NEWCASTLE VS LIVERPOOL PREVIEW
Liverpool are steadily marching towards the top quarter positions in the English Premier League table after back-to-back victories against Manchester City and Swansea. Steve McLaren’s Newcastle United will be the latest team to host the Reds on Sunday evening, with the home team probably aware of the fact that an in-form travelling Liverpool squad will have the upper hand.
Marching to the CL spots
With teams like Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham failing to win their weekend fixtures, Liverpool could reach at sixth, level on points with fifth placed Spurs if they win at St. James Park tomorrow. In fact, Liverpool would only be 4 points behind second placed Arsenal, who have 30 points and just 6 points behind surprise league leaders Leicester City, who are at 32 points. Hence, a good Premier League campaign in December could firmly put Klopp’s Reds inside the top 4 spot.
Midfield adjustment may be necessary
Talking to reporters in his pre-match conference, Klopp revealed that Coutinho isn’t likely to feature in the game against Newcastle as he hadn’t recovered from his injury. Emre Can will also miss the game because of suspension, while Jordan Henderson’s foot-injury complications may put the team captain out of the starting XI. Thus, Klopp may be forced to change his 4-2-3-1 formation and instead may opt for a starting formation with 2 strikers. However, with the high possibility of both Benteke and Sturridge starting, Liverpool may still play an immensely attacking game.
Newcastle squad not in good shape
Newcastle have proven to be one of the poorest starters in the 2014/15 season, winning only 2 games out of 14 and they currently sit at the 19th place. In fact, Newcastle also have the worst defensive record this season, with an accumulated goal difference of -16. Thus, a resurgent Liverpool attack could indeed give plenty of trouble to the Newcastle defense. Yet, a victory against the Reds tomorrow could put the Magpies out of the relegation zone and McLaren will certainly form his match strategy, keeping that possibility in mind.
In the last few seasons, Newcastle have proven to be strong opponents for Liverpool, with the Magpies winning 3 of their last 5 home fixtures against the Reds. However, in the last 10 matches between the two, Liverpool have won 5 while Newcastle have won 3 and 2 games have ended in a draw. The last game between the two ended in a 2-0 Liverpool victory at Anfield. What also shouldn’t be ignored is that Newcastle United does have a strong squad with the presence of quality players like Coloccini, Janmaat, Sissoko, Wijnaldum and De Jong. However, recent form of both the teams indicates that Liverpool may have more chances of collecting 3 points tomorrow, compared to Newcastle.
Liverpool Possible Starting XI