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10 things to know ahead of Newcastle vs. Liverpool

Liverpool’s chance to turn up the heat on Man City arrived in the early Saturday kickoff, with Newcastle playing host as Jurgen Klopp‘s men continue their title challenge.

Newcastle vs. Liverpool

Premier League (34) | St James’ Park
Saturday, April 30, 2022 | 12.30pm (BST)


It has been yet another week to remember for Liverpool, with a 2-0 win over Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final preceding the news that Klopp has extended his contract until 2026.

The club could not be in a more enviable position both on and off the pitch, but at 12.30pm on Saturday it is only three points that matter.

It is the first of three league games that sees the Reds play before City, time to put the pressure on.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Newcastle.

 

1. Magpies on the up

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 8, 2022: Newcastle United's manager Eddie Howe during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Everton FC at St. James’ Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

From relegation trouble to ninth in the table, Eddie Howe’s arrival, coupled with splashing the cash in January, has turned Newcastle‘s fortunes around.

The Magpies are looking for their seventh win in a row at St. James’ Park on Saturday, looking to add Liverpool to their list of scalps that includes Crystal Palace, Leicester, Wolves, Brighton, Aston Villa and Everton.

While not mathematically safe, Newcastle can start to look ahead to what comes next with their highly controversial new ownership.

But, for Liverpool, an opponent with nothing to lose is a dangerous one.

 

2. Who can we expect to face?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 16, 2021: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L) and Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The hosts have no new injury concerns ahead of Liverpool’s visit, leaving few surprises for Klopp to consider.

Kieran Trippier is back in training, but the game will come too soon. Callum Wilson, meanwhile, is still unavailable, as too Ryan Fraser, Jamal Lewis and Isaac Hayden.

Unlike Liverpool, who had less than 62 hours to prepare, Newcastle will have enjoyed a week’s break following on from their last league game at Norwich.

Ex-Red Jonjo Shelvey will be expected to start, while Javier Manquillo is likely to take up a position on the bench.

Possible Newcastle XI: Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Shelvey, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wood, Saint-Maximin

 

3. Late drama… again?

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 4, 2019: Liverpool's Divock Origi scores the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St. James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

A title race that’s to go down to the wire, a trip to St James’ Park and a win non-negotiable for Klopp’s men – it’s like it is 2018/19 all over again!

The caveat, we hope, for this time around is that Liverpool goes on to take all three points, as they did back then, but pip Man City at the post to the title!

 

4. No return for Bobby

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 13, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino lines-up before the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite hoping a return was near, Roberto Firmino still needs more time to make a comeback from his foot injury sustained at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final.

“Bobby is not a serious injury, all convinced but already takes a little longer than we all thought and Bobby as well, he will not be ready for tomorrow,” Klopp explained.

But the manager is to have Kostas Tsimikas back in the fold after missing Wednesday’s game due to illness, while Curtis Jones will have to prove his fitness after a similar issue to the left-back.

Other than that, Liverpool are in good shape for their trip.

 

5. Any Klopp curveballs?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 12, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) and first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With less than 62 hours to prepare after the final whistle against Villarreal, it would come as no surprise should Klopp look to freshen up his XI.

The question is, how significant will his changes be?

Both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson could be handed the opportunity to save their legs, while Thiago has started the last four and needs to be carefully managed.

Divock Origi‘s number may be called once more!

It’s not taking Newcastle lightly, simply ensuring Liverpool can continue to fight on all fronts.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Jota, Mane

 

6. “This is only the start”

Klopp spoke to the press before his side’s trip to the northeast and his contract dominated much of the discussion:

“I realise obviously that people are happy about it, that’s good. I’m very happy about it as well.

“It’s for me, at this moment in time, the place to be. This club offers a lot. We never stop trying to develop the situation.

“We have a team in the best age group but time is running, we have to prepare the little things so we are ready for the future as well.

“That’s why I think it’s a really good place to be or to join.

“We want to offer emotion, we want to deliver excitement that you can really buy into, we want to be really together with our people, we want to really be connected and we want to be special as well as a club.

“It’s no threat. This is only the start, that’s the plan.”

 

7. Salah a thorn in Howe’s side

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 19, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On Friday, it was announced that Mohamed Salah had been voted as the Footballer of the Year for 2022 by the Football Writers’ Association, amassing 48 percent of the vote.

It’s a testament to the incredible season he is having, one that could be embellished further by inflicting further misery on Howe.

In teams that Howe has managed, Salah has scored nine goals in seven games – a record every Red will wish to see added to on Saturday!

 

8. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 13, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s been one incredible season to date, and heading into the month of May with three trophies still on the line is nothing short of a dream.

Liverpool have, so far, played a total of 55 games across all competitions and have the chance to make that the maximum of 63 in the coming week.

But a win against Newcastle will see Klopp’s side set yet another club record, with 44 victories in a single season (inclusive of penalty shootouts).

With every match a must-win from here on out, the club record is going to take some beating in the future, once it’s secured!

 

9. Marriner with the whistle

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 9, 2019: Referee Andre Marriner during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Andre Marriner is the one to oversee this fixture, his third in charge of a Liverpool contest this season – the Reds were winners on both occasions.

Newcastle fans, meanwhile, had to watch Marriner dish up a red card to Jonjo Shelvey in Newcastle’s defeat to Tottenham last October, and some are not overjoyed with Mike Dean as the VAR operator.

It comes from the reverse fixture at Anfield when Diogo Jota‘s goal was, rightly, awarded despite Isaac Hayden holding his head in the penalty area.

 

10. How can you watch?

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 19, 2013: Liverpool and Newcastle United supporters during the Premiership match at St. James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s trip to Newcastle is live on BT Sport 1 for those of you in the UK, with coverage starting from 11.30am ahead of the 12.30pm kickoff.

As always, ahead of the match, This Is Anfield will provide worldwide viewing information – so be sure to check back in!

And if you want to follow the match, Joanna Durkan has you covered on TIA’s matchday live blog, keeping you entertained from 11.45am.

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