, with our 3-2 win over West Ham handing us an eight-point lead over 18th place Fulham.

With seven points gained in our last three and back-to-back wins under our belt, we arrive on Merseyside with a spring in our step and newfound belief against a Liverpool side who’ve proven to be very beatable – especially at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s side stopped the rot last weekend with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, but prior to that they’d lost their last SIX homes games, with the likes of Burnley, Brighton, Fulham and Everton picking up wins without conceding along the way.

The Reds have steadied the ship in recent weeks, however we go into this one with a point to prove after the ESL saga, a fit Allan Saint-Maximin and a side fresh from beating 4th place West Ham last time out.

Team news

  • Allan Saint-Maximin – Declared fit to play after overcoming a swollen ankle that forced him off last weekend.
  • Callum Wilson – Absent from training photos on Thursday, but Bruce has confirmed ‘perfectly OK’ and fit for tomorrow.
  • Fabian Schar – Returned to contact training this week for the first time since knee surgery, however Bruce thinks this one will come too soon for the centre-back.
  • Ryan Fraser – Set for ‘two to three weeks’ on the sidelines after undergoing groin surgery.
  • Karl Darlow – Another who is set for a ‘few weeks’ out after having an operation on his knee.
  • Jamaal Lascelles – Likely to miss the remainder of the season after suffering a stress fracture in his foot.
  • Isaac Hayden – Ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

For the visitors, centre-back Nat Phillips has been ruled out – meaning Fabinho may be forced to fill in – while Diogo Jota has also been passed fit despite fears he’d sat out of training on Thursday.

Predicted lineup

Bruce has TWO big selection dilemmas coming into this one.

Does he bring fit-again Callum Wilson back in from the start or stick with Joelinton – the in-form Brazilian who’s bagged two goals in his last three and looked all the better for it.

Then to midfield, should Joe Willock be recalled after yet another crucial cameo? Jonjo Shelvey seems nailed on under Bruce, but it would be harsh if one of Sean Longstaff or Miguel Almiron lost their place after doing little wrong…

(5-3-2): Dubravka – Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie – S Longstaff, Shelvey (c), Almiron – Saint-Maximin, Wilson.

Joelinton OUT, Wilson IN? – This would be harsh on our £40m man after a few much improved displays in our past two home games, but we all saw what a difference it made when we had ASM and Wilson on the pitch at Burnley; our last away game. Wilson needs start to get back up to speed and I can see him coming back in here, especially when we’ll need to be clinical if we’re to get anything at Anfield.

S Longstaff OUT, Willock IN? – The former has done little wrong since returning to the side, however the Arsenal loanee came off the bench to brilliant effect once again last weekend and will need to believe he’s a regular in Bruce’s side if he’s to stay at St James’ Park next season. He also can’t play against parent club Arsenal next Sunday, so I feel he’ll be recalled here. I’d prefer to see Shelvey drop out, but with him an ever-present when fit and captain in Lascelles’ absence, he’s almost certain to start.

Match prediction

I think we’ll have a go here – we no longer playing with fear and know another result could all but secure survival – however Liverpool will be looking to bounce back after a late Leeds goal saw them drop two points in midweek.

ASM, Wilson and Almiron can cause havoc on the counter and our back five could frustrate a Reds attack that’s been well below its fluid best of late, but I do feel they’ll dominate the midfield battle and outscore us comfortably in the end.

Although their front four are frighteningly good on their day, the key could be stopping an in-form Alexander Arnold – who has been their main creative force from right-back and back to his best of late.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle

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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.

55 thoughts on “Liverpool (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. After saying that NUFC fans should just buy the club Rio Ferdinand is saying the same about MUFC. Is he on another planet? Does he not understand income inequality and how much/little the average football fan earns in comparison to how much clubs cost nowadays?

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  2. I still dont think Bruce will risk BOTH Wilson and St Max to start. I think it will be Donkey in place of one of them and try to get to half time level, or at worst 1 down. That’s Bruce’s mindset in most games anyway.

    Looks like there will be protests at Arsenal tonight. This might take some of the pressure off Arteta as the anger is directed at the Kroenkes. Whenever I hear the fans pronounce it it sounds like the Krankies to me and it makes me think of Little Jimmy on Arsenal Fan TV taking questions.

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  3. Also it seems Ryan Giggs is just an awful person. Not only did he screw his sister-in-law but he has assaulted 2 women (alledgedly, but he is out on bail and will be arraigned next week).

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  4. I am going to repeat what I said from the last thread that this failed ESL almost certainly kills the NUFC takeover. The crooks Hoffman and Masters will now paint themselves as the good guys and part of this will be them blocking any futher “tainted” money into the sport. Never mind that the owners and directors test does not give them the power to do this.

    There is probably a window of 3 months to get a takeover done before they change the O&D test anyway. But the PL will have the backing of outraged fans to block our bid even though what happened has nothing to do with us and we are actually the aggrieved party because the PL and Liverpool/Spurs colluded to block our bid.

    Masters and Hoffman will portray themselves as the white knights who helped save the PL. There will be a poison pill to stop this happening again but that will not help us and if challenged it would be illegal anyway.

    Then there is Govt action. That will take at least a year. And now that it is public that Bin Salmon called Boris there is no way that Bojo can help us out now with so much public anger.

    I am now about 90/10 that the Saudi takeover will NOT happen.

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  5. I am not trying to be negative here either. Just joining the dots and thinking where this will lead and how long the outrage will last. My guess is 2 weeks with some minor changes but the O&D will be the main thing which hurts us. There will be no change in ownership structure but some Chairmen will step down and there may be a push to limit the influence of the Big 6 in PL meetings.

    But it will blow over in 2 weeks, with only these minor tweeks. They will be back as well because the Uefa structure is almost as bad as what the BIG 6 wanted. I would actually like the English clubs to wrest some control from Uefa.

    Then there is NUST. I am not trying to be cynical about them either. I know they are passionate and their hearts are in the right place. Just their hearts overule their heads sometimes like with this Pledge.

    Rant over.

    Let’s at least try at Liverpool who have a lot of players out and in bad form. There will probably be a bit of a toxic atmosphere as well. Still think we will lose 2 nil but let’s give a good account of ourselves.

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  6. I know I am jumping ahead a game but this Arsenal team is full of kids and players who have not lived up to their price tag like Xaka, Pepe and even Partey. They also have players like Holding who would have got 5 games a season 10 years ago. They were even willing to loan him to us at one point.

    They’ll probably go on to win now I said that.

    I dont know why they loaned us Willock seeing how weak they are.

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  7. So, nobody watched that Arsenal game? You didnt miss anything. That is the worst Arsenal team I have ever seen in my life. If Chambers and Holding are in the team you know you are onto a loser.

    They had big anti-Kroenke demonstrations outside the ground. Absolutely no social distancing at all.

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  8. With Everton beating Arsenal , it would be cool if we can beat or get a draw from Pool and West Ham beat Chelsea to give one in the eye to the so called big 6.

    Lads got a mild temp this morning, had his second covid shot yesterday bless him. Had my second shot on thursday, sore arm and a raging headache later that day but fine now. Nurse said there will probably be a booster shot later in the year.

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  9. Same team as last week then, lets hope they play better than they did second half v 10 .

    HWTL

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  10. Bruce leaving Willock out was the only surprise to me.

    Klopp has gone for a very attacking lineup. I hope he has overplayed his hand but he probably watched what we did in the second half against West Ham.

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  11. Had to get up at 6am so I hope we put up a good show.

    I had a sore arm for 24 hrs with 1st Covid and that was that. There are people out and about in Chicago now. Going to Maine where it is 75% outdoors in bars and 50% indoors. Changes to 100% May 17.

    I looked at the stats and there are 30% of Americans who will NOT get vaccinated. Mostly white, male Republicans. Trump has a lot to answer for.

    My stance is let them play Russian roulette. Appropriate given how much Trump loves Vlad. This vaccine is 95% effective so I should be covered because there really arent many Trunpers in Chicago.

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  12. You have to worry about pace in the centre of the park with our lineup. Liverpool forwards are tricky and quick.

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  13. The stuff that is coming out about the ESL shows that this was manipulation by a few clubs, especially Real Man U and Juve. Ed Woodward says he didnt even know until the day before. I believe him. Chelsea have apologized now. A real apology. I bet they didnt even know that Bayern and PSG were holdouts as it was not in theirs or Man City’s interests to join. Now we have the fallout.

    Barca, Juve and Real are in a lot of debt so their teams will decline for a couple of seasons with no additions and Messi getting older. Serves them right.

    But the Uefa system still stinks so they will be back in a couple of years with something else.

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  14. That’s half of Bruce’s game plan out of the window:

    Plan A: go in level at half time.

    Plan B: keep it to 1 nil to half time.

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  15. It has sort of gone as expected because Liverpool forwards have been misfiring. Bruce will be happy with 0-1.

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  16. Joelinton is honestly the worst player I have ever seen EVER!!.

    Without Max we would have no threat at all.

    I hope Dubravka has a save bonus in his contract. This is a Krul v Spurs performance this.
    If we get anything from the game it’s all thanks to him coz we could be 5-0 down now

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  17. Liverpool have been strange this season. I have seen them get frustrated and then nervous in the last 15 mins.

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  18. Joeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    you beauty

    chalk that off if you dare VAR

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  19. This is how Liverpool have been all season, missing lots of chances. Still, Dubs Man of the Match. Need Willock and Wilson to start next week against the worst Arsenal team in my memory.

    Shlevey was playing as a proper sweeper. Maybe it suits him because he is so slow and cannot get forward anymore without being a liability.

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  20. That VAR call is an absolute joke!!.

    Why wait til the end of the season if you know it’s BS!!.

    Week on week I’m becoming a bigger fan of Willock – I really hope we can make that move permanent 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

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  21. Showing the highlights here: The Donkey had a chance with nobody within 3 yards and hits it straight down the middle at the keeper.

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  22. Had Bruce played Willock & Wilson from the start I think we could have taken all 3 points today I reckon.

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  23. I cant fault Bruce today apart from not starting Willock. This is how Liverpool have been all season and we knew Dubs would have to have a good game. Liverpool also have a pretty crap defense because their fullbacks are really wingers and if they arnt pressing they are vulnerable.

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  24. They’ve just written off Champions League over here but it rests on Man U next week. After that they have 4 winnable games.

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  25. I’m happy that’s us safe now – 9 points head of Fulham & they have 5 games to play.

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  26. Watching it again there ‘s a push on Wilson by Trent just before the ball hits Callums arm, it puts him off balance towards the ball, could of been a pen to us.
    How quick did VAR rule it handball too !

    Willock won’t be allowed to play v Arsenal will he ?

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