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10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Newcastle

Liverpool haven’t lost at home to Newcastle in the Premier League since 1994 – here’s hoping that record continues when the pair meet at Anfield on Wednesday night.

The Reds beat Bournemouth 9-0 on Saturday, returning to form in emphatic fashion and suggesting they have turned a much-needed corner.

Next up is Wednesday’s visit of an unbeaten Newcastle side, who have already held Man City to a draw this season and have European aspirations of their own.

Here are 10 key things you need to know ahead of Liverpool’s fifth Premier League match of the season.

 

1. Unbeaten start for Magpies

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 30, 2022: Newcastle United's Bruno Guimarães during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is much excitement in the air at St James’ Park these days, with last year’s big-money takeover transforming the club’s financial fortunes.

A European finish was the aim at the start of this campaign and the early signs suggest they could be the best of the rest outside of the ‘big six’.

Three draws and a win from four games may not sound too earth-shattering, but a richly-deserved point in a 3-3 draw with City outlined their quality, and they also battled to a gritty share of the spoils away at Wolves.

It is still early days but Eddie Howe’s side are turning into a more formidable outfit.

 

2. Injury problems mounting

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 30, 2022: Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Newcastle go into the midweek clash with lots of injury problems, meaning Liverpool could be facing them at just the right time.

Kieran Trippier faces a race against time to prove his fitness, while Emil Krafth has suffered a potentially season-ending ACL injury.

Midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is a big doubt, having had such a huge influence since arriving back in January, and the same applies to key attacking duo Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson.

New big-money signing Alexander Isak could make his Newcastle debut, however, if the Swede’s work permit is approved in time.

 

3. Predicted Newcastle XI

Howe could be forced into naming a much-changed team because of Newcastle‘s injury woes.

Isak could lead the line in place of Chris Wood, depending on how ready his manager thinks he is, while Jacob Murphy or Ryan Fraser may come in for Saint-Maximin.

If Trippir misses out, former Reds defender Javier Manquillo is expected to replace him at right-back, with Magpies fan Dave Black telling TIA that his battle with Luis Diaz could be a one-sided one:

Luis Diaz will murder Javier Manquillo, who is quite a steady player but hasn’t played at all due to injury and will be rusty.”

Another ex-Liverpool man, Jonjo Shelvey, is a long-term absentee.

Possible Newcastle XI: Pope; Manquillo, Schar, Botman, Burn; S. Longstaff, Willock, Joelinton; Almiron, Murphy, Isak.

 

4. Who’s out for Liverpool?

Newcastle are not alone is being affected by injuries, with Liverpool’s fitness problems still ongoing.

Ibrahima Konate is still out with knee issue, but on the plus side, Joel Matip has returned to training and could return, with Curtis Jones also back in the fold.

Klopp has revealed Diogo Jota, Thiago, Calvin Ramsay and Caoimhin Kelleher are nearing a return, although Wednesday’s game will come too soon for them.

Darwin Nunez, meanwhile, is serving the last of his three-game suspension.

 

5. How could Reds line-up?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The main selection headache that Klopp could have is whether or not to bring Matip straight back into the starting lineup.

Joe Gomez has largely done well and arguably deserves to continue, so it will be interesting to see if he will be replaced immediately.

The only other possible changes from the victory over Bournemouth could be rotation-related, with Kostas Tsimikas possibly coming in for Andy Robertson, in order to give the Scot a rest.

James Milner is another who could play, perhaps in place of Jordan Henderson, while Fabio Carvalho is pushing for a start after a goalscoring cameo on Saturday.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Elliott, Henderson; Salah, Diaz, Firmino.

 

6. New midfielder still possible

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp admitted Liverpool’s pursuit of a new midfielder is still up in the air:

“The closer we get to the last minute the more unlikely it gets, that’s how it is. But we are not out.

“It’s difficult because, there are for sure some players out there that would be the right ones, but they have different issues some of them are contracts, clubs don’t want to sell – these kinds of things.

“That’s how it is. We cannot force it. We will see.

“Thursday 11pm [is the deadline], there is still time. But when it’s then over and we’ve signed or not signed [a player] then I’m really happy about that because we can stop thinking about it.”

It promises to be an intriguing 48 hours or so!

 

7. Newcastle’s Anfield struggles

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 16, 2021: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold scores after the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool and Newcastle have had some memorable encounters down the years, with back-to-back 4-3 wins recorded by the Reds in 1996 and 1997.

In fact, the Magpies haven’t tasted victory at Anfield since way back in 1994, when goals from Rob Lee and Andy Cole earned them a 2-0 win.

They was also a 1-0 League Cup truimph for Newcastle the following year – Steve Watson scored the only goal – but it has otherwise been a Liverpool-dominated fixture.

A stoppage-time equaliser from Joe Willock in April 2021 is about the most the Magpies have had to shout about at Anfield in many years.

 

8. Did You Know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Andy Robertson (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrate after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last 25 home Premier League matches, dating back to the 1-0 defeat to Fulham in March 2021.

That loss came in front of an eerily empty Anfield, but the unbeaten streak in front of fans goes way beyond that date.

Incredibly, Liverpool haven’t tasted a home league defeat in front of supporters since back in April 2017, when Crystal Palace won 2-1 to dent the Reds’ top-four hopes.

Harvey Elliott was in Year 9 at school at that point!

 

9. Marriner takes charge

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 30, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp speaks with referee Andre Marriner (L) during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Andre Marriner has been confirmed as the referee for Wednesday’s game, with Andy Madley on VAR duty.

It is the first Liverpool match Marriner has overseen this season, having refereed four Reds wins out of four in 2021/22, against Norwich (A), Southampton (H), Arsenal (A) and Newcastle (A).

In total, he has taken charge of 59 Reds games in his career, with 30 wins, 18 draws and 11 defeats.

 

10. Follow TIA’s live blog

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: LFC.TV camera operator Miles Fitzpatrick during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Newcastle is live on BT Sport 1, with coverage getting underway at 7pm (BST). Kickoff at Anfield is at 8pm.

Alternatively, TIA’s live blog will be running as usual – Dan Clubbe is in the hot seat, keeping you entertained from 7.15pm.

Come on you Reds!

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