May 11th, 2014; 15:00 BST
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool face the Magpies in their final league game of the season with their title chances hanging by a thread. After the heartbreak against Palace, where they lost their faint hopes of winning the title, the Reds would like to draw the curtains on their wonderful season in style with another strong home performance against a struggling Newcastle side who have been in woeful form of late.
Team news and tactics
The Merseysiders are currently placed second in the table with 81 points and they will be hoping for nothing short of a miracle if they are to clinch the premiership. The equation is simple; A Manchester City loss and a Liverpool win will see the title coming back to Merseyside after a long, long time. Rodgers has done a remarkable job this season and a win for Liverpool would see them bag a total of 26 victories this season, a club record.
The capitulation against Palace would have deeply affected the players and they would like to set things right by going out and getting the job done against Newcastle. Henderson will most probably make his way back to the starting eleven after missing out on three games due to suspension. The former Sunderland man’s energy was badly missed in the last two games and he will come in for Lucas Leiva. Allen will slot in on the right hand side of the diamond with Sterling playing in the tip of the diamond, just off the ‘SAS’. The Anfield faithful will be nervously watching out for updates from the other game at the Etihad, which kicks off at the same time. It should be a routine win for Liverpool with Newcastle struggling with only 1 win in their last 7 games. With a disillusioned squad and a clueless manager fighting for his future at the club, Newcastle will do well not to get a thrashing at Anfield come Sunday.
Expected starting line-up (4-3-3): Mignolet (GK); Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan; Gerrard, Henderson, Allen; Sterling, Suarez, Sturridge
Newcastle fans will be hoping for this nightmare season to end as soon as possible after a decent start. The Magpies’ fans have become frustrated with the Newcastle owners, their transfer policies and especially their manager in Alan Pardew. Still, they will be in full voice in the away section of Anfield passionately supporting their team. They have much to look forward to in the next season and will look to sit back and enjoy the game in Merseyside.
Papiss Cisse just had surgery on his knee cap which will see him out of action for atleast four months. The Senegalese has just scored two goals this term and his form has been a talking point throughout this season. The Magpies have struggled to score goals and their strikers have been hit and miss throughout this season. January signing Luuk de Jong has not exactly been that spark Newcastle were looking for and the Dutchman is yet to open his account this term. Shola Ameobi looks set to start upfront and the Nigerian will look to finish his Newcastle career with a decent performance against Liverpool. Ryan Taylor, Sami Ameobi and Santon remain sidelined. Newcastle might line up with the 4-2-3-1 formation with Remi Gouffran and Sissoko supporting Shola Ameobi.
Expected started line-up (4-2-3-1): Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Anita, Tioté; Sissoko, Rémy, Gouffran; Sh Ameobi.
- There have been 126 goals in games between Newcastle and Liverpool, the joint-most of any fixture in PL history.
- The Premier League title will be decided on the final day for the seventh time in 22 seasons.
- Liverpool have kept only one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League games.
- Luis Suarez is the 2nd player to reach 30 goals in a single PL season without netting a penalty.
- Steven Taylor was the first English player to score in the Premier League for Newcastle since Boxing Day 2012 after his goal against Cardiff City.
Player to Watch Out For
Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
Who else, but the Uruguayan? After winning the ‘Liverpool Player of the Year’ Luis Suarez will look to atleast equal Andy Cole’s and Alan Shearer’s record of 34 goals in a season by trying to bag a hat trick. The talented South American will try to put in another impressive performance to finish off his brilliant season before setting off for the World Cup.
Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United
It should be a routine home win for Liverpool with Newcastle struggling for form. Henderson’s return will provide more cutting edge and he will try to link up with Sterling and Allen to help the SAS. This game will prove to be inconsequential if City get a result against West Ham at home, but with the way this season has panned out, nothing can be ruled out until the last moment.