Liverpool vs Newcastle : Preview

Reds Seek to Maintain Recent Momentum

Liverpool head into this weekend’s fixture in red-hot form and will be hoping that their recent goal rush continues.

Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle are also in decent form however, and are unbeaten in their previous four games. They’ve only lost twice in their last 10 with those defeats coming against Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Reds are chasing a top-four finish, but The Magpies have the burning motivation of a relegation battle and have proven to be a tough team to beat, despite finding wins hard to come by.

Liverpool

Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Jurgen Klopp all but confirmed earlier in the week that he intends on fielding his strongest XI from now until the end of the season, so there should be little in the way of rotation.

On top of that, Danny Ings and Gini Wijnaldum are ill, and Nathaniel Clyne is highly unlikely to return despite playing 90 mins for the u23s earlier in the week.

Jordan Henderson could return after a niggling injury saw him miss the last couple of games, but if not, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will retain his place and Emre Can will shift back to the holding role.

Newcastle

Team News and Predicted Lineup

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Newcastle will miss Islam Slimani through a thigh injury, and Aleksander Mitrovic will probably not return in time for the trip to Anfield.

Dwight Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey are also slight doubts with a hamstring strain and a knee problem respectively, but they should be fit to start by kick-off.

The remaining players more or less pick themselves, partly due to form, and partly because Newcastle’s squad depth is far from their greatest strength.

Analysis

Liverpool face a similar, but arguably more difficult task as they did last week due to Benitez’s defence being far more compact and organised than David Moyes’.

The first half against West Ham was tightly contested, but in the second The Reds were able to blitz their opponents and completely blow them out of the water as they have done to so many teams at Anfield this season.

The simple analysis is that Liverpool have to keep doing what they’ve been doing; defending intelligently and attacking ruthlessly.

Newcastle’s approach will also be a predictable and simple one. They will attempt to achieve a repeat of the performance and result against Manchester United by being dogged in defence and efficient in attack.

Salah will be bear the brunt of the responsibility in attack as neither Florian Lejeune nor Paul Dummett are capable of keeping up with his pace.

Ultimately though, the entire team will have to be on their game to break down a stubborn defence and force them into making the same mistakes that West Ham did.

The weather could also play a factor depending on how heavily the snow continues to fall in Liverpool. If it continues the way it has been then it could severely stunt Liverpool’s attacking outlets by slowing down the flow of play.

Prediction

This is going to be another important test for Liverpool, as they mustn’t give the teams around them hope by dropping points.

Newcastle will be difficult to break down in the snow, but if Liverpool are ahead by the second half, then The Reds should be able to overrun The Geordies.

Liverpool will head into the midweek return game against Porto having defeated Newcastle 2-0.

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone

 

Cieren O’Dea

Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 04/03/2018.

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