Liverpool will have it all to do when they visit St. James's Park on Sunday, can they stop Newcastle from winning? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)
Newcastle vs. LiverpoolSt. James’s Park4:30pm
|Liverpool will have it all to do when they visit St. James's Park on Sunday, can they stop Newcastle from winning? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Newcastle United went to the champions last weekend and returned emptyhanded; it wasn’t a big problem as the game was a supposed free hit.
But playing at home to Liverpool, one of the few teams to beat them at St. James’s Park last season, it’s a different motivation, and the Geordies must hold the game by the scruff of the neck if they want to experience the deep, soothing feeling of victory.
Liverpool’s season is still a little indifferent, with their midfield begging for repairs. Dominik Szoboszlai has settled in well, but is he enough of a creative force in Liverpool’s midfield? Alexis Mac Allister got his red card against Bournemouth rescinded and will be available for this game.
Liverpool laboured at home to a 3-1 win over Bournemouth last weekend, with Mac Allister seeing red, but after an appeal, the suspension has been lifted. The window is still open for Liverpool to do more than the endo they brought in from Stuttgart.
Newcastle could consider starting Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson together, and Harvey Barnes could be the flying winger on the left from the start as against Anthony Gordon; Miguel Almiron could be the guy on the right.
Liverpool will be without Ibrahim Konate, and that’s a source of worry with Joel Matip fighting for fitness and Joe Gomez always shaky. Newcastle must be wary of the inverting Trent Alexander Arnold; his new role helps the attack but leaves spaces behind in defence.
Both sides need a result here, and Liverpool could go top of the log with a two-goal margin win. Keeping up with the top of the table is the priority now; no one wants to fall behind by many points at this stage, and that makes a draw a bad result for either side.
Liverpool will return with the trio of Mohammed Salah, who missed a penalty last weekend but scored from the rebound, Diogo Jota, who scored and assisted last weekend, and Luis Diaz, who has scored in successive games for Liverpool this season.
The midfield battle currently looks like something Newcastle would win; Sandro Tonali, Bruno Guimaraes, and Sean Longstaff are expected to be the men against a scanty Liverpool midfield, and you wonder how Jurgen Klopp plans to cope.
Long balls to Isak or Wilson will be on the cards for the hosts, while Liverpool will seek to make use of the flanks. Virgil Van Dijk and Fabian Schar will be the men to watch out for on set pieces; it would be enjoyable for the neutrals.