Liverpool will aim to continue their Premier League title charge when they lock horns with Newcastle United on Saturday.
Following a 2-0 victory over Villarreal in midweek’s UEFA Champions League semi-final, Liverpool will shift their attention back to the Premier League, as they travel to St. James’ Park on Saturday to face Newcastle United.
The Reds have been in extraordinary form since the turn of the year. They are in with a chance of landing the seemingly impossible quadruple, having won the Carabao Cup earlier in the season while the final phase of the respective Champions League and FA Cup tournaments.
The Premier League, though, remains the biggest prize for the Reds as we approach the final phase of the campaign. With 79 points on the board, the Merseyside giants are locked in a tense battle for the league title, with league leaders Manchester City only having a one-point lead at the top.
Liverpool’s last game saw them squash arch-rivals Everton. But they are set to face a more daunting challenge up against a Newcastle United side coming on the back of four successive wins in the Premier League.
With 43 points on the board, Newcastle United’s survival in the top-flight has been guaranteed, and it appears the Magpies are now making a push for an ambitious top-eight finish.
Newcastle United’s game against Liverpool in the reverse fixture saw them lose 3-1 at Anfield, but with a far stronger unit and the added home support, Eddie Howe’s men will be hoping for a much better performance this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
📺 Eddie Howe's pre-#NEWLIV press conference is now available to watch in full on NUFC TV.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) April 29, 2022
Eddie Howe reported no fresh injury concerns heading into this clash, meaning he will only miss out on the services of long-term absentees Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson. Ryan Fraser has been ruled out as well, perhaps for the remainder of the campaign.
In terms of the starting eleven, Howe introduced many changes to the side that faced Norwich City last weekend. The rotation made sense given Newcastle United’s strenuous schedule heading into that game.
But the former Bournemouth boss might look to revert those changes, with Fabian Schar and Jonjo Shelvey among the players more than likely to return to the starting eleven. The same can be said for Miguel Almiron as well, with the Paraguayan likely to get the nod ahead of Jacob Murphy despite his promising display against Norwich City.
Tactically, Eddie Howe could continue with his tried and tested 4-3-3, but it won’t be surprising to see him revert to a back five against a free-scoring Liverpool team. In that case, Jamaal Lascelles could keep his place in the team, forming the three-man backline alongside Schar and Dan Burn.
Meanwhile, in the attack, Joelinton could return to his withdrawn role in midfield despite scoring a brace against Norwich City in the number nine position. Chris Wood should replace him in the centre-forward role, with the New Zealand international hoping to feed off of the support of Allan Saint-Maximin and co.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Guimaraes, Shelvey, Joelinton; Almiron, Wood, Saint-Maximin
Jurgen Klopp is missing Roberto Firmino due to a foot injury, while Curtis Jones and Kostas Tsimikas remain doubts due to diarrhoea.
Given the significance of three points, Klopp is facing a selection dilemma and may have to resist the urge to make wholesale changes to the starting eleven that faced Villarreal in midweek.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 29, 2022
There might be one of two changes nonetheless, with Diogo Jota, in particular, gunning for a return to the team sheet at the expense of Luis Diaz. The Portuguese international should operate in a central role, allowing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to work in tandem from the flanks.
Newcastle United should not rule out the possibility of seeing Divock Origi in action either. The Belgian has been serving as Liverpool’s super-sub for many years now and could be asked to spill his magic against Newcastle United if the game goes down to the wire.
Another change in the side could see Naby Keita potentially replacing Jordan Henderson. The former RB Leipzig starlet could combine with Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho to build the second line of press for Liverpool. No changes are expected in defence, as Klopp continues to persist on the experience and leadership of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Mane
- Newcastle United are winless in 10 Premier League meetings with Liverpool since a 2-0 victory in December 2015.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last four Premier League away games against Newcastle United – only once have they gone five league games without a defeat at St. James’ Park, doing so between September 1961 to May 1969.
- Just one of the 53 Premier League meetings between Newcastle United and Liverpool have been drawn goalless. Of all fixtures to have been played at least 40 times in the competition, only Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur has finished goalless on fewer occasions (0/54).
- Liverpool have won eight Premier League games against Newcastle United after conceding the first goal, at least double the amount they’ve won versus any other side. Indeed, each of their last three victories over the Magpies have seen them concede the first goal within the opening seven minutes.
- Newcastle United have won each of their last four Premier League games, keeping three clean sheets in the process. The Magpies have not won five consecutive league games since November 2014 under Alan Pardew, a run that included a 1-0 home win against Liverpool.
Player to Watch
Joelinton has been nothing short of a revelation for Newcastle United this season, especially under the leadership of Eddie Howe. Once maligned as a centre forward who was struggling to get to grips with the Premier League’s fast-paced football, the Brazilian has transformed himself into a reliable midfielder.
The former TSG Hoffenheim starlet has expertly used his strength and physique, coupled with his attacking qualities to offer dynamism and thrust in the second line of press. His formidable partnership alongside Jonjo Shelvey has been key in helping Newcastle United drive out of the relegation scrap since the turn of the year.
Coming on the back of a brace against Norwich City, Joelinton’s services could prove to be useful against a Liverpool side who take no prisoners. His personal duel with some of the Liverpool midfielders remains one of the most interesting facets of this exciting contest.
Player to Watch
Newcastle United 0-1 Liverpool
Liverpool have been able to demolish most Premier League opponents since the turn of the year. They have looked seemingly unbeatable in all competitions, although things could be a bit trickier for Jurgen Klopp’s men when they travel to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United.
The Magpies have been one of the best sides in the Premier League this calendar year and boast an excellent record at home. We expect Newcastle United to make life difficult for Liverpool, although the Reds might just sneak all three points in the end thanks to their quality and form heading into this contest.