Newcastle United v Liverpool – Team News: Midfield Options for Rodgers Against Resurgent Magpies

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Liverpool travel to Newcastle on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to five games. Ben Twelves looks ahead to the clash.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 11, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers and Newcastle United's manager Alan Pardew during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Newcastle United v Liverpool
Premier League; Saturday, 1st November 2014; 12:45pm kick-off

Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool head to the North East to take on a rejuvenated Newcastle in their 10th game of the Premier League season on Saturday, with both teams having enjoyed success in the League Cup this week.

The Reds will arrive at St James’ Park off the back of a morale boosting 2-1 comeback against Swansea in midweek, but they face a far stiffer challenge now, with the Magpies resurgent having recorded fantastic back-to-back away wins against Tottenham in the Premier League and Manchester City in the League Cup.

 

Last 5

In the last five visits to Tyneside, the Reds have lost twice, drawn once and won twice – the last of which was two seasons ago when Rodgers’ side – without a banned Luis Suarez – thrashed the Geordies 6-0, thanks to a brace each from Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge and a goal apiece from Fabio Borini and Daniel Agger.

Last season, the two teams battled out a 2-2 draw on a day Rodgers chose to operate with a 3-5-2 formation on the spacious St James’ Park pitch.

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 19, 2013: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard is mobbed by team-mates after scoring the first equalising goal against Newcastle United during the Premiership match at St. James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds fell behind to Yohan Cabaye’s long range strike before Steven Gerrard’s penalty – which resulted in the home side being reduced to 10 men – pulled Liverpool back on level terms. Paul Dummett put Newcastle back in front despite being a man down, only for Daniel Sturridge to once again level the match for Liverpool as he headed in Luis Suarez’s cross at the near post.

 

Team News

Jose Enrique has been added to the injury list due to suffering from a knee problem, and the Spaniard is therefore unavailable for the return to his former club. Mamadou Sakho, Jon Flanagan, Suso and Daniel Sturridge all remain out, with the England striker frustratingly set to miss his twelfth game of the season to date.

Ahead of a huge clash in Madrid on Tuesday night, Rodgers is likely to freshen up his side from the team that played in midweek and he could make a number of changes, with Simon Mignolet, Martin Skrtel, Alberto Moreno, Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard all expected to return to the starting XI.

Joe Allen and Emre Can were also rested in midweek, and the midfield duo will be hopeful of recalls to the team, as will Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli who did feature in the cup match, but only as second half substitutes.

Fabio Borini – who impressed in the cup tie and was a large factor behind the turnaround – will also be hoping his tenacious performance is rewarded with more match-day involvement whether from the bench or in the starting team, starting on Saturday.

 

Opposition

After a woeful start to the season saw Newcastle in the relegation zone, the Magpies, typically, have found some form which looks to have turned their season around, having gone unbeaten in the month of October.

That form saw Alan Pardew’s side win three out of four fixtures, picking up two league wins and progressing to the quarter final stage of the Capital One Cup – knocking out the current holders, and a very strong Man City team on their own turf on Wednesday night.

Pardew made wholesale changes to his team for the cup clash, and the Newcastle manager could recall a number of the players he chose to rest back to the starting team such as, Tim Krul, Vernon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Yoann Gouffran, Remy Cabellia and Ayoze Perez.

However, one player the Newcastle boss may not be able to call upon, is Pappis Cisse, who, Pardew revealed in his pre-match press conference, is rated “touch-and-go” and the Senegalese international is set to be monitored closely ahead of the match.

Midfielder Cheick Tiote has been ruled out for the home side.

The Geordies will be looking to turn three successive wins in all competitions into four on Saturday, but they’ll have to record their first win over Liverpool since the 2011/12 season, when they overcame Kenny Daglish’s side 2-0 in a game that saw Jose Enrique end up in goal for the Reds after Pepe Reina was sent off with ten minutes remaining.

Saturday’s fixture is the early kick-off, meaning the match will be shown live on BT Sport 1 with kick-off from St James’ Park coming at 12:45pm.

 

THEMED XI: Players to have played for both Liverpool and Newcastle

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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