Venue – St James’ Park, Newcastle
Referee – Anthony Taylor
Date & Time – Sunday, July 26th @ 16:00
Current Odds – Newcastle 8/1, Draw 4/1, Liverpool 1/3
What a season we’ve had. Often, it’s about the journey rather than the destination – and the journey has been immense – but where we now find ourselves, top of the pile, is pretty spectacular too. There haven’t been too many lows to pick ourselves up from – the defeat at Watford springs to mind. Yet, we already knew by then, didn’t we? Jürgen Klopp had moulded together a unit so strong, so focused and so hungry, that absolutely nothing was going to get in its way. A red juggernaut of such unstoppable force that the term ‘immovable object’ suddenly became obsolete. Nothing was stopping this train. Two more defeats followed – at City and at Arsenal. But the job was done. That’s four defeats in two seasons – and only two of those occurred when The Reds really had something to play for.
I’ve enjoyed it. You’ve enjoyed it. Jurgen and his boys have enjoyed it. Now, let’s sign off with a win at Newcastle.
Newcastle United Form
Newcastle are currently 13th in the Premier League. Steve Bruce’s side hasn’t won in their last five outings, however. They lost three of those games and drew two, scoring four goals and conceding 12.
Steve Bruce’s Magpies have lost just four of their 18 home games so far in 2019/20.
Liverpool have won three, drew one and lost two since being confirmed as Premier League champions on June 25th.
Importantly, Jürgen Klopp’s men beat Chelsea 5-3 at Anfield on Wednesday night before the trophy presentation. It meant The Reds lifted the league title when on 96 points. How beautifully symbolic is that?
Newcastle United Team News
Newcastle are without Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schär, Ciaran Clark, Florian Lejeune,
Emil Krafth, Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff will all face late fitness tests ahead of Sunday’s game.
Steve Bruce will probably give Dwight Gayle the nod to start in attack with Allan Saint-Maximin, ahead of Andy Carroll.
Liverpool Team News
Joël Matip and Jordan Henderson are both still out with injuries.
I think Klopp may give starts to Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana as both players bid the club farewell. Both players moved to Merseyside from Southampton in July 2014.
Lovren will most likely partner Virgil van Dijk in central defence with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson on the flanks.
Adam Lallana could start in midfield with Gini Wijnaldum and Brazil international Fabinho.
Roberto Firmino may be sacrificed to give some more game-time to Takumi Minamino. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané will probably both start.
Newcastle XI (5-3-2) – Dúbravka; Manquillo, Krafth, Fernández, Rose, Ritchie; Shelvey, Bentaleb, Almirón; Saint-Maximin, Gayle
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Salah, Minamino, Mané
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool won 3-1 at Anfield earlier in the season against Newcastle. Jetro Willems put the visitors ahead before goals from Sadio Mané (x2) and Mohamed Salah gave The Reds the victory.
Last season at St James’ Park, Klopp’s men won 3-2 thanks to a late header from Divock Origi. Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah had scored Liverpool’s earlier goals with Christian Atsu and Salomón Rondón responding for Newcastle.
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 – 2 LIVERPOOL
End of season games are very, very difficult to predict. Keep your money in your pocket this weekend. The bookies will be the only winners come Sunday evening.
Liverpool should still be in very high spirits after Wednesday night’s trophy-lift. However, we saw how that backfired when they played City in their first game after being confirmed as champions.
I think Mohamed Salah will be keen to get on the scoresheet after missing a couple of glaring opportunities on Wednesday against Chelsea. Our Egyptian King didn’t look too pleased when he was taken off that night.
In what could be a scrappy game with plenty of chances, Liverpool should win on the day.