Venue – St James’ Park, Newcastle
Referee – Paul Tierney
Date & Time – Wednesday, December 30th @ 20:00
Current Odds – Newcastle United 11/1, Draw 5/1, Liverpool 1/4
It’s the last game of what has been a hugely eventful year for Liverpool football club. It was a year to forget in so many ways – a global pandemic being the number one reason – yet LFC carved out their own piece of history in there among the depression and despair.
The Reds lifted their first league title for 30 years and the 19th in the club’s history in a period when fans were not allowed in stadiums. The pandemic rages on, of course, but the widespread availability of a vaccine is something that is hoped for in the first half of 2021. However, Jürgen Klopp’s Mighty Redmen have continued their journey, they have ploughed on through the dark days and given us all something to hold onto.
Long may it continue.
Newcastle United Form
The Magpies lost 2-0 at Manchester City on Saturday. They’ve now lost three of their last four games in all competitions, not having won a match since December 12th.
Newcastle United are currently 13th in the league table.
Sam Allardyce’s West Brom ground out an impressive 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday evening. It was Liverpool’s first time to drop points at Anfield this season.
The Reds are still clear at the top, however, and look like they’re going to take some knocking off their perch again.
Newcastle United Team News
Steve Bruce will be missing Martin Dúbravka, Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin on Wednesday night.
Newcastle normally line out in a 5-4-1 formation and Callum Wilson will probably return to lead from the front after missing their defeat at Manchester City last time out.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool are without Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas.
Joël Matip went off with what looked like a groin injury against West Brom so he could be out for a few weeks at least. Rhys Williams replaced Matip in that game and is likely to deputise in his place again against Newcastle.
Thiago Alcântara is getting closer and closer to his return but this game comes just too early for the Spain international midfielder.
I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could start in midfield to help limit the workload put on the young legs of Curtis Jones this season. ‘The Ox’ looked lively after coming on against West Brom so it would be interesting to see how he fares when on the pitch from the get-go.
Newcastle United XI (5-4-1) – Darlow; Manquillo, Fernández, Schär, Clark, Lewis; Almirón, Hayden, Longstaff M, Ritchie; Wilson
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Williams R, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mané
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool have won all of the last five clashes between these two sides. They are undefeated in seven games altogether against The Magpies with their last victory coming five years ago, in December 2015.
This fixture was the final game of the 2019/20 COVID-delayed campaign with Liverpool winning 3-1 at St James’ Park in late July. Dwight Gayle gave the hosts a first-minute lead but Virgil van Dijk equalised a few minutes before half time. Second-half strikes from Divock Origi and Sadio Mané gave Liverpool the win.
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 – 3 LIVERPOOL
Newcastle have done better than expected this season under Steve Bruce. However, I think Liverpool will make it six wins in a row against The Magpies on Wednesday night. I think The Reds could win by a two-goal margin with a repeat of the July scoreline (3-1) a very real possibility.