As Liverpool prepare to host Newcastle for a Saturday lunchtime kickoff in the Premier League, do Magpies supporters sense a potential shock on the cards?
The Reds return to Premier League action top of the table with a 100 percent record, following four wins on the bounce.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side will be expected to make it five in a row this weekend, as Newcastle make the trip to Anfield.
Steve Bruce is famed for his good record against Liverpool, however, and his team are likely to put up a fight, amid off-field struggles.
Ahead of the game, we spoke to writer Harry Bartlett (@HarryBartlett92) to get his thoughts on Newcastle‘s chances of causing an upset, as well as the Reds’ title hopes.
It’s four points from as many matches for Newcastle – how happy are you with their start to the season?
I’m not particularly happy.
The organisation of the team in the first two games was non-existent and then we played well at Tottenham to get a deserved three points.
We couldn’t follow that up against a very poor Watford team, however, and it looks like there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Which players have shone brightest in the opening month?
Joelinton has looked bright and looks like he is physically ready for the Premier League, but it’s difficult to judge the other new signings so far.
Fabian Schar has continued his good form for last year and Paul Dummett has been solid.
What is your realistic aim for the campaign, as things stand?
Survival. I think that is the only realistic aim.
That said, we could end up around mid-table if we avoid injuries, as I think 10 or 11 teams are very closely matched in terms of ability.
Under Rafa Benitez, I was always confident we would at least be organised and competitive in every game we played—I don’t think that will happen this year.
How is Steve Bruce being received at Newcastle, having replaced Rafa Benitez?
Some are willing to give him a chance, but some just want him gone already.
The fact that he is a Geordie is irrelevant—the issue is that his CV proves he’s not a good enough manager to follow in Benitez’s footsteps.
You couldn’t imagine him walking into another Premier League job this summer, could you?
How do you rate Liverpool’s start to the campaign? Are they Man City’s biggest challengers again?
The top two look even better this season and I can’t see anyone else getting close to them again.
Hopefully, certainly in the eyes of the neutral, we get a close title race again.
Who do you fear most for the Reds on Saturday?
It sounds daft, but I probably fear Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino—he’s started the season really well—more than Mohamed Salah.
That being said, the attacking ability of full-back pair Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson will cause us all sorts of problems.
Where will the key battles take place?
I’m not sure there will be any.
Liverpool will dominate possession, so I fear it will be down to our centre-backs and goalkeeper to keep us in the game for as long as possible.
Finally, hit us with your prediction…
A comfortable 4-0 win to Liverpool.