Liverpool travel to St James’ Park for one of the toughest tests of the year, and a match that will indicate where the Reds stand at this early point in the Premier League season.
Newcastle vs. Liverpool
Premier League (3) | St James’ Park
August 27, 2023 | 4.30pm (BST)
The first-half nerves need to be eradicated as Newcastle will be poised to pounce if Liverpool show signs of weakness in defence.
It will be an energised stadium with a great atmosphere and, should the Reds come away with a win, they will have put a real marker down to the rest of the league.
Here are 10 things to know ahead of Newcastle vs. Liverpool:
1. Mac Allister can play!
After being sent off last weekend, Alexis Mac Allister was set for a suspension.
Thankfully, the FA saw sense for once and overturned the decision, meaning the Argentine is clear to play for the Reds again.
It comes as a massive relief as, had the red card not been overturned, he could have potentially not played a Premier League game for another month.
2. Injury news
There are positive and negatives in the injury department this week.
The good news is that Trent Alexander-Arnold is fit following the knock he picked up last weekend.
3. LFC predicted lineup
The big question is what will happen should Konate miss out?
With his speed and composure on the ball, the 26-year-old should be able to play the position however, he doesn’t have much experience there yet.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz
4. On the subject of injuries…
Konate getting injured was almost inevitable really, and Klopp was asked if he has enough depth in defence.
Suggesting he wants more, the boss said: “In an ideal world we have six, seven, eight centre halves. We need to be lucky with injuries.
“I have no doubt about the quality of the boys we have, we have Jarell Quansah, a super-talented player as well. In this moment, we are covered but it’s not dreamland where you can be prepared for absolutely each situation…
“We will try to do our absolute best to have a squad next week for us where we can react on pretty much everything. Is that possible? We will see.”
5. Magpies have glint in their eyes
The early signs are that Newcastle are here to stay. Last season’s impressive performances have continued into the start of this campaign.
6. Joelinton “fine” but still some doubt
Howe has a fairly full squad to pick from. He is, however, missing Joe Willock who has scored twice vs. Liverpool already in his young career.
Joelinton was the Magpies’ big injury doubt coming into the weekend and Howe offered an update ahead of the game.
Their manager said: “Joelinton is fine. We didn’t see him in the early part of the week but he trained in the latter part so fingers crossed he’s OK.”
That does leave some doubt, but if he is “fine,” he should be alright to start.
Possible Newcastle XI: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Tonali, Bruno, Joelinton; Almiron, Isak, Barnes
7. Going for a club first
The Reds are looking to record three successive league wins at Newcastle for the first time in their history.
Liverpool’s recent form against the Magpies looks good too; last season, the Reds recorded their fourth league double over Newcastle in the last five campaigns.
8. Salah “100 percent” focussed on the Reds
Salah has been the subject of rumours this week, linking him with a move to Al-ittihad.
As it happens, Liverpool are coming up against a Saudi-backed club closer to home this weekend, but Salah will be fully focussed on the game.
Klopp reaffirmed he the Egyptian isn’t for sale and said he is “100 percent” concentrating on Liverpool.
9. Who is the referee?
Thankfully, no Paul Tierney this week; John Brooks is the referee for this one while Simon Hooper is the VAR.
Lee Betts and Akil Howson and are Brooks’ assistants, with Craig Pawson acting as the fourth official.
10. Follow the match with TIA
TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 3.45pm, with Adam Beattie tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.
Come on you Reds!