Klopp’s in-form Reds look to extend their winning run to five games in all competition against the relegation battling Magpies.
The game will see the return of Anfield legend, Benitez, who will receive a special reception but is desperate for three points as he battles for survival, and the Kop hero faces a tough task against a Reds side buoyed after thrashing rivals, Everton.
With six days between Newcastle’s visit and the crucial Villarreal first leg, Klopp is likely to name a strong side and the Reds boss has some exciting lineup’s available as he searches for another success.
Liverpool Team News
- Klopp set to name strong side with “almost a normal week!” before Villarreal
- Huge blow with Origi likely to miss remainder of the season after “serious” ankle injury
- Injuries stacking up with Can and Henderson also out leaving Reds without important men
- Saturday to come too early for Benteke who “feels good” but won’t train until next week
- Klopp could name similar line up to Everton thrashing
- Striking options now limited with only Sturidge and Firmino available
- Allen pushing for start after impressive cameo in 4-0 derby victory
- Injury pile up could see Klopp avoid risking key men ahead of Europe League ties
- Ward, Flanagan, Randall & Smith options to come into defence
- Stewart available for midfield with Ibe and Ojo alternatives for attacking changes
The Reds XI vs. Newcastle
With adequate time to rest and regroup ahead of the semi-final first leg, a first choice lineup is set to take to the Anfield surface on Saturday afternoon.
That could see Klopp name an almost identical team to that which hammered Everton in midweek, with one enforced changed with Sturridge taking Origi’s place.
Keeping the rest of the side the same, the Reds could look like this against Benitez’s men:
Though Klopp says there is no need to think about Thursday’s clash, the German will naturally have one eye on the game, and having seen vital players sustain crushing injuries, he may yet decide to avoid taking risks.
Wholesale changes could be made and a similar side to that of the 2-1 victory at Bournemouth last weekend deployed, with plenty of back-up options and youngsters available to introduce.
Ward, Flanagan and Smith could come into the Reds rear-guard, with Stewart available to partner the relatively fresh Allen again, while Ibe and Ojo should join Lallana in support of Firmino – keeping Sturridge fresh for the crucial Spain trip.
A much changed XI could look like this at Anfield:
The league campaign is not priority currently for the Reds, but another confident performance and victory would be most welcome ahead of the semi-final showdown with Villarreal.