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

St James’ Park is becoming a fortress again, making Saturday’s early kick off with Liverpool an occasion not to be missed for so many reasons.

Not only could we dent their title hopes with another big result, but Eddie Howe could become the first Newcastle manager in almost 20 years to make it SEVEN home wins on the spin.

We’ve won our last six games on Tyneside, haven’t lost a Premier League match at St James’ Park since Man City beat us 4-0 in mid December and have never conceded more than one goal on home turf since the turn of the year.

Liverpool are a winning machine and the most relentless side in world football these days, but Wednesday night’s Champions League semi-final against Villarreal was their fourth game in 11 days.

With Eddie’s Mags now up to 9th, way clear of trouble and able to play without fear in these final few games of the season, this will not be an easy away day for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds!

The atmosphere promises to be electric – no matter what happens – and the game a test of just how far we’ve come against arguably the best side in Europe.

Team news

Kieran Trippier (foot), Callum Wilson (calf/achilles) and Ryan Fraser (hamstring) have all been ruled out once again, with the latter deemed unlikely to play again this season.

The game comes too soon for Trippier despite him returning to training this week and there’s no other injury issues to report.

For the Reds, Klopp could be forced to rotate given this game comes in between Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final tie with Villarreal. Roberto Firmino has been ruled out, while Kostas Tsimikas and Curtis Jones are doubts through illness.

Predicted line ups

(4-3-3): Dubravka – Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett – Guimaraes, Shelvey, Joelinton – Almiron, Wood, Saint-Maximin.

Martin Dubravka – Might be a bit busier here than he’s been in recent weeks, so let’s hope he can stand up to the test! He’s certainly not let us down of late, conceding just ONCE in our last four games.

Emil Krafth – Ahead of Javier Manquillo in the pecking order and has played a big part in us keeping three clean sheets in our last four. With Trippier still out, I expect the Swede to keep his place.

Fabian Schar – Was rested at Norwich but will almost certainly come back in here. Fresh from signing a new deal on Friday and forming a formidable partnership with Dan Burn. That said, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Howe went with a three-man defence featuring him, Lascelles and Burn.

Dan Burn – Recovered from a slightly shaky start at Norwich and helped us to a rare clean sheet on the road. Will have his hands full tomorrow with the likes of Jota, Salah and Mane, however he’s often been unflappable at SJP.

Matt Targett – Playing for a permanent deal and could face his toughest test yet in this one, with Alexander-Arnold and Salah likely to start down Liverpool’s right.

Jonjo Shelvey – Was handed a rest by Howe at Carrow Road and looks set to return here against his former club. Hopefully he can continue to show how much his work off the ball has improved against a relentless Reds midfield.

Bruno Guimaraes – No Premier League midfielder has has scored more goals, made more tackles or completed more dribbles than this man since his first start for NUFC. We may need a bit of all three here if we’re to avoid defeat!

Joelinton – Will be bursting with confidence after last week’s brace, but seems likely to drop back into a midfield role that sees him protect Targett and cover for Allan Saint-Maximin down our left-hand side.

Miguel Almiron – Was unlucky to be benched at Norwich, however he seems likely to return now Fraser could be out for the remainder of the season. Hopefully builds on that stunning goal he scored against Palace!

Allan Saint-Maximin – Showed glimpses of improvement over the last two games but desperately needs a goal. Howe will be way of him playing down the side Alexander-Arnold and Salah attack, however it’s a risk-reward move that could work well if he gets space at the other end.

Chris Wood – Has looked leggy of late, so that rest last weekend may have done him the world of good. If there’s ever a day we needed him to win his battles, work hard for the team and do his job in both boxes, it’s this one!

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

Match prediction

I think we might just give Liverpool a bit of a scare in this one.

You won’t find betting statistics suggesting this, with many pricing us at 7/1 to win, however I’m expecting this to be anything but comfortable for the Reds.

Reluctantly, I back the hosts to edge it in the end, as Klopp’s Reds are winning machines that always seem to find a way, but I reckon we’ll feed off the atmosphere, take the game to a potentially tired Liverpool side and make it very difficult for them to find a way through.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool

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!

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

  1. Liverpool have been sensational this season. I desperately want to dislike them (I think that goes back to the 4-3s) but I can’t.

    City play amazing football but have spent so much more than Liverpool.

    Liverpool are still going for 4 trophies – that’s mental!! – and their players still look fresh as daisies!!.

    We have been excellent at home under Howe. I expect an unreal atmosphere at SJP again tomorrow & I think we will give them a game.

    But ultimately I think the difference will be the strength of attack.
    I hate to say it, but their back up forwards are better than our first choice forwards – thinking about it, some of their back up players to their back up players are better than our first choice forwards 😳🤦🏼‍♂️.

    As long as we compete. As long as we give entertainment to those amazing fans that turn up & who will be watching – and of course there’s always a chance we win – I just don’t expect it if I’m honest.

    On a final note – players will be watch us with a view of watching to join us. Let’s give them reason to pick up the phone to their agents.


  2. How do you beat this Liverpool team?

    The conventional wisdom seems to be that TAA cant defend so you go after their right side. Easier said than done as him and Salah are pressing your left side all game.

    Then another option is you can play it over the top as they play such a high line and constantly press. Will we have enough players forward to do this?

    Thiago is always spraying passes so we should limit this and close him down.

    My plan would be to use our dribblers to take the ball to them – Maxi, Miggy and Bruno (and Willock if he plays) – and either create space or a set piece. They are good at corners with Virgil and Matip but this is probably our best option as we have some big lads as well.

    The other thing is that Allison Becker does have the odd bad game in him and will overelaborate sometimes. Hopefully he has one of his brain f@rts.

    I do not want to follow Everton and waste time and try to kick them off the park or Villareal and have 9 men behind the ball. If we are to lose then lets make it a good game.


  3. There are only a few games left until the end of the season and Marriner and Dean are both retiring. What’s the betting that Dean wants to make his mark by turning a yellow into a red via VAR? He has issued the most reds in history.

    I think Dean is going into the VAR booth after he retires. What is that about?


  4. I have been going on for 3 years that Fat Boy Moss is too unfit to referee a pub game. He cannot keep up with play. He is finally retiring along with a few other over 50s – Dean, Marriner and Atkinson. They are not only old and slow they are also biased and crap. I have been bleating on all year about it. Kevin (Pete Postlesthwaite) Friend next please.


  5. Just hope we don’t get embarrassed, Pools front line is frightening. Give them a good game will do me, not expecting any thing today. A draw would be great but doubtful .



  6. I fear we will get beat today but as long as it’s not an embarrassing thrashing like at spurs. We cannot do that again! The team looks as good as we put out. Big Joe up top again! He did well last week so let’s see. Our bench is sadly lacking though. Nothing that can turn around our game if it goes tits up. Let’s see! 🤞🤞. We may just surprise a few.


  7. I am sort of wanting the red bindippers to do a treble at least. For one reason only. To shut the Manc up about 1999. I watched that CL final and Bayern should have beat them 7 nil.


  8. Liverpools frontline:



    The players not to make it:

    Origi and Minamino.

    I’d happily have Origi & Minamino in the Summer!!.

    Klopp has built up such a strong squad there & will strengthen again in the summer.

    We have such a long way to catch them & City.

    For me the most important thing is not to try and rush it. It will take time – maybe 3 to 5 seasons to achieve the stability that Liverpool have. Everton are a prime example of trying to throw money at it & rushing it.
    I’m happy to wait if we stay this course. Build gradually & get the right players in – not the short sellers like Pogba or Hazard or dare I suggest Neymar who was booed by the Paris fans the night they won the league – how bad must that be??.

    I feel pretty confident our new owners & manager are switched on to that, and if we can bring Dan Ashworth into that team too, I sure they will get it right.

    HOWAY THE LADS!!! SJP looks amazing in the sun 😎😎😎


  9. Got to say watching the replay Kim it was the right decision to be fair.

    Milner won the ball & Schar kicked Milners foot. If it was the other way I’d be ragging if we lost that goal.


  10. It’s a real shame coz I think we started really well & looked the most likely to score.

    Really happy with how we are playing – it’s going to be a good game this one


  11. Wasn’t a foul on Schar but if the roles were reversed down the other end, it would have been paid I reckon.

    Boys are playing well tho.. bringing it to the bun dippers.


  12. Maxi is really frustrating me again today and don’t know if this is harsh or not but Willock & Miggy have been pretty anonymous so far – can’t really carry 3 players against Liverpool.

    Just as a write that Miggy puts the ball in the net 🙄😂


  13. Well a canny first half apart from their goal. They are getting every decision mind, which was always going to happen. No complaints on their goal though, Milner got the ball first. I hope we can step up in re second half. We seem toothless at the moment.


  14. Just goes to show how the “star”players get favoured. There was a shoulder to shoulder challenge between Bruno and Mane and guess who went down and got the free.. it’s hard to deny there is a automatic favouritism for the “star” players/teams.


  15. Sharpy17:
    Got to say watching the replay Kim it was the right decision to be fair.

    Milner won the ball & Schar kicked Milners foot.If it was the other way I’d be ragging if we lost that goal.

    Yeah, OK. But Marriner would have given it the other way. You know he would.


  16. Liverpool player goes down “hurt” stop play.. Liverpool player goes down. Stop play.. he headed the bloody ball away, it wasn’t a head strike.. wtf..


  17. Gulf is quality is HUGE!!.

    They knock it round 1 or 2 touch passes – we need 3 just to get it under control


  18. And he finally passes and Wood can’t finish, that’s why he tries to do it all alone i guess


  19. AGAIN!! Maxi takes that extra touch which means Wood was offside – just release the ball FFS!!


  20. Sharpy, Woods does tend to be offside a lot it’s something Burnley fans moaned about often.


  21. We didnt play badly. We didnt do an Everton and try to kick them off the field. We need a striker.


  22. Not upset with that performance.
    Liverpool are far beyond where we are at.
    You can see who the players are that will need upgrading. Miggy and Maxi are two that need upgrading. Wood is another.


  23. Aussie:
    Liverpool player goes down “hurt” stop play.. Liverpool player goes down. Stop play.. he headed the bloody ball away, it wasn’t a head strike.. wtf..

    He headed the ball and went down with a “head injury” 🙂


  24. Maybe I’m being harsh but Howe has set a standard now – and we were really poor that second half.

    Our passing was poor, players not able to control the ball & decision making made it easy for Liverpool to win the ball back.

    Massive gulf in quality – and Liverpools quality is not lost on me by the way.

    But there was 4 or 5 there that simply aren’t good enough if our aim is to compete with teams like Lpool & City.

    PS – I’d rip someone’s hands off for £50m for ASM!!.


  25. Eric+Sykes: He headed the ball and went down with a “head injury” 🙂

    Yep, never seen that before.. unbelievable. Allowed Liverpool to reset defensively.


  26. I think we deserved a point from that effort. For their goal, I think if it had been the other way round, the ref stops the game. We were effectively toothless up top. Maxi is getting very frustrating. Not sure why Gayle doesn’t get a chance. He really cannot be any worse than what we have. Oh well. Luckily, we are not relying on points from this and the next two games to stay up.


  27. Aussie:
    Not upset with that performance.
    Liverpool are far beyond where we are at.
    You can see who the players are that will need upgrading.Miggy and Maxi are two that need upgrading.Wood is another.

    Aussie – defo those 3. I think Willock & Shelvey were poor today too.

    We needed Joelinton back in midfield today to try & control things.

    I’m still disappointed with our performance as well though. Too many touches because of poor passing & poor controlling of passes.
    They moved the ball so much quicker than we did.


  28. Dubs had a good game. They probably could have scored another. But remember, they beat Man U 5-0 away and 4-0 at home!!!

    I didnt expect us to win this game.


  29. Pundits raving about Liverpool – our passing accuracy today was 64% to their 84%.

    Bruno covered the most ground today – 2nd was Miggy only .2km behind Bruno … but who influenced the game more???.


  30. Fans, pundits, journos are saying Liverpool are the best team in the world at the moment . So we were OK!


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