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

If we thought last weekend was hard, against a Leicester side out of form, hit by Covid and coming into the game just a few days on from a tough Europa League tie in Italy, then our trip to Anfield promises to be another huge test.

In truth, Leicester didn’t even get out of second gear for most of Sunday’s 4-0 win, yet they cut through our defence like a knife through butter that’d been left out of the fridge for hours.

That game felt like our chance to pick up a result and keep some momentum going ahead of incredibly tough clashes with Liverpool and Man City this week.

Moving forward, we’ll have to hope we show so much more in this one. More fight, more leadership, more quality on the ball and more organisation at the back.

After all, if an out of sorts Leicester can put four past us without playing all that well, I dread to think what damage Liverpool could do if the likes of Salah, Mane, Jota and Alexander-Arnold are firing!

You can never rule out a surprise result – stranger things have happened and Howe has a few shock wins on his CV against the ‘big six’ – but I think most Mags are going into this game hoping to see glimmers of hope, unity and some sort of platform to build on ahead of upcoming games against Man City, Man Utd and Everton.

Team news

Federico Fernandez looks set to miss most of our festive fixtures with a thigh injury, while Paul Dummett remains absent from a calf injury that’s taking a long time to fully recover.

Howe has also given his backing to Jamaal Lascelles after his disastrous display at Leicester, suggesting he’ll start again here.

As for the hosts, Jota is expected to return after coming on as a sub in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa, while Roberto Firminio and Cutis Jones could be back in the squad after training this week.

Predicted line ups

(4-4-1-1): Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Lewis – Almiron, Hayden, Shelvey, Willock, Joelinton – Wilson.

(4-3-3): Alisson – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson – Fabiho, Thiago, Henderson – Salah, Jota, Mane.

It would be a brave choice, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Howe sticks with a back four here.

With Clark in awful form, Fernandez injured and Krafth not suited to playing at centre-back, Schar and Lascelles could continue at centre-back, with Manquillo and Lewis either side of them.

One change that seems likely is the return of Isaac Hayden, who could help beef up a midfield that looked far too soft on Sunday, with Shelvey and Willock not offering our defence nearly enough protection.

So, I see him coming into a midfield three which sees Allan Saint-Maximin sacrificed.

He may have the individual talent to hurt Liverpool, but we’ve seen more of the bad than the good from him in recent weeks – and his lack of running and tendency to give the ball away in bad areas could prove costly when Salah, Mane and Jota are about.

Out wide, the energy and non-stop running both Almiron and Joelinton provide could offer protection to the full-backs, but also an outlet when we look to break on the counter.

Callum Wilson was starved of service at Leicester and may have the same problem here, however Hayden’s presence in midfield could allow Willock to make runs in support of Wilson, with Shelvey’s balls in behind also a weapon we could look to use.

Match prediction

I’d love to be more optimistic, but I just can’t see us getting anything here.

They are in ruthless form, scoring goals for fun at one end and keeping clean sheets for fun, with them conceding just one goals in their last five games.

You go into every game hoping for a result, of course, but some may be relieved if this one ends without our goal difference (and confidence) taking another battering as it did at Leicester last weekend.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle

HOWAY THE LADS!

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!

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

  1. Olly, they will embarrass us sadly, but at least we know it’s coming, just hope we keep the score respectable .

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  2. I think most on here would agree I’m usually an optimistic soul – but with City winning 7-0 last night I fear Liverpool may well look to return their own statement win – their attack versus our defence, the scoring will only stop when they decide it stops.

    I think a comfortable 3 or 4 nil for them, unless they decide more.

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  3. I can only see a big loss. My head is saying 5-1 to Liverpool. My heart is saying we can grab a point if they underestimate us ???. Maybe the wine is influencing my heart.

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  4. Spurs and Leicester asked for their game to be called off and the PL refused. My guess is they know if they cancel too many games that the Govt will step in and mandate a pause. I am hoping this is all temporary, but there is a lack of data. The teams are not telling you how many of their 1st team squad tested positive but more to the point who has symptoms. I mean, we know 42 PL squad players tested positive but if only 1 or 2 had symtoms that is very manageable. Look at Eddie Howe, he tested positive but is back in the dug out and seemed to have no symptoms.

    It is hard to tell whether there is an overreaction here. My problem is that I dont trust the Govt coz they change their minds every few days.

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  5. I think there is actually some good news in the US. 1st, the predicted surge for the winter after Thanksgiving doesnt seem as bad as expected. And Covid cases are only up 1% from last week when this should be the worst time of the year. I also looked at vaccination rates and they look to be reaching critical mass despite all of the conspiracies. Those with at least 1 dose:

    Total Pop: 72%
    Over 12s: 83%
    65+: 95%

    I think the 2nd 2 numbers are important coz kids couldnt get a vaccine until very recently.

    I am actually optimistic, despite this new variant.

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  6. Mike Dean is the Ref tonight. He is from The Wirral. I have read that he is a Tranmere supporter but does anybody believe that? How isnt he retired anyway or put on permanent VAR? He’s not as bad a Fat Boy Moss who chugs around the field like a 12-year old St Bernard.

    Mike Dean is pretty funny with some of his mannerisms. The over-dramatic steps over the ball if it gets near him and the occasional “no look” yellow card.

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  7. Yeah right Mike!!!! He grew up in the era of Bob Paisley’s Liverpool and lived close by. Which team would you support? Tranmere, says Dean. I believe you. I really do!

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  8. Some of these Refs and Commentators are just a joke when they are asked what team they support. They come up with non-league and 3rd Division teams so as not to appear biased. It is total BS. I think Martin Tyler says he supports Barnet or somebody.

    If you grew up in Newcastle and became a Ref who would you say you support? Blyth Spartons probably but it is total ****. It would be NUFC.

    Mike Dean is a Liverpool supporter !!!!

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  9. Brentford’s Thomas Frank wants the weekend’s fixtures called off (see below). See, I wasnt scaremongering in statements I had made on here. Also, Klopp wants more transparency as to what the numbers are with Covid in squads and who is affected. It seems obvious to me. A positive test doesnt mean you are sick. They should be telling us how many in the squad have positive tests, and more importantly, how many have symptoms. If the physio has a positive test, does that really matter when it comes to calling off a game? Hire another physio for the day FFS.

    Players with positive tests should isolate, but it does not mean they are sick. Again, I point to Eddie Howe as an example.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/dec/16/covid-premier-league-weekend-shutdown-brentford-thomas-frank

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  10. PremAndUp:
    Covis stopping the Prem League until the transfer window opens in January would be the best thing to happen to NUFC

    Prem – you’re dead right mate, starting with immediate effect!!.

    Our game against Lpool can be rescheduled for when the Africa cup of nations is on and Salah & Mane are away ???

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  11. So, Leicester/Spurs is now off after the PL initially refused requests to call it off. Rodgers pretty much came out and said there was one rule for Man U and another for the rest of us and then the PL caved. Now Chelsea have an outbreak.

    I said on here a couple of days ago that the PL might have to act voluntarily to have a pause to stop the Govt mandating it. If you let the Govt do it you might not start up again for a month or longer.

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  12. The contact rules for the PL seem different to everybody else. When Eddie Howe tested positive shouldnt the whole 1st team squad have gone into 10 day isolation as he was training them all and obviously had contact?

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  13. When I was a kid they had late night horror movies on a Friday. It was stuff like the the Hammer Dracula ones with Christopher Lee. Anyway, I was about 8 and I would watch some of it and get scared. I wasnt literally watching covering one eye, but it felt like it. Sometimes, I would even pretend I was tired and go to bed. I think my parents knew I was scared and this was an excuse but they never said anything, bless ’em.

    This is how I am feeling about todays game 🙂 Wake me up when it ends!

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  14. I think it will be a horror show tonight. Our goal difference will get a pasting and we will be embarrassed… Mackems will love it. I have a friend that’s a Mackem and he cannot wait for these next three matches. He reckons we will be playing derbys again next season… ba5tard

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  15. Hmmm… so we are not playing a striker! Strange team selection. Eddie will be slaughtered if we go down with a whimper. Gayle and Wilson on the bench.

    If you look at that team, I bet Salah has scored about double or tripple the goals they have combined in the last 2 years – by himself!!!!

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  16. Gilly. I bought a camera. A Nikon Z50 and have booked a trip to Tuscany to test it. It weighs 1.4 lbs with the lens!!! My phone takes great pictures but if it is sunny it is hard to see the screen. The EVF is much better, I have tested that in Chicago.

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  17. Eric+Sykes:
    Gilly. I bought a camera. A Nikon Z50 and have booked a trip to Tuscany to test it. It weighs 1.4 lbs with the lens!!! My phone takes great pictures but if it is sunny it is hard to see the screen. The EVF is much better, I have tested that in Chicago.

    Enjoy it mate. That’s a nice camera. I’m a Canon guy rather than Nikon but it’s a great bit of kit! Tuscany is beautiful too

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  18. Cracking goal ??????.

    Hope we haven’t poked the bear too soon though.

    Real shame for young Lewis as well, off with a hamstring – he’s been one of our better players since Howe came in.

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  19. This is just [email protected] hoofball this like!!!.

    Keep smashing it from our CBs to theirs only for it to come straight back.

    Im not sure even the Saudis have enough money to fix this sh!te!!!.

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  20. 1st goal for them – does anybody really think that Mike – from the Wirral – Dean would not have stopped the game if it was the other way around.

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  21. We aren’t able to string 3 passes together FFS – Lpool aren’t even pressing us that hard.

    We are without question one of the worst footballing sides I watch – even Norwich have players who knock it about better than us.

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  22. Well 2-1 is not too bad considering. Maxi is just so fuc.king frustrating. He needs to pass the ball, and when he’s one on one get his shot in… bad miss that from him

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  23. Isnt the Ref supposed to stop the game if there is a suspected/appearance of a head injury? I dont expect it will matter but that is bad refereeing – AGAIN. Every week it is something.

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  24. I dont care if it was close, but Shelvey NEVER hits the target from a direct free kick. It is either over the bar or wide. Commentators over here were acting like Shelvey is dangerous. They must never have watched us. I knew he wouldnt test the goalie.

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  25. Do think we made a game of it second half, Joelinton really good again today. ASM is doing my head in, he has to stop trying to do it all on his own and look up for the pass.

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  26. We were better in the second half, and it took something special to beat us that half – but we gave it away in the first half man.

    We just expected them to stop or the ref to stop the game coz Hayden was down and an awful pass back by Shelvey.

    It was Lpool at the end of the day & they are a machine at Anfield.

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  27. I also think it was a shout of a penalty TAA on Fraser. If Dean gave it VAR would not have corrected him – but he’s never giving that at Anfield.
    Don’t think he got enough of the ball though & certainly kicked his foot away in the tackle – seen them given, just not to us ?

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  28. Mike Dean should never be reffing Liverpool or Everton. I dont care if he says he supports Tranmere because I dont believe him. Not sure which of the Liverpool teams he supports but I know he doesnt support Tranmere. I bet his family support one of the Liverpool teams.

    Dean should have stopped the game for their 1st goal. The 3rd he unsighted Dubs. I dont think he meant to but he still did it. What was he doing standing in front of the player receiving the ball in the middle of the pitch 30 yards out?

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  29. How many Refs are there in the pool for the PL? Why did Dean get the gig today? There were only 2 games FFS so surely they could have picked someone else. I would have even taken Fat Boy Moss over Dean.

    If you look at the European games I think there is only 1 English Ref in their pool. Shows you UEFA have no faith in our Refs.

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  30. So Lews carer told us her daughter has covid last night and today she texted me to say her son in law and their youngest has it too. It’s running riot again.

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